Adobe’s new Super Resolution feature is certainly rather good. It allows you to breathe new life into those lower resolution images from older DSLRs as well as smartphone images to an impressive level of quality. But does it really eliminate the need for today’s high-resolution cameras like the Canon EOS R5, Nikon Z7 II and Sony A7R IV?
Well, photographer Dan Watson seems to think so, as he demonstrates in this video where he puts the 12MP Sony A7S III and 20MP Canon EOS R6 + Super Resolution up against the 60.2MP Sony A7R IV and 45MP Canon EOS R5 for stills to see just how well they stand up to the task.
I’m not entirely convinced, personally. It’s definitely very impressive and it will allow you to do a lot more with the images you shoot, but a 12/20 megapixel camera replacing a 45-60 megapixel camera? Even the comparisons shown in the video, while pretty good, weren’t really all that close. The scaled-up images using Super Resolution were definitely not as sharp as those shot with the cameras containing the higher resolution sensors, no matter what Dan might want us to believe.
We’ve also seen that Super Resolution isn’t as good as Topaz Gigapixel in certain situations, either. It’s certainly faster, but Topaz Gigapixel shows clear improvements over Adobe’s initial offering in some shots, particularly architecture. So, if such upscaling (regardless of the technique being used) were going to do away with high-resolution cameras, then surely we’d have all just bought Topaz Gigapixel and keep shooting our old lower resolution cameras by now, right?
As I said, Super Resolution is impressive, but this is only Adobe’s first iteration of the feature. I’m sure it will improve over time, but even when it does, I’m not sure it’ll ever really take the place of just shooting higher resolution if the gear is available.
For right now, though, I’m not convinced. What do you think?