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Old May 30, 2004, 12:54 PM   #1
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Hello,

I just purchaseda Canon i9900 printer, and would like a digital camera that will match its capabilities.

I'm currently using a 3-megapixel Tosiba PDR-T30. Will this suffice for 13X19 photo output? If not, how many megapixels should I be looking at?

I would like to stick with Canon as I have read rave reviews of their products, and their printers have been very good to me. I would also like to try out the PictBridge feature.

I need AT LEAST a 3X optical zoom. The more zoom the better, within reason of course.

Last but not least I want something fairly compact, pocket sized if possible.

Is this all too much to ask? Do we have the technology? Oh, and how much will it cost me!? Thanks guys/gals!

-David.
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Old May 30, 2004, 1:30 PM   #2
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I have a couple of nice 4Mp cameras and limit my prints to 11 X 14 because they don't produce the best 13 X 19 prints. I don't think you will much like the results from a 3Mp camera.

The best 13 X 19 crop you can get from a 5Mp camera is 135 PPI. That does a decent picture but you get visible improvements at least to 180 PPI with that printer. I think your best bet in a pocket camera right now is the Minolta G600 at 6Mp. It is pocketable and has full controls. Abe's of Maine and Digital Photo are both quality sites and have the camera delivered for under $400.

I have seen some full sized sample photos and they look pretty good. The noise is better than I would have expected. I would still wait for Steve to review the camera to make sure there aren't any hidden traps. The G500 is an excellent camera and also a bargain. MP Superstore has it for $300 + $23 shipping. Both Steve and Imaging Resource listed it in their recommended cameras.

8Mp is ideal for a 13 X 19 print, but there isn't anything with 8Mp you can put in your pocket. 8Mp gives about 180 PPI for a 13 X 19 print.

Keep in mind that the optical finder on most pocket cameras show only 80-85% of the image. You either have to frame with the LCD or learn to underestimate in the viewfinder to get all the pixels without having to crop the image. The Canon S500 is the first to get 90% in the optical finder in a zoom pocket camera, but I think the Minoltas are a better buy. The Minoltas have aperture and shutter priority where the S400/500 don't. The Minoltas also have some preset manual focus distances. I'm not saying the Minoltas are better cameras, but I think they are as good and the price is better. The G600 is also 6Mp, which will give decent 13 X 19 prints. The Canons are a tad more compact.

The Canons use CF memory, which is a little cheaper. But SD has become very reasonable and can be used in PDAs and MP3 players if you have one of those.
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Old May 30, 2004, 3:12 PM   #3
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Thanks slipe, that was very helpful.

Both cameras you mentionned look very nice and I will probably end up with one of them.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Minolta G600. Thanks very much for the reccomendation; that camera looks incredible. If I can find it for a reasonable price here in Toronto, Canada I will buy one.

What are my other options for a pocket-sized 6MP camera? Also, you mentionned 180DPI...are you certain that's my limit? Because it would be nice to be able to fully utilize my printer's capabilities.

Thanks!
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Old May 30, 2004, 6:00 PM   #4
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Your printer will print at 4800 DPI in the vertical resolution and 2400 DPI in horizontal. 4 and 5 picolitre dot size printers print 32 dots to make a pixel. I think the 2 picolitre dot printers use 64 dots for a pixel but I haven't found anything definitive on that. 180 PPI is 5760 DPI with 32 dots/pixel and 11,520 for 64 dots per pixel. There is some complication that I don't fully understand involving the diagonal distance between the pixels that has you increase the required pixels by 1.5 for optimum coverage. If you made only 32 dots per pixel the formula would suggest you can use 225 PPI. I think your printer uses more dots per pixel but I'm not sure.

People come up with some absurd numbers for the resolution you need to feed the printer in PPI. All I can say is to experiment with some 8 X 10 prints by cropping to different resolutions – don't resample to the different resolutions or you will add another variable. See what you come up with for the resolution above which you don't see improvement under magnification. No, I'm not certain 180 PPI is the limit above which you won't see improvement, or even that I don't get any at all above that on mine. Even if I had the same printer you might come up with a different opinion.

My local dollar store sometimes has 4X reading glasses. I have one of those flip-down magnifiers that fit over my head, but the 4X reading glasses seem to be about the same power and are a lot more convenient for checking prints. Cheaper too.

I can say for sure that you need an 8Mp camera to generate 180 PPI in a 13 X 19 print. You can resample up to a higher PPI, but that gives you no more resolution. I think you would be pleased with a 6Mp image printed at 13 X 19.

The Casio P600 is 6Mp but it is a little bigger. I think there are a couple more out but I haven't seen reviews. Steve has a review on the Casio. Maybe someone else has some input.
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Old May 30, 2004, 9:33 PM   #5
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Cool, I'll have to try that test someday when I have the time for it.

The Casio is also nice, but I don't trust that brand name as far as I can throw it. I must be biased.

I'm either going to jump on the Minolta or wait for Canon to invent something a little more serious. What about Pentax? I know they have been making some high MP digicams in a very small form factor for awhile.
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 9:09 PM   #6
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To get 13 X 19 photo-quality print, you will need a digital camera above 5MP. Digital Cameras with 5MP is about enough to make photo quality 8 X 10 pictures. But if the print gets any bigger, it is no more a photo quality print, but rather a good*quality print. I suggest at least an 8MP digital camera. 8MP compact camera might be hard to get(or to find in current technology). If not compact, Canon Powershot Pro1 or Nikon Coolpix 8700 might be a good choice.
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