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Old Dec 24, 2003, 2:37 PM   #1
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Default Importance of MegaPixel count ??

How important is the MP count of a digital camera if you aren't printing larger than 5x7 prints?

As I understand (which is probably wrong) the advantage of higher pixel count is that you can print larger prints with good quality. My currect camera is a 2.1MP, and 90% of the pictures I print are 5x7.

Of the new cameras I am trying to choose from and stay in my price range, 1 of them is a 3MP and 1 is a 4MP.

Should I expect better looking 5x7 prints from the 4MP than from the 3MP or even from my 2.1MP?

I do occasionally print 8x10s, but only rarely.

Thanks in advance...
Jeff
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 3:23 PM   #2
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Jeff

Larger mp count allows you to print larger prints but also allows you to crop more of the picture without losing quality. If the cameras are newer generation than your current camera, there will also be other improvements that might improve picture quality. You may only see little improvement in prints at 5X7. What cameras are looking at?
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 4:56 PM   #3
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Thanks Phil - You have answered my other post where I am trying to decide (obviously I still haven't chosen) - I flip-flop between:

1 - Kodak DX6490
2 - Olympus C-750
3 - Minolta Dimage Z1
4 - Fuji S5000

I have about ruled out the Fuji, but if you ask again in 10 minutes, the list will probably be in a different order.

I currently have a Sony FD95 that I am mostly happy with. I am just tired of the ridiculous photo to photo delay using the floppy disk / memory stick adapter, and the fact that the camera is huge! It did spoil me into wanting a 10X optical zoom though.

I know they all have their high and low points, but I am afraid of the Minolta for the rattle in the lens and the durability of the LCD/EVF system it uses, and I have heard the Fuji and Kodak might use too much JPG compression. It's one of those deals where I would probably be happy with any of them if Santa leaves it for me tonight, but since that won't happen and I have to pick, it is making me pull my hair out to make a choice.

Since the Minolta is "only" a 3.2MP camera, and the others are 4 or more, that prompted this post. I am just trying to find some way to eliminate some of them to narrow it down.

The image quality is of course VERY important, but it might not really matter to me since my eyes are crossed from all of the reviews and message posts that I have read this past week.
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 5:30 PM   #4
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the canon A70 is a good choice........put that one on the list $300
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 5:34 PM   #5
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I've heard good stuff about the Canon A70, but I am stuck on a longer zoom... I might could fall back to a 7x or 8x optical, but not below that. (I have to be able to hang with my brother's Dimage 7i)...
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 5:48 PM   #6
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I have the Nikon 5700, 8X optical and 5mp. You can purchase the camera for around $600 on the internet after a $100 rebate. I consider it to be a top of the line digital camera.
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 7:44 PM   #7
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First, one error I see here is the use of 'megapixel' as some sort of specification of detail It IS NOT. This is mainly a marketing driven concept. It is the specification of the total number of photosite points that resolve unique spatial data on an imaging sensor. Depeding on serveral variables, the actual resolution can be very different from two differeent cameras with the same 'MP' specification. One good example would be the C-750 on your list; this unit measures the same as average 3MP cameras, even though its specified as a 4mp unit. Take the inverse case, say a Foveon based sensor camera, the camea will usually resolve nearly twice what you would expect, if using a bayer standard, even if they have the same spatial 'MP" specification. The final file size(MP) can dictate one thing; it dictuates the maximum possible spatial data stored in the pixel dimensions; but this is usually not approached.

Now to directly address your relevant question: If not printing large then 5x7, little benefit will be achieved by using a cameras with higher resolving ability then a 2 or 3 MP unit. The only case whre this would not be true is if you were cropping a signficant percentage of the orginal image away. As for teh compression in teh FUji camera; this is true, it does have excessive compression. For prints ujp to 5x7 it is not a problem, but larger ptins may begin to disply some artifacts from the compression under close inspection. You can shoot in RAW format and convert to JPEG or TIFF on the computer later if you wish to avoid compression artifacts with this camera, but thier is no 'FINE' setting for JPEG on the s5000. I don't know if I would want a C750 over a s5000, as the s5000 has more useful burst modes and has considerably faster auto focus. The actual effective resolution of the two units is about the same. The S5000 has usable higher ISO settings with relative low noise for it's class up to about ISO 400, the C750's noise elevates severely above ISO 100 setting. But, the modern fuji SCCD bases cameras continually exhibit lower noise at higher iSO settings then other cameras in their respective class of the same or near photosite count. This is true in the consumer and dslr markets. It is a trait of the SCCD topology.

-Chris
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 12:51 AM   #8
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Well, what do you know.... Santa did bring me a new camera - A Dimage Z1. With the approval to return it by January 5 for a full refund, or by January 25 for full credit toward exchange.... Cool.

I'll let you know what I think, but I am still very interested in opinions of the cameras I have mentioned.

I have taken about 50 pix with it so far, but haven't transferred them to the computer yet....

Jeff
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 12:33 AM   #9
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Photo count up to about 150 - reviews are mixed.... I have been shooting on FULL AUTO, and since I am just learning how to get the most out of this thing, I will forgive quite a few of the bad pictures (or count them as operator error).

Boy, I wish I had one of the Kodaks to play with for about a week while I have this Z1.....

The timer is running - pls help me decide!
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 7:07 AM   #10
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The only thing I can really add to this post is that I currently own a Canon Powershot A10 (1.3 megapixel). My roommate just bought a cheap Kodak Easyshare CX4310 (3.2 megapixel) from WalMart for about $100. We both took the same picture outside (of his truck) and his picture not only had much more detail, but the colors were MUCH better as well. I would assume the extra detail is achieved by the megapixel count, and that the color is due to the different image sensor on the Kodak. But i could be wrong. Anyone else have a comment on this?
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