Over the last several years some camera manufacturers have introduced new shooting modes that enable photographers to create ultra high-resolution images larger than their sensors can normally capture. Generally referred to as ‘pixel shift’ or high resolution modes, this new shooting option has proved incredibly popular with consumers.
In this buyer’s guide we’ll round up which cameras have pixel shift technology and list all the different names it is called by various manufacturers.
What is pixel shift technology?
Pixel shift technology enables a camera to create images at a much higher resolution than its sensor would normally be able to produce. Pixel shift is essentially a compositing mode.
On cameras that have pixel shift, the sensor is physically shifted by a fraction of a pixel during a series of shots, and the data from these is then combined.
After the image sequence has been captured, the cameras merge the shots into a single raw file. Each pixel of your resulting image then has more data, and thus your photo is of a higher resolution than your camera’s native sensor. The file is bigger and has more detail than a standard image.
Like other similar compositing modes, pixel shift modes perform best with static subjects. What’s more, it’s important that the camera does not move. Therefore, pixel shift is typically unsuitable for landscapes with moving foliage unless the shutter speed can be set long enough to blur the movement consistently in each of the four exposures.
If the shutter speed freezes the movement there may be multiple versions of the foliage in the final image.
So which cameras have pixel shift?
Different camera manufacturers have their own name for pixel shift technology. Olympus debuted pixel shift technology with its OM-D line and calls it High Res Shot mode.
For Panasonic users, you’ll find it in your menu as High Resolution Mode. Sony users have Pixel Shift Multi-Shooting Mode.
To make this guide easier to digest, we’ll break down which cameras have pixel shift by brand.