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Old Apr 14, 2004, 6:34 PM   #1
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Default Enlargements

I enjoy taking nature and macro photographs and I would like to be able to enlage and hang some of my phot's.8X10 is simply not enough for my needs,will I get good enlargements with any of the 5,6 or 8 mp. prosumer camera's( how big? 16x20 would be nice.) or do I need to start looking at the DSLR's. 1,000 -1,400. is my top end. I have a couple of minolta lenses from my old film camera.

Thanks for the help.
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 8:38 PM   #2
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Don't base all your decisions on megapixels. The camera companies know better, but use that as the only important thing.

The new 8 MP point and shoot cameras stuff more sensors on small chips, resulting in increased noise. Most of the 6 MP DSLRs have much larger sensors than you'll find in your local non-DSLR cameras. The pictures they produce are much better because of better lenses and bigger sensors.

I regularly print great 13 X 19 pictures from my Canon Pro90 (2.6 MP) because of a great lens. My camera is slow focussing and doesn't do well in low light. My next camera will be a DSLR, not because of more megapixels, but because they respond faster with less noise.

Trying to pump up ISO numbers result in poor beyond 100 or 200 settings. DSLRs go up to 1600 or beyond. In fact, the Nikon D70 has a low value of 200, far beyond what most 'point and shoot' use for noise-free pictures.
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 9:44 PM   #3
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One place to look at is Ofoto.com or Shutterfly.com. Here are the size requirements for the various sizes at Ofoto; Shutterfly should be pretty similar:

For a 4 x 6" print, minimum resolution should be 640 x 480 pixels (.3-megapixel)
For a 5 x 7" print, minimum resolution should be 1024 x 768 pixels (.7-megapixel)
For an 8 x 10" print, minimum resolution should be 1536 x 1024 pixels (1.5-megapixel)
For a 16 x 20" print, minimum resolution should be 1600 x 1200 pixels (2-megapixel)
For a 20 x 30" print, minimum resolution should be 1600 x 1200 pixels (2-megapixel)
For a Wallet-size print, minimum resolution should be 320 x 240 pixels

But like Bob said, it is not about megapixels. It is about what you are going to do with those images and the processes. For what you are going to do and because of Ofoto's process (which is owned by Kodak now) a 3 megapixel camera would be ideal. Ofoto's prints are wonderful. Even if you buy a printer, you can get really good 8x10's from a 3-megapixel image.
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