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Old Jun 16, 2006, 5:23 PM   #1
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if i buy a camera that is 6MP, how large can i print before the quality starts to deteriorate.?

is there a "chart" or site that would show me that information or can someone tell me
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Old Jun 16, 2006, 5:42 PM   #2
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Megapixel alone doesn't give you that information. The quality of the camera overall (lens, ccd, software...) is much more important. For example, my 8 megapixel Panasonic FZ30 does not capture the kind of detail my 6 megapixel Canon Digital Rebel can, therefore in this case the 6mp camera can produces better looking enlargements.

To determine how large you can print, it all depends on how closely the image will be scrutinized. If you're producing a gallery piece that would be closely examined, you might not want to go much larger than 8" x 10". But a 6mp can produce images that would look just fine blown up onto a billboard. I recently used the Digital Rebel to take photos that I blew up to nearly 6 feet tall to plaster on the walls of a display booth. I did the same thing last year and everyone was quite pleased with the result.

Here's the procedure I follow:

Decide what size you want to try for, then resize the image in Photoshop. Make sure you first resize without resampling. You want to let the DPI value drop as you increase the image size. If after resizing the DPI is less than 100 DPI, then resize again with resampling on, and simply set the DPI to 100 or higher. I find that 100 is the threshold before pixelization really becomes noticeable, but that could also depend on the printer. 150 DPI is the generally accepted minimum, and 300 is the standard for high resolution.

Once your document is fully enlarged, you may want to apply an unsharp mask to bring out some detail. I recommend that you don't do any sharpening until the very end, otherwise you may end up with artifacts and double edges around objects.

Now, use the marquee tool to draw an 8x10 rectangle, copy a part of the image with important detail, and paste it into a new document. Print that and see how it looks to you. Do it to multiple parts of the image if you want to really be sure. View it from an appropriate distance, and this will tell you how sharp it should look.
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 12:12 AM   #3
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ok. thanks for the reply. information was helpful
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