How to use High Resolution mode


Some cameras now allow you to capture images larger than the pixel size of their sensor. Angela Nicholson explains how.

The main purpose of the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system is to compensate for accidental movement that occurs when the camera is held in the hand, so sharp images can be captured when using slower-than-normal shutter speeds. It works by detecting camera shake and moving the sensor a small amount to correct it so the image isn’t blurry.

The fact that the sensor can be moved with great precision enables another feature, commonly known as Pixel Shift Multi-Shot Mode or High-Resolution Shooting Mode, which is now available on Fujifilm , Olympus/OM Systems, Panasonic, Pentax , and Sony found in some cameras. When the mode is activated, the camera takes a series of images, shifting the sensor by a tiny amount, sometimes half the width of a pixel, between each image. These images can then be combined into a single image to create larger, high-resolution images with more detail, or in earlier versions of Sony and Pentax cameras, these images have the same pixel count as normal, but with more detail. Good detail, color and tone gradation.

In some cases, the images are combined using software running on the computer, but Olympus/OM systems, Panasonic and Pentax cameras can combine images in-camera when using the high-resolution shooting mode or high-resolution mode . The latest Olympus and OM system cameras, including the OM-D E-M1X , OM-1 and OM-5 , feature two modes, one for when the camera is mounted on a tripod and the subject is still , and another mode that copes with slight subject movement and when the camera is hand-held. In tripod mode, the cameras produce 80MP images, while in handheld mode they produce 50MP images.

Let’s see how to use the high-resolution shooting mode in the OM system OM-5.

  1. Press the Menu button and navigate to High-Resolution Capture in Capture Menu 2, then press the right navigation button twice.
  2. Now use the dropdown options to set the delay to trigger the shutter after pressing the release. This is even more important when you plan to use tripod mode, as it gives time for any wobbles. It can be set from 1/2 to 60 seconds, I use 1/2 seconds when shooting in handheld mode and 2 seconds in tripod mode. Press the “OK” button to confirm the settings.
  3. Scroll down to Shooting Method and press the right navigation key for the option to switch between handheld or tripod.
  4. If you’re using a non-Olympus flash, you may need to set a time for it to charge between shots. If you’re not using a flash or it’s an Olympus model, you don’t need to worry about this setting.
  5. Exit the menu and check that the high-resolution shooting mode icon is displayed on the camera screen, then press the shutter release to capture the image. If you’re using the handheld mode, try to keep the camera still, the camera won’t be able to composite the image if it moves too much.
  6. Composite images are not saved to the memory card, you just get a composite photo, but if you shoot in raw and Jpeg mode, there are raw and Jpeg versions.

How big is the image?

The OM System OM-1 has a relatively modest pixel count of 20.4MP. However, in tripod high-resolution shooting mode, it can produce  80MP (10400 x 7792  pixels) images, while in handheld mode, it can create  50Mp (8200 x 6132 pixels) images. At 300ppi, the 80MP image measures 88 x 66cm, while the 50MP image measures 69.1 x 51.8cm. This is larger than most people will print.

Jump over to a 100MP camera like the Fuji GFX102S, which can create 400Mp images in pixel-shift multi-shot mode. The images consist of 23,264 x 17,448 pixels, which means they measure close to 148 x 300 cm when printed at 197ppi. This is much larger than the average photographer needs, but it could be perfect for commercial work or gallery prints.

Which cameras have high-res modes?


Fujifilm first put its pixel-shift multi-take mode in its medium-format GFX cameras, but it’s now expanded to some APS-C format X-series models. Images were combined using Pixel Shift Combiner software on a computer.

  • GFX100 In pixel-shift multi-shot mode, the 102MP sensor switches between 16 photos that are combined into a 400MP image using a pixel-shift combiner.
  • GFX100S Merges a sequence of 16 102MP images into one 400 MP image.
  • GFX50S II:  A series of 51 4.200MP photos combined into a 16 MP image.
  • X-H2 The camera takes a series of 20 images, shifting the 40.2MP sensor to create a 160MP image in a pixel-shift combiner.
  • X-T5 The camera takes a series of 20 images, shifting the 40.2MP sensor to create a 160MP image in a pixel-shift combiner.


Olympus first introduced the Hi-Res shooting mode in the OM-D E-M5 Mark II in 2015, and it’s now a feature on all of its latest mid-to-high end cameras. Images are combined in camera.

  • OM-D E-M5 Mark II In high-resolution shooting mode, the camera moves the 8MP sensor between each of the 16 photos that are combined to create a 40 MP image.
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III 20.4MP sensor moves through a series of 8 images to create a 50MP image.
  • OM-D E-M1 Mark II Combines a series of 8 20.4MP images to create a 50MP image
  • OM-D E-M1 Mark III This 20.4MP camera features tripod and handheld high-resolution shooting modes that create 80MP and 50MP images respectively. The images were created from 8 images in tripod mode and 16 images in handheld mode.
  • OM-D E-M1X The 20.4MP sensor moves to create 50MP images in handheld mode and 80MP images in tripod mode.
  • Pen-F In high-res capture mode, the 22MP sensor is shifted to create 50MP JPEG or 80MP raw files.
  • OM System  –  The OM System inherits Olympus’ high-resolution shooting mode technology, where images are combined in-camera.
  • OM-1 In tripod mode for high-resolution shooting, the 20.4MP sensor moves to create an 80MP image, while in handheld mode, it creates a 50MP image.
  • OM-5 : The 20.4MP sensor moves to create 80MP images, while in handheld mode it creates 50MP images.


Panasonic introduced a high-res model with the Lumix G9 in 2017, which was later incorporated into the company’s full-frame S-series cameras. Images are merged in-camera.

  • Lumix G9 : In high-res mode, the 24.2MP sensor moves between each of the 8 photos, which are then composited into an 80MP or 40MP image depending on the option selected.
  • Lumix S1 : 24.2MP sensor moves between each capture sequence to create up to 96MP images in-camera. The number of pixels varies depending on the selected aspect ratio.
  • Lumix S1R : In high-res mode, the 47.3MP sensor moves between shots, capturing 8 images simultaneously and then combining them to create images up to 187MP
  • Lumix S1H : Moves 24.2MP to allow the creation of 96MP images in high-res mode.
  • Lumix S5 : Moves 24.2MP to allow the creation of 96MP images in high-res mode.


When Pentax first introduced the Pixel Shift resolution mode, it didn’t increase the pixel size of the image, but the latest incarnation can create larger images in-camera, like this:

  • Pentax K-1 II 36.4MP sensor.
    The K-1 II has tripod-only and handheld pixel-shift resolution modes. In both modes, the 36.4MP sensor moves to create a 47.3MP image.


In the first version of Sony’s pixel-shift multi-shot mode, the Sony A7R III took a sequence of 4 photos that were combined to produce a 42.4MP image. This is the same size as standard output but with improved detail and tonal gradation. Subsequent implementations allow for the creation of larger images. Images were merged using Sony Imaging Edge software.

  • Answer 7R IV:  The 61MP A7R IV has a 61-shot mode that produces a 4MP image and a 240MP image that produces a 16MP image.
  • A7R V 61MP The A7R V has a dual pixel shift mode, one that takes a series of 4 photos, resulting in 61MP, and another that takes 16 photos and creates a 240MP image
  • Answer 1 The 50MP A1 can take a sequence of 4 photos combined into a 50MP image, or 16 photos combined into a 200MP image.

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