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Old Feb 10, 2010, 8:29 PM   #1
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Default MP Needs For Sports Images

Hopefully John G can chime in.......

I have been reading a lot about MP wars between Cannon and Nikon and such and how tyou don;t always need a hugh or higher MP in order to get good prints/images. At what point is MP size not really a factor (i.e. once you get over x MP its really all the same for normal prints) I was wondering what is the ideal MP needed in order to get good sports image printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch print? 10MP, 12MP, 14.2 MP, 18MP? I have been using a 14.2 MP Sony and the local newspaper can get good cover images from it for its weekly newspaper (fills out 1/2 of the page)......

dave
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 8:43 PM   #2
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Dave - the truth is it really doesn't matter. For the last 2 years 99% of pro sports shooters have been using a 12mp or 10mp or even 8mp camera - and we're talking Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Getty, etc. The number of MP is probably one of the least important factors in sports images. Since quality sports images are framed tightly to begin with there is no problem getting quality 11x14 prints from 10mp with standard amount of cropping. The lens, the focus system, the image sensor are all more important technical factors. The 8mp Canon 1dmkIIN with 400mm f2.8 is still a widely used sports solution.

Now, the 12mp Nikon D3s and D700 are the kings of the hill for high ISO sports performance. They are full frame sensors but only 12mp but their IQ at ISO 6400 - 12800 is unmatched. Still too early to tell how the Canon 1dmkIV stacks up but early indications are it is slightly below.

I wouldn't worry about MP count.
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 9:01 PM   #3
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John G thats the kind of answer I was after thanks. I am not too worried about MP at this time just wanted to make sure what I thought was correct and you pretty well summed it up for me.

dave
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