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Old Apr 20, 2007, 8:52 AM   #1
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First off -- I am not a digital photography pro or an expert -- I am a novice. However, I do take many many pictures of family events, vacations, and my family's daily life (indoor, outdoor, and flash) I reqularly use Photoshop to enhance, fix, zoom, crop, stitch, etc my prints and I am very comfortable doing so. I make many 8*10, 10*13 prints for framing and display. (in fact, I just purchased a Epson R2400 printer). Quality of prints is very important to me. So he comes my question.......

I currently use 8MP cameras - Canon Pro 1 and Nikon Coolpix P1. However, as I am always seeking to enhance the quality of my prints (and keep my technology current), I have been intrigued by the 10MP cameras. I would not want a DSLR (due to size) and would only want a compact that can fit in my pocket (the Pro 1 doesnt get as much use anymore due to size). However, based on my research, I am getting the vibe that a 10MP may not produce a much better print for me because of the small processor sizes, and the noise issues.

So my question for the experts is.......would I benefit from upgrading to a 10MP? If there are any suggestions on specific cameras given my usage it would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 9:00 AM   #2
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If you were jumping from an 8MP digicam to a 10MP DSLR, I'd say the jump would be worth it for the performance gain you'd see at higher ISO's. It's significant. If you are talking about upgrading to a 10MP digicam, I would say stay where you are. The difference won't amount to a hill of beans.

Your vibe would be correct...
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 9:37 AM   #3
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I think Greg's nailed the issue.
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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Make it three votes that the increase in MP is not worth it. Now, if there's something you don't like about the quality of photos your current camera produces that could be something else. An increase in MP count won't fix anything. But depending on what the issue you have is - there might be a camera that performs better in that area. It may have 8mp or 10 or even 6mp.
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 1:31 PM   #5
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You can get a 13 X 19 print from your new printer at around 172 PPI from your 8Mp cameras. If you tend to frame your shots well and not need any cropping I find that resolution is quite good for a print. But more resolution is a tad better for some subjects, and any cropping noticeably reduces your quality. Even the most sophisticated upsample methods don't improve the print very much unless you are starting with a lower native resolution.

It sounds like you are at a level where a 10Mp DSLR would be a natural progression.

Assuming you are using an external flash and raw with your Pro 1, there isn't much to progress to in a 10Mp non-DSLR that is comparable. You can get a Panasonic FZ50 with a 12X zoom and stabilization, but you will have more noise to deal with and the camera is larger. It has some good features and is an upgrade in speed.

If you don't print larger than 11 X 14 and don't have to crop a lot you won't see any advantage to increasing your pixels.

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Old Apr 24, 2007, 2:34 PM   #6
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One more vote: IMO the benefits of the increase in resolution will be slight, so the decision really is a cost/benefit question, and you're the only one who can decide if the small improvement is worth the price of admission. But while you're thinking about that, remember that you'd be getting a newer camera, and it's possible that there could be meaningful additional improvements -- for example, in the processor/firmware -- which could (for example) lower noise and therefore give you a worthwhile improvement...

Wish I could just give a firm answer but the thing is the resolution isn't the only variable here -- and may well not be the most important one.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 2:39 PM   #7
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there are professional printing companies that print from 4Mp cameras and blow up to a banner. And one thing i noticed with prints is that the 4*6, 8*10, 12*18, 20*30 prints from shops like Costco, Wallmart or even ritz have a large variation is saturation

I printed a picture in all the above size from Costco, the 8*10 was the one with perfect saturation. As the size grew the saturation was going down badly.

I am looking for a good printing company too..

And 8mp-10mp wont make any difference in PRINTING.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 4:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
And 8mp-10mp wont make any difference in PRINTING.
Printing is probably the only place where the difference between 8 and 10Mp might make a difference. And then only with large prints or significant crops.

A 20 X 16 print gives around 153 PPI from the 8Mp Pro 1 and 171 PPI from a 10Mp G7. Since PPI is a linear measurement there is a 20% higher pixel density in the 10Mp shot. I see a significant difference between 153 and 171 PPI in most prints.

I suspect I don't frame as accurately as most as I usually find some cropping gives me a better print. In that range every little bit is significant. 10Mp provides a little better input for a wide format printer like PaulPuz has IMO. Maybe not enough to upgrade though unless other factors are significant as well.

For specific pocket cameras the Canon SD900 went back to a 1/1.8 sensor and seems to have good noise through ISO400. It doesn't have stabilization though, which could make a sharpness difference in limited light.

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