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Old Dec 16, 2004, 10:31 PM   #1
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need some help, new to dig-photography, but I have been trying to educate myself. Will I see any differance in prints from a 5mp vs 8mp digicam? I will print 5x7 and 8x12, once in a while 11x14. I appreciate sharp, poping colors from what I'm used to with 35mm chromes, butnot really interested in DSLR's. Looking at the C-5060, C8080 or maybe the Sony 828. This is agreat site, and learning quite a bit here, Thanks in advance. :-)
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 11:08 PM   #2
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The simple answer to your question is no - you won't see any real improvement in your images by going from 5MP to 8MP. 3MP is sufficient for most people that make mostly 4x6" prints and 5MP will give you plenty of image to make up to 11x14" prints. The "extra" image you get with an 8MP camera does give you some cropping room but we've seen the overall image quality degrade above 5MP. The makers are putting more pixels on the same physical size image sensor and this leads to increased noise in the image in some cases as the adjacent pixels are closer to each other. More pixels is good but you need a physically larger imager such as those found in the dSLR cameras to make proper use of more pixels without losing image quality. The 6MP sensor in the Digital Rebel is physically 3-4 times the size of the 6MP sensor found in the fixed-lens consumer digicams.
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 11:14 PM   #3
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fireman wrote:
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need some help, new to dig-photography, but I have been trying to educate myself. Will I see any differance in prints from a 5mp vs 8mp digicam? I will print 5x7 and 8x12, once in a while 11x14. I appreciate sharp, poping colors from what I'm used to with 35mm chromes, but not really interested in DSLR's. Looking at the C-5060, C8080 or maybe the Sony 828. This is a great site, and learning quite a bit here, Thanks in advance. :-)
You won't see anything that impresses you going from a 5mp to an 8mp camera if they are using the same size sensor (& those cameras you mentioned pretty much do use the same sized sensor). Going up to a DSLR will give you a much larger sensor, less noise & much larger, high quality prints.
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 11:15 PM   #4
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Dang...Steve beat me to it....
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Old Dec 17, 2004, 7:54 AM   #5
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Agree: you are not likely to see a difference, and for sure won't see a big difference. Even if there isn't an increase in noise.

This seems the time to bring back the square root :-) All else equal (it never is), you will be able to make a print 26.49% (sqrt[8/5]} larger. Realistically, that means an 8Mp will be able to print a 10x12" print at the same resolution (ppi) as an 8x10" taken with a 5Mp camera. A real increase, but far from earth shaking.

How the camera feels in your hands is likely to make more difference. Less shake and being more comfortable should lead to better composition.
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Old Dec 17, 2004, 10:24 AM   #6
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I guess different people perceive things differently. Some people on the board see a 16 X 20 as only twice the size of an 8 X 10. You can put four 8 X 10s on a 16 X 20. I see a 16 X 20 as four times the size on the wall. At the same resolution an 8Mp camera will give you a print 60% larger in area than 5Mp. I would see it as 60% larger. Evidently BillDrew judges print size only by the edges and I can't argue with that. I just see it differently.

For your requirements I generally agree with everyone else. The best 11 X 14 you can get from 5Mp is around 175PPI. That is well within the point of diminishing returns and will yield an excellent print. But you can't crop very much without losing quality. If you ever get a wide format printer and want to print 13 X 19 prints 5Mp is marginal. I print 13 X 19s from my 5Mp cameras and they look good if you don't inspect them with a loupe. You normally view a larger print from a greater distance and 5Mp will generate a good-looking large print. You have a lot more versatility cropping with 8Mp as Steve says.

If you want to make a large print it is worthwhile to use a noise reduction program like Neat Image or Noise Ninja with any digital image not from a DSLR. Viewed at screen size or in small prints the noise in an 8Mp image isn't that noticeable. If you view it at 100% so you have to scroll around the screen to see the whole picture you will find the noise – but you only view images at 100% when you are looking for noise so you can be suitably scandalized.

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Old Dec 17, 2004, 12:41 PM   #7
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slipe wrote:
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I guess different people perceive things differently. Some people on the board see a 16 X 20 as only twice the size of an 8 X 10. You can put four 8 X 10s on a 16 X 20. I see a 16 X 20 as four times the size on the wall. At the same resolution an 8Mp camera will give you a print 60% larger in area than 5Mp. I would see it as 60% larger. Evidently BillDrew judges print size only by the edges and I can't argue with that. I just see it differently.

For your requirements I generally agree with everyone else. The best 11 X 14 you

No, Slipe, that's not what BillDrew says... Yes. a 16x20 is four times the size of an 8 x 10 on the wall. However, your 8 MP image is not 60% larger than a 5 MP image because of the area calculations...
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Many people think that a 12 megapixel image is twice the size of a 6 megapixel image in terms of pixel dimensions; they think if you double the megapixel size of an image it will go from 8x10 to 16x20 at a givenprint resolution. NOT SO. Think of megapixels as surface area. To double the surface area of a 8x10 print you would need to double one dimension only - from 8x10 to 8x20 or 16x10. Doubling both dimensions would result in a quadrupling of the surface area - 4 times the amount of megapixels. In fact, doubling the megapixels while retaining the same aspect ratio resultsin only a 50% increase in width and height dimensions - doubling the width and height pixel dimensions results in 4 times the megapixels. So we see that to get an increase in image size that the common person wouldconsider twice the size, one must increase the megapixel count by four times, not two
http://www.ltlimagery.com/film_v_digital.html

So you're right.. a 16x20 is four times the size of an 8x10, but by the same token a 5mp image is only 26% larger than an 8 mp image. I think that's what Bill was trying to say

Although, as you note, it is nice to have more pixels to work with for cropping... although, as Steve notes, an 8 MP point-and-shoot, with a small sensor, is not as "clean" as a 5 mp.

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Old Dec 17, 2004, 1:06 PM   #8
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No, Slipe, that's not what BillDrew says... Yes. a 16x20 is four times the size of an 8 x 10 on the wall. However, your 8 MP image is not 60% larger than a 5 MP image because of the area calculations...

So you're right.. a 16x20 is four times the size of an 8x10, but by the same token a 5mp image is only 26% larger than an 8 mp image. I think that's what Bill was trying to say
I just set a 5Mp (2560 X 1920) image to make a 9 X 12 inch print so I would use all of the pixels without a crop. The image ended up at 213.333 PPI. Then I upsized it to 3264 X 2448 (8Mp) and set it to print at 213.333 PPI without a resample. The image it would print at the same 213.333 PPI resolution came out 11.475 X 15.3 inches. That is 108 sq in for the 5Mp and 175.5675 for the 8Mp image. My calculator says the 8Mp image is a little over 1.62 times the 5Mp in square inches at the same PPI. That is an area calculation.

It pretty much has to come out that way. You take 60% more pixels and spread them out at the same resolution and you have to end up with a print that is 60% larger in area.

So "by the same token" the 8Mp print at the same resolution is going to come out 60% larger the same way a 16 X 20 is 4X larger than an 8 X 10. If you can print an 8 X 10 at a given resolution with a 2Mp camera you can print a 16 X 20 at that resolution with an 8Mp camera because you have 4 times the pixels to spread around.

In your link he says a "common person" would see a 16 X 20 as only twice the size of an 8 X 10. I guess I'm not a common person, because it looks a LOT larger to me on the wall. You and Bill obviously see it as only twice as large and I can't argue with that.

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Old Dec 17, 2004, 1:45 PM   #9
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i have a 4040 and i considered upgrading to a 8080. i go to car races, alot. and taking pictures of the moving cars can be a pain and i waste alot of space from bad pictures. would an 8080 help capture a moving car better?



most of the races are at night..



thanks!

love this site!
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Old Dec 17, 2004, 9:18 PM   #10
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slipe wrote:
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... is around 175PPI. ...
ppi is the relevant measure and it is linear. In linear measurement, a 16x20" print is twice the 'size' of an 8x10" though it has four times the area.

To have the same ppi in a print made with an 8Mp camera as one made with 5Mp, the linear measurement will be 26.49% larger and the area measure 60% larger.

Thinking in terms of a print's linear measurement is much simpler and much more common than area. I have never heard of anyone ordering a 24 square inch print though 4x6" prints are common.
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