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Old Oct 21, 2002, 7:46 PM   #1
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Default Do I need 3 megapixels to print quality photos?

I've been reading online reviews of digital cameras to help me decide what to buy. But the one area no one seems to mention is print quality. I've read that I really need a camera with 3 megapixels to print good photos (especially 5X7's). Is this true?
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 8:06 PM   #2
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You will get good photos with a 2.1 mp if you want to print at 5X7.
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 8:28 PM   #3
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The more megapixels you have will allow you to print either a larger photo or crop an image and print it smaller.

My 'older' digicam is only 2.1 megapixels and it prints 5 by 7's and even 8 by 10s just fine. What you can't do is crop a photo too much and print it out at the larger sizes.

Save some of your money on the camera and get a good printer - reality is that a good camera and crummy printer will give you bad prints, good printer and so-so camera will give you a better print.
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 1:17 AM   #4
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You will definitely get great 5x7 prints with a 2.1 mp camera and the price on them is falling weekly! If you're a novice or part-timer, a 2.1 mp would be perfect for you. After all, a couple of years ago, they were 'high end'...
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 3:49 AM   #5
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I agree with all the previous posts matching Mpix to print size. However, it's sometimes forgotten that more Mpix can sometimes give an option in the cam to shoot say 1Mpix, but with better sensitivity (faster speeds) and lower noise.

Comes in handy sometimes, when you would not otherwise be able to get a decent picture indoors, no flash and without a tripod!
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 5:58 AM   #6
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this is very interesting, so...
:lol: what is better 3MP and 2x optical zoom or 2MP and 3x optical zoom?
it is a tricky question, I'm trying to decide which one should I buy
s230 or s330...


Dan
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 7:23 AM   #7
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The question is tricky. This would be my answer. Mpix res., and zoom are not the only criteria for me when I want an 'all round cam'. Sensitivity options and low noise performance weigh a lot, as this means you can get reasonable pics over a wide range of situations. I don't often want 10X8 prints or larger.

So if these and price were your only criteria (and they shouldn't be) I'd go for the 3Mpix, because that means the majority of your pics will benefit the extra res. for cropping etc and there might be faster ASA speed options in a cam at a lower res. setting. On the fewer occasions when you might need the zoom, you can zoom that extra bit on the edit. However, if you're shooting say wildlife a lot and will be a heavy zoom user, then you might need to consider different cams entirely.

Vox
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 7:40 AM   #8
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So would a 2.0 MP cam fit my requirements? In particular, I'm thinking of the Canon A40. But I definately want to be able to print nice 5X7 (with being able to crop some of the photo if need be).
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 8:13 AM   #9
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The difficulty is 'nice' means different things to different users. So, this might help. What printer will you use?

If your colour printer will be set for 300dpi printing and you expect the cam pictures to equal the printer performance, you will need at least 3 Mpix from the cam to print 5X7 - before cropping etc. For the same print setting and quality, with a 2Mpix cam you could do 6x4. Now you might like the pics from the 2Mpix cam printing 5x7 and like other users, think they are nice enough.

Quality is often down to individual perception. It can be a gradual scale where differences are only small to some and large to critical users.

You could try downloading some of Steve's sample pics for the A40. Print them out at 5X7 and see if you like them?

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_...0_samples.html
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 11:32 AM   #10
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Actually, I will be looking at getting a new printer for Xmas to do photos. So, is there a particular printer that you would recommend to make my photos as good as possible with a 2.0 MP camera?
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