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Old Oct 28, 2006, 11:31 PM   #1
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My current camera is a Canon A610 and it's fine for my needs. Being a dumb single white male I'm thinking of upgrading.. I saw a 8.1MP camera with lots of features for cheap, but it had the same 1 1/8 sensor as my current camera.

If you're using the same sensor, do the extra MP do you any good with picture clarity? I found a web page that explained it all, but it was huge and full of math and gave me a headache and no easy answer.

I'm almost thinking that if I just set the A610 to Super Fine mode my pics will be as clear as the 8.1MP with the same sensor if it's at normal mode? I'm a little jaded. I know that MP is what is selling, and theres got to be a lot of crap marketing hype trying to get me to update even if there is no advantage. Thank you for any replies.

- Joe
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 12:02 AM   #2
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If it's a higher resolution camera, it may be the same size sensor, but it's not the same sensor.

You really need to take each camera on a case by case basis. A lot of things go into image quality (sensor, lens, metering accuracy, white balance accuracy, etc.). Each model is going to have unique characteristics, and you have proprietary image processing algorithms that are typically different between camera brands, even if the sensor is identical.

As a general rule, the higher the megapixel count, the higher the noise levels within the same size sensor, all things being equal. So, higher megapixels can equal lower quality.

But, all things are usually not equal, and sensor design is improving. So, you really need to take each one on a case by case basis.

Even if the quality is as good in a higher resoluton sensor, you may not get any beneift at the print sizes you need anyway. Even 3 Megapixels can make a pretty nice 8x10" print and most people don't print any larger than that.

So, I wouldn't rush out and buy a higher resoluton model unless you need it.

It would be very hard to detect a difference between 5 and 8 Megapixels at the print sizes most people use at typical viewing distances, even if everything else was equal.

If you make larger prints often, then it would be something to consider, depending on what you're shooting. But, I wouldn't be in a hurry to upgrade without a compelling reason. Then, I'd make sure that I was going with a model that was as good or better in areas I'd be concerned with (lens sharpness, metering, dynamic range, color accuracy, noise levels, etc.).

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Old Oct 29, 2006, 5:25 AM   #3
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I agree 100% with Jim, but as you mentioned, I would change your setting to super fine if youhaven't done so already.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 7:18 AM   #4
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I would use the highest quality setting on my current camera BEFORE moving to a new camera. The real question is, why have you not been using the highest setting?

More megapixel really only make a difference when printing and then only to make larger prints, not 4x6 or other small print sizes.
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