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Old Apr 10, 2006, 8:26 PM   #1
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What is the comparision in megapixals between a SLR and a point and shoot camera?

Is a 6 megapixal SLR good enough for large prints? (16x20)
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 8:54 PM   #2
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I know there are many who have more expertise than I, but from what I gather, the SLR's generally have lower noise, at all ISO levels. The 6mp camera (even point and shoot) will be able to print at 8x10 and larger, though you may notice that increase in noise especially in the larger format. Stay tuned for the experts answers!!(it will make the 16x20 format (I misread the question)
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 12:38 AM   #3
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I have made 13x19 prints with a Canon 10D (6.2MP, if I recall correctly) but not many.
It was a full frame shot, so that helped a lot. I don't know if you could make a 16x20 from one.

Noise is a huge factor, dashboardgyno is right. If you have to enlarge the image at all, you will also enlarge any imperfections. This will make the noise more obvious. Also, lens quality comes into play. Any imperfections in the lenses will be enlarged. And they don't exactly spend huge bucks on the lenses on a point-and-shoot.

How large a print you can make is subject dependent, though. Humans are very good at filling in details in faces. But a landscape will need more detail. Viewing distance also matters. At 16x20, the viewing distance would be further which would hide some imperfections. It's also a question of your standards. I have very high standards, so I wouldn't try it.

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Old Apr 13, 2006, 8:27 AM   #4
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I kinda answer this here (this is on about a D200 tho)

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Old Apr 13, 2006, 9:19 PM   #5
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in my opinion, 6Mp is not enough to make a good 16x20 without interpolation. for a good print, especially a larger sizes, you should try to keep a minimum of about200 pixels per linear inch of print size. that means for a 16x29, you'd need 3200x4000, or about a 12.8Mp camera. that being said, i have made a nice 16x20 with my 5Mp camera, by interpolating the file up to a size large enough to produce sufficient resolution. and i've made perfectly good 11x14's from that same camera with no interpolation at all.

the main difference in prints between point-n-shoot and DSLR cameras is, as Dashboardgyno pointed out, noise. DSLR's are much less noisy, and thus require less fiddling with the image to make nice prints. DLSR's also tend to have more resoluition, though many P-n-S cameras now are getting up into the 6-8Mp range. noise can be removed easily enough using software like Neat Image or Noise Ninja, so if that's your only concern, save the money you'd have spent on a DSLR and use it for a vacation to go somewhere and shoot pics with a good compact superzoom.

viewing distance is a factor. at 16x20, any flaw will show up, but at the same time, no one in their right mind walks up and presses their nose against a 16x20 photo to look at it. they stand back 6 feet or so, and from that distance many little flaws are invisible. 8x10s are usually viewed at 18-24", and 11x14 prints at about 3 feet, so figure out from that how much imperfection you're willing to tolerate.

basically, for a good 16x20, i don't recommend a 6Mp image. you will need a whole lot more pixels from somewhere, whether it be from the camera or from interpolation in PP. especially if it's a shot you're really proud of and you want to display for your friends, you want it to look its best...
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