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Old Jul 13, 2003, 12:32 PM   #1
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Hi- Yes, I'm researching which first digital camera to buy - can someone tell me how many megapixels I need to create good-quality photos that can be printed out up to about 10 by 12? I've been getting many different (self-serving?) answers from the people at camera stores, and am becoming very confused? Thanks much for your help. :shock:
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Old Jul 13, 2003, 3:37 PM   #2
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My 3.2 MP Canon prints 8x10, excellent quality

I would look for a 4MP, even a five

Remember, optics is VERY important, not just pixels
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Old Jul 13, 2003, 7:18 PM   #3
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Don't get fooled into participating in the megapixel wars. The biggest value of more resolution is the ability to crop your pictures. I regularly print very nice 13 X 19" photos taken with a 2.6 megapixel camera. I very carefully frame my pictures using my powerful zoom lens. I crop only to fit the print dimensions when printing large format pictures.

The camera producers have maximized the importance of more resolution while ignoring the value of lenses. It's all a question of manufacturing cost and good lenses are expensive.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 5:18 AM   #4
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I agree a good lens is most important. How ever many pixels you have if the lens is poor then you will not get the best from your pictures.
I have both a 4 Mpixel Oly E10 with f2 4x zoom and a 2 MP Panasonic FZ1 (Leica lens) with a f2.8 12x zoom.
When shooting with the FZ1 I use the massive zoom to crop the picture in camera so no pixels are wasted later in the computer and the razor sharp lens gives me excellent A4 prints. But then my printer will not take paper larger than A4 .
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 7:58 AM   #5
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I use a Nikon CP4500 and a D100. They are 4.5 and 6MP. 6MP gives you a bit more freedom in cropping when you havn't got quite enough zoom.

As well as lens (absolutely critical), have a think about the file formats that you want to work with. If it comes to a choice look for RAW file format support.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 7:54 PM   #6
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3 MP is the minimum you need to make the picture.

4, 5 and 6 MPs will get you a very slight edge in quality but it is not worth it all that extra money you will pay for the quality you won't see.

As the MPs go up you get to the laws of diminishing returns. In bigger MP cameras there are more pixels surround the edge of the image sensor but it takes more pixels to surround the longer edges. The overall size of the imaging sensor with the extra MP is not much bigger.

I currently use an Oly C-5050 5 MP camera but my older 3 MP Epson 3100z will match the Oly in picture quality.

Like the other posts say it is the lens quality that counts for making a decent image.

To match a 35 mm image for information detail you will need 9 MP or more. Getting a 9 MP camera is SERIOUS money! Our technology and costs are not ready for that to go mainstream...yet.

So make-do with 3 MP...or more.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 10:45 PM   #7
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Hi: Thanks much, everyone for heading me in the right direction about image quality as relates to pixel quantity. Sounds like a 3.2 mp camera with a good-quality lens, and decent optical zoom, will do fine for a first camera. Will let you know how it turns out!
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 2:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveBlue
3 MP is the minimum you need to make the picture.
4, 5 and 6 MPs will get you a very slight edge in quality but it is not worth it all that extra money you will pay for the quality you won't see.
I agree, but I am pleased to have moved recently from 3Mp to 5Mp (actually at the same price, 15 months later), because of the scope it gives for cropping the image and retaining the quality.
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