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Old Nov 4, 2004, 10:46 PM   #1
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I am looking for a digital camera and had all but decided on the Panasonic FZ3. I saw a guy using one at a football game and he loved it. Now I'm reading that since the camera is only 3 megapixels it won't do 8x10s very well. I won't print many 8x10s (maybe 5-6 a year) but I'd like the quality to be good. Is 3 going to be sufficient or should I spend more money and get a 5MP or higher?
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 10:55 PM   #2
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3 Megapixels is fine for 8x10" prints (and anything more is probably a waste from most printers at typical viewing distances).

Heck, I've printed many an 8x10" print from a 2 Megapixel Camera -- even without anything special (like interpolating with software to prevent pixelation) that family members were surprised came from a digital camera (although, you really don't want to go less than 2 Megapixels for an 8x10" print without using software to interpolate it some to prevent pixelation). 3 Megapixels is fine for this print size, and will produce noiticeably better quality than an unmodified 2 Megapixel Image. But, with anything more, on most printers, you'd be hard pressed to see any difference after 3 Megapixels at typical viewing distances.

Here's what Nikon said in a an press release from 2000 about the 2 Megapixel Coolpix 950 (after they *lowered* the price to $899, and this is not a DSLR):

"The award winning Coolpix 950 camera shattered the two-megapixel resolution standard to create vastly superior images, while taking digital enlargements to the 11" x 14" realm"

See the 4th paragraph:


Of course, you needed to use interpolation to do it (decent 11x14" prints from a 2 Megapixel Image size). But, even without interpolation, I've gotten lots of nice 8x10" prints from a 2MP Camera. I've also gotten some nice 8x10" prints from cropped 2MP images after interpolation.

3 Megapixels is plenty for an 8x10" print (with no interpolation needed on most printer types).
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 8:25 AM   #3
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If you can afford to spend a bit more, you can consider the FZ15 and FZ20... they cost more though...

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Old Nov 5, 2004, 9:43 PM   #4
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I just bought the FZ3. I had the same concerns before I bought it. I downloaded one of the sample pics from Steve's review (the surf board pic) and brought it out to KMart and printed an 8x10 on their Kodak Photo machine. Sure looks good to me.

The camera is significantly smaller than either the FZ15 or 20, That was the main thing that attracted me to it. Still learning the camera as I've only had it for 2 days.

From what I've read about the Panasonics (and I've read a lot) they are hard to beat when it comes to long zoom with image stabilization. If anyone asks me, I'll recommend any of the FZ series of cameras.

The only nitpick complaint I have is about the software that came with the camera. Not real fond of it.
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