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Old Feb 9, 2003, 3:10 PM   #1
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Default more pixels or higher spec on optical telephoto?

I'm a watercolorist and I paint old-world architectural subjects. I travel widely in Europe, taking tons of pics from which I draft the subjects of my paintings. I've been using my Nikon Coolpix 950 and am now interested in getting a new digital camera. I'm interested in the Nikon 5700 and its lens add-ons (wide angle; 28 mm and telephoto; equivalent to 420mm.) I print 8 x 10's from my pics when drafting a subject to paint, and the details of the architecture is very important to me. Sometimes I can't get up close to the building I'm taking a photo of. So, here's my question: If I wanted to crop, for example, a window of a building so that I can blow that portion of the pic up to an 8 x 10 inch print to view the details of the window, would I be better off with the Nikon 5700 with its 420mm range and its 5 million pixels, or better off with an Olympus C-730 Ultra Zoom with its greater 10X optical (30X optical and digital lens) and its lesser 3 million pixes? From which camera would I be able to get the better details of a portion of a pic when printing up that portion of the pic?? Sorry for the complexity of the question but an answer would be very helpful to me indeed. THANKS
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Old Feb 9, 2003, 3:32 PM   #2
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There has been a lot of discussion on this subject... one of the best explanations I've seen on the subject approaches it on the basis of a "Figure of Merit"
Take a look at the following link:


Given the choice, I prefer a big stabilized zoom to more megapixels. Of course, if I can find both, that would be better yet.
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Old Feb 9, 2003, 6:00 PM   #3
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Interesting article however its bias toward the telephoto which is OK:
Wide angle FLs are not required in the FM equation because the limits of telephoto photography take place at maximum focal length
However for traveling or shooting scenics some emphasis should be placed on the wide angle as well... ie you would like to capture more of a scene not less when back against a corner! Cameras with 28mm are a rarity... Most start @ around 35-40mm
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Old Feb 9, 2003, 6:37 PM   #4
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What you are looking for is detail and you cannot get that detail unless you have a lot of pixels to form the small image. I would go with the Nikon 5700 becuase of the great number of pixels to create detail. When you go to increase the size of a small part of the frame
you need max pixels. At least you will have a better image to start with.

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Old Feb 10, 2003, 7:31 PM   #5
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Default Wonderful

I am also an artist, or I should say retired artist, and I use cameras as a bases for a lot of my work. My opinion is that there is not any one size fits all for an answer to your question. My Nikon 995 has an excellent W/A lens, my OLympus C-2100uz with the B-300 has outstanding reach and will out class a lot of outher cameras for ease of use, and my Sony 717 has great all around ability especially with a light tripod and a remote. I enlarge almost all my shots to fit a 8 x 11 sheet and I laminate the print. Now here is what I have in my files that the typical artist doesn"t have with their little 3 x 5 photos. I do not see the world through a 50mm lens. I can almost tell what kind of camera a lot of very good painters are using by looking at a collection of their work. No I do not carry three cameras around especially since I am disabled but at any given time I try to exploit the PERSPECTIVE that these lens will offer. If I had to pick "a" camera for the type of art work you describe I would take the C-2100. It will frame all the detail you could ever want and if you learn to use the photo sitching feature you will get a lot shots no one else can come close to. ...I have started a gallery at http://www.pbase.com/normc/ but I have only a very limited number photos there right now and I have not done any editing, Good Luck
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