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Old Feb 7, 2005, 10:15 PM   #1
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I'm new and looking to buy my first digital camera. At first I thought I really liked the Olympus C770, but then realized I could only print out a quality 4x6 photo with it so started to look further because I'd like to be able to print out an 11x14. I liked the zoom on the C770 also because I'd like to get some nice candid closeups of my grandchildren, but after talking with someone from Olympus today, maybe something with the 4 or 5x zoom would be fine. I couldn't figure out why the more expensive camera had a smaller zoom on them.Then I lookedat the Olympus C5060 and C8080. With the C8080 I could print out a photo 20x24 and I'm wondering why I can print out a smaller photo than my daughter does with her Kodak Easy Share 5 mp which says it will print out a 20x30. I've had a PhotoShop class and I know I want to be able to play with my photos. I'm very confused by what is a quality camera though and what isn't. Can someone help me out a little more, in simple terms though. Is there an unspoken list of top quality camera makers on down? While I don't know a lot, I'd like to be happy with the first camera I get for a long time. I'd like it to have the hot shoe flash so that I can add a flash to it. Down the road I think my husband wants to get an SLR so he can have different lenses, but I don't personally want mine to be that involved, but I want to be able to get quality photos with it. Can someone suggest other cameras I might also want to look at besides Olympus?

Thanks for your help. I appreciate all of the help I can get.
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 11:56 PM   #2
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The Kodak cameras aren't even in the same league as the C-8080. Quality of the lens and the camera aside, the "20X30" figure is pure marketing hype - you can print at any size you want, but you will not want to hang it on your wall. Youcan't even print a 35mm negative at 20X30 inchesand have it look presentable.

As a general rule of thumb, you need about200 dpi to print a reasonably decent picture; it's as good a guideline as any. My personal experience is that I can't really tell the difference between200 and 250 DPI, but if you drop much below that, it really becomes noticable - 150 DPI looks very soft on wet-processed photo paper.

So, by this "rule", a 5 Mpixel Kodak DX7590 camera (for example)gives you a maximum of2576 x 1932 pixels, orabout13 X 10 inches printed. You CAN extrapolate beyond that, but you're adding pixels that were not originally there, and there are limits. 20X30 would be about 85 DPI - about the same as computer screen resolution, and not at all printable. The C-8080, OTOH,gives you3264 x 2448 pixels, or about 16.5X12 inches at 200 DPI.

Add to that the MUCH higher quality of the pictures you'll get from the C-8080, and the RAW and uncompressed file modes that aren't even available on Kodak cameras, and you'll be printing images from the C-8080 at twice the size of the Kodak's output....
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Old Feb 8, 2005, 1:12 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for taking the time to help me with this. I figured the Kodak wasn't as good as quality, but I didn't know if it was in the casing, lens, etc. You'd think there should be some kind of guidelines when they state the size of a picture, they should say how many dpi they're using, but now I know you figure that out yourself. I didn't know what formula to use and you've been a big help with that. I also didn't realize you couldn't even get RAW images with it. I never researched that one because I knew I wanted something better. I also found the Tech Help on this site and read his articles which were very helpful. I also saw OIE after resolutions so I researched that also. I take it from what I made out of it is that the camera adds pixels to an image for you. What kind of photo do you get from that, do you know?

After reading what you wrote and some more reviews, then I started looking at the Sony F828 and saw comparisons with the Minolta A2 and Nikon Coolpix 8700. One reviewer didn't think a lot of the Olympus C8080 and another one thought it was a great camera. They brought up the manual zoom rings though that sounded like a good thing.

I can see I'm going to have to do a lot more reading and educating myself before I make a decision and go to some camera stores and look at them and talk to people there. Maybe by the time I'm up to speed, they'll come down in price, I'm definitely looking at spending more than I was when I started but I want to get something I know I'll be happy with for a long time.

Again, thank you very much, I really appreciate your help.
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Old Feb 8, 2005, 9:48 AM   #4
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Maybe by the time I'm up to speed, they'll come down in price, I'm definitely looking at spending more than I was when I started but I want to get something I know I'll be happy with for a long time.
Digicams advance so rapidly that keeping a camera for a very long time is kind of fruitless. This is just my opinion but you are probably better off getting a mid-end prosumer and then upgrading that every couple of years than buying a high-end prosumer--ASSUMING you don't need the features of the high-end prosumer. Anyway that's MY opinion; I'm sure some would disagree and would prefer to spend a lot and keep it.

As far as your "quality" issue is concerned, the SIZE that you can print is based on the camera's megapixels. More megapixels, the greater the potential print size. However, I would argue that this has nothing to do with QUALITY per se. Rather, this is just the print size. The quality would depend on other stuff like lens quality, internal camera electronics, and so forth. A 4 megapixel camera can produce 8"x10" prints that are of equal or better quality than a 7 megapixel camera (but the 7 megapixel camera can print better prints that are larger).

Cameras like Olympus 8080, Sony F828, Canon Pro1, Nikon 8800, etc are high-end prosumers. They basically offer the most features you can find in a non-DSLR camera--they also cost the most of any consumer or prosumer camera (not counting DSLRs). The high-end prosumers have a lot of flaws and shortcomings but the "best" ones seem to be Nikon 8800 (has image stabilization) and Olympus 8080.
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Old Feb 8, 2005, 10:29 AM   #5
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All consumer and prosumer cameras - not merely the high-end ones - have faults and shortcomings.

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