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Old Apr 6, 2006, 12:31 AM   #1
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G'day all,

ok I have had my D50 now for just over a month and a bit, and I am loving it. I am getting to the point now that I would love some of my shots printed out. But my girlfriend who works in digital imaging is saying that the pics I take are not high res enough and will only come out looking good at some small normal photo size.
Now I do realise that the big cameras that cost an arm and a leg and possibly a kidney do actually do a better job and I am sure they also do high res shots. But does that mean I can't? For example here is the exif information taken from a pic I just took outside. I used RAW format as so far that is the best to use. All other information is here to look at.

Can someone give me a rough run down of what it all means in laymens terms and if possible tell me if I can actually do large (1metrex3ft for eg) prints to sell. I would love to sell my prints and then later on move up to a bigger camera

Thanks in advance for any help


File: - I:\D50 Snapshots\060306\DSC_0001.NEF

ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
BitsPerSample - 8 8 8
Compression - 1 (None)
PhotometricInterpretation - 2
Model - NIKON D50
StripOffsets - 38796
Orientation - Top left
SamplesPerPixel - 3
RowsPerStrip - 120
StripByteCounts - 57600
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - Ver.1.00
DateTime - 2006:04:06 16:10:51
ReferenceBlackWhite - 0
ExifOffset - 468
DateTimeOriginal - 2006:04:06 16:10:51
ExposureTime - 1/750 seconds
FNumber - 9.50
ExposureProgram - Manual control
DateTimeOriginal - 2006:04:06 16:10:51
DateTimeDigitized - 2006:04:06 16:10:51
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 3.48
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Not fired
FocalLength - 18.00 mm
UserComment -
SubsecTime - 0
SubsecTimeOriginal - 0
SubsecTimeDigitized - 0
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
FileSource - Other
SceneType - Other
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Manual
WhiteBalance - Auto
DigitalZoomRatio - 1 x
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 27 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
GainControl - None
Contrast - Soft
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Unknown

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Data version - 0210 (808595760)
ISO Setting - 200
Image Quality - RAW
White Balance - AUTO
Image Sharpening - HIGH
Focus Mode - AF-A
Flash Setting - NORMAL
Flash Mode -
White Balance Adjustment - 0
Exposure Adjustment - 33623040
Flash Compensation - 67072
ISO 2 - 200
Tone Compensation - AUTO
Lens type - AF-D G
Lens - 642
Flash Used - Not fired
AF Focus Position - 33554432
Bracketing - 65536
Contrast Curve - I 
Color Mode - MODE3a
Light Type - NATURAL
Hue Adjustment - 0
Noise Reduction - OFF
Total pictures - 2238
Optimization - SHARP

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Old Apr 6, 2006, 4:11 AM   #2
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Your D50 is 6Mp which is roughly 3000 x 2000 pixels. 3ft is 36 inches call it 30 for easy of calculation and divide 30 into 3000 you get 100 pixels per inch. For a decent print you need roughly between 200 - 300 pixels per inch.

However it may be possible to print the size you want. You can just try it because a print that size should be viewed from some distance away so less pixels may work. The other alternative is to increase the pixel count be interpolation. How you do this depends on the software you're using. In PhotoShop the best place is in the RAW convertor. All imaging software should have some means of increasing the pixels, often with different techniques, some of which work better than others.

A cheap way of testing is uprez the picture then crop out a small piece for printing at 4x6 remember to view it at a reasonable distance as you woyld a 3ft print.

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Old Apr 6, 2006, 4:22 PM   #3
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I think you showed her a thumbnail, Your EXIF data shows a VERY VERY small picture

"ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120"

I also don't know what a .NEF file is. so it could just be a thumbnail for the RAW image (if you hadn't converted it yet)

Make sure you convert the RAW image to something useable, then you should be able to print quite large prints at 300DPI even.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 5:26 PM   #4
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Lexiticus wrote:

Yes, the NEF files have a small jpeg thumbnail embedded in them.


I think you showed her a thumbnail, Your EXIF data shows a VERY VERY small picture

"ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120"

I also don't know what a .NEF file is. so it could just be a thumbnail for the RAW image (if you hadn't converted it yet)

Make sure you convert the RAW image to something useable, then you should be able to print quite large prints at 300DPI even."

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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:55 PM   #5
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Also keep in mind that as a reference, my 17" LCD computer monitor is running at 1280 x 1024.

The dimensions of the screen are 13.6 x 10.2

So the dpi resolution of the screen is about 94 dpi horizontally and 100 dpi vertically.

So 100 dpi resolution can still produce a nice looking picture.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 4:16 AM   #6
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You need higher resolution for prints than for a monitor display. I'm not entirely clear on why except that the technology is very different as is the way that the colour is created from the mix of light pixels and ink dots.

NEF is the filetype of a Nikon RAW file.

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Old Apr 9, 2006, 1:45 AM   #7
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I've been using a Nikon D100 for 3 years. Here's my advice.
Set your D50 for the time being to LARGE and FINE jpg output. Work outdoors at the lowest ISO possible. Keep to the standard Adobe RGB colour space. This will give you an excellent 6 mp image which will print easily to A3+, if done through a program such as QImage or sent to a Lab.
There's a lot of nonsense about what file size is needed for printing. I suggest you try it and find out.
I regularly print A4 at home from QImage; using files from 150 pixels per inch (Nikon Coolpix 995) I can at NORMAL viewing distances see no difference from files printed at 300 pixels per inch. I use an Epson R220, and set it to Best Photo which is up to 5760 dpi.
QImage will automatically make sure your photographic files are optimised for your printer. You can find QImage at http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/
I find identical results printing from Photoshop Elements and Photoshop 7.

I also send photographs to an internet lab and get excellent images from even quite heavily compressed files - as long as they remain 6 mp images.

I repeat! Take no notice of any suggestions that you have to have 300 ppi files to get photo quality output. (I recently attended a course on Digital photography at Nikon U.K. and the tutor said exactly the same. I guess he ought to know...)


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Old Apr 16, 2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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Ok Ollie it works like this....

You have a sensor that is 3008 x 2000 pickles. (er pixels)

Depending on the quality you meed a minimum of 100 pickles per inch to make a "decent" print. I've been in the digial imaging biz for about 100 years and I use 150 as my "magic number." If I've got 150 pickles I feel confident I'll get a GOOD image. (and my standards are pretty high)

200ppi gets you rock solid prints. While the pureists arguge that you need 300ppi I'm here to tell ya that 98% of the people in the world, including most photogs, can't spot the difference between 200 and 300ppi.

OK so what does that mean to you? 30 x 20 is pushing your luck. 14 x 11 (common size it the States) is going to be a gimme shot ASSUMING a good lens, good focus et al. -- Remember, photogrpahy is all about the weakest link.

NOW- Having said the above, take it with a grain of salt. It also depends on the imaging device. For example a Lightjet will rock and roll with 100ppi images. Stunning quality.

Other devices can't interpolate so well and they need more res. The numbers I gave you are numbers that any device should be able to make good pix with. The Lightjet does a fantastic job with low res images so it can "save" you. Others may or may not have such ability.

Here's the only correct answer... Try it and see if you meets your demands.

Good luck to ya.

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