How much noise is visible on a picture taken at 3200 ISO with camera A, compared to the same picture taken with camera B? This is the kind of discussion, that can go on for weeks on photo-blogs and -foras on the net. Normally supplemented with dozens of pictures at 100% magnification. This is known as “pixel-peeping”.
On The Online Photographer Jim Richarson has an interesting, personal comment on this phenomena. Richardson is a professional photographer with 30 years of experience, working for National Geographic among others. Richardson remarks that not only would today’s ISOs be barely imaginable back in the film era – but digital has furthermore made white-balance adjustment possible on a frame-by-frame basis, and even after the picture was shot.
But what is really thought-provoking is not the rather trivial fact, that digital has provided photographers with so many new possibilities. It is the following observation:
“Finally we can go where people really live and work and bring back images of impact and beauty. All this actually matters, and not just to us photographers examining our pixels (and our navels.) It matters to the general public because it changes the visual stamp of our era. It changes what we think our world looks like. It changes which parts of it we’re able to see and share worldwide.”
Go here to read the whole of Richardsons post, including comments.