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Old Oct 5, 2004, 2:05 AM   #1
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:roll:I had a Canon A20 with 2mp for 4 years, it takes very good pictures, recently i boughta Canon S1 SI with 3.2mpand 10x zoom. In between I bought and returned a Fuji E550 due to inaccurate color. I took some pictures from the new Canon S1 IS compare to my old A20, it doesn't look that much differences. This mp myth thing, is it really benefit the user or just for selling camera. The pictures tooked by the Fuji E550 with 6mp seems to be a little sharper but inaccurate color. May be there is very little difference from 2mp to 3.2mp, you have to go up to 6mp or higher to notice the difference? What do you think?
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 8:11 AM   #2
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I only use the MP as a reference to how large of a print I can get at photographic quality. There are a lot of other factors that come into play too as you have found out with the Fuji and its inaccurate color.
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 10:33 AM   #3
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Do a 13 x 19 blowup and you'll find neither is suitable at that size.
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 11:37 AM   #4
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jimmy380 wrote:
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very little difference from 2mp to 3.2mp
Lots of point & shoot cameras (and some more upmarket ones as well) have quite a lot of in-camera software sharpening applied by default, unless you switch it off. This makes shots *look* very crisp, but works only around one print size. You can do it yourself in your image editor using USM (unsharp masking). This is best applied as the very last procedure before printing. It's an optical illusion, emphasising edges, and the image needn't necessarily be sharp to look sharp. It's very difficult to compare like with like in digicams because of this - you don't know how sharp the original image is unless you inspect it pixel by pixel.

The thing you *have* got control of in purchasing a new camera is lens quality. Read the reviews and get as good a lens as you can afford.

The other thing to consider is that the more pixels you have, the more will be left if you want to crop your image to produce a final version. I find that that single factor makes it worth having 5Mpixels rather than 3. You can still get a nice big print from only part of the image.
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 11:41 AM   #5
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jimmy380 wrote:
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:roll:I had a Canon A20 with 2mp for 4 years, it takes very good pictures, recently i boughta Canon S1 SI with 3.2mpand 10x zoom. In between I bought and returned a Fuji E550 due to inaccurate color. I took some pictures from the new Canon S1 IS compare to my old A20, it doesn't look that much differences. This mp myth thing, is it really benefit the user or just for selling camera. The pictures tooked by the Fuji E550 with 6mp seems to be a little sharper but inaccurate color. May be there is very little difference from 2mp to 3.2mp, you have to go up to 6mp or higher to notice the difference? What do you think?
Unless you need larger prints, more megapixels are not needed. 3 Megapixels is usually plenty for prints up to around 8x10" for most users (with very little discernable increase in quality trying to go any higher at this print size, from most printers).

Many users assume (wrongly) that more megapixels =higher quality.

You have to look at things like lens quality, image processing algorithms used by the camera, etc.

Now, sometimes a higher megapixel model has better image processing. Often, it doesn't. Also, the more pixels you have in a sensor of the same size, the smaller the photosites for each sensor. So, they don't gather as much light and are harder to "fill" without amplifying the signal from them more for equivalent ISO sensitivity. Now, advancements are being made in CCD Design to get around this (more advanced microlens design, etc.).

But, print sizes needed should be the determining factor for the number of megapixels you need. This is a separate issue from the quality of the images (which will depend on how well the camera processes the data from whatever sensor it is using).

As for the Fuji E550, you may want to try shooting in RAW, and using a 3rd party RAW converter for the files to processs the data differently than Fuji does. From some reports, the 3rd party converters may bebetter than the one Fuji provides. One such example is dcraw.c (the author recently added the E550). If you search through the Fuji forum, you'll probablyfind more.

http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/


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Old Oct 5, 2004, 12:39 PM   #6
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I may be a traitor being a 2mp user (since I mostly don't print larger than 8x10), but having seen smaller prints (8x10, 4x6, etc.) done by a high-end 6mp camera they can look better (if the right photographic techniques are used) than my prosumer 2mp in the same situation. Now is it the MP, or the camera quality?
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 12:57 PM   #7
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IMO,a little of both...

At a 4x6" print size, you're getting around 266 pixels per inch of detail after cropping from a 2 Megapixel Model.

I can't see any more detail once you get to around 200 pixels per inch from prints I've made. Although, I have seen users argue that up to around 240 PPI is noticeable up close from some of the newer printers.

If you examine a print with a loupe, sure you may be able to detect a little more detail going a little higher than this (versus looking at it from typical viewing distances), if you have the right printer. But, IMO anything much above about 200 pixels per inch is wasted for most purposes.

On the other end of the scale (8x10" prints),you get 192 pixels per inch from a 3 Megapixel Model after cropping for an 8x10" print. After this, I really don't think most users would see any increase in detail (from a megapixels only perspective), at typical viewing sizes. Although, I can definitely see a difference going from 2 to 3 Megapixels at this size.

Now, the quality of the pixels is another story... If you've got a camera with a sharp lens, with better dynamic range from a better sensor, using superior image processing algorithms, then you're going to get better photos (not from the increased number ofpixels at smaller print sizes, but from the higher quality of the camera's output).
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 8:33 PM   #8
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I routinely print poster size photographs of architectural projects on a wide format (42") HP printer and until a few months ago I used a 3.3 MP camera for the field work. With a bit of Photoshop magic the results were surprisingly good. Of course with the 8MP I have available now, I am able to do extensive cropping and detail capture. MPs are good to have but printer quality and smart editing are also part of the equation.
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Old Oct 5, 2004, 10:30 PM   #9
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I agreed with you guys completely, thanks for the information. From our discussion here, there are several things should be considered, MP is not the only thing.High MP camera is not always a good camera for picture taking. No wonder I saw some digital camera with 5 or 6mp selling on the TV for under $100. I again thanks for the information to clear my mind and the myth of MP><
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Old Oct 6, 2004, 11:13 AM   #10
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jimmy380 wrote:
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I agreed with you guys completely, thanks for the information. From our discussion here, there are several things should be considered, MP is not the only thing.High MP camera is not always a good camera for picture taking. No wonder I saw some digital camera with 5 or 6mp selling on the TV for under $100. I again thanks for the information to clear my mind and the myth of MP><
Yeah, as the others have said it depends on the use. I could clearly see difference between 3 and 5 MP in a A4 print. On a A5 print however I couldn't. Noise have become a real issue on high MP small sensor cameras. Some cameras reduce it in post processing but it leads to a loss of fine detail (eg Sony W1, P100) others leave it. For me I stopped at 5 MP and IMO everything above this is an overkill at least on a small sensor camera
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