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Resolution - when is Enough ENOUGH? (a personal view)

 
 
VT
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      09-09-2003
In the previous thread
5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold
(see reference posts quoted below)
posed some interesting scenarios.

Many people here hold that 200PPI is good enough for photo quality
prints.

I regard about 10x8 as the largest print that one is likely to go
nose-to-paper or want close scrutiny.

Anything larger would (hopefully) be viewed at more "normal" distances
and not engender such demanding scrutiny

If that is the case then we had reached "Enough" quality at the 3Mp
level since the average 2048x1536 will produce 10.1"x7.7" prints at
200ppi.

I am not arguing 200ppi produces very satisfactory prints
(afterall I have produced 10x7.5" prints from 2Mp and even 0.8Mp that
although not exactly "sterling" were nothing to be ashamed of - and
are actually currently exhibited)

However with the reference thread I had re-visted printing out crops
to the equivalent of 10x7.5 from sample test images from
imaging-resource.com and inspecting for quality. I used the 11.4Mp
Canon EOS 1Ds as a benchmark and looked at highly rated 3Mp, 4Mp, 5Mp
and 6Mp digicams/DSLRs.

Just using visual inspection and with the aid of a regular (~2.5x
linear) magnifying glass - I can see -

3Mp (200ppi) just starting to show some image breakdown on finer
details - but I can see this only really with the magnifying glass.

4Mp (227ppi) does not have the image breakdown.

5Mp (259ppi) gains some visual crispness - but I cannot quantify it.

11+Mp (406ppi) I could detect enough improvement over the 5Mp image -
there were obviously characteristic differences that make comparisons
difficult (for example much less in-camera "sharpening" for the EOS
1Ds)

Just from this ad-hoc comparison I would hazard that somewhere between
227ppi and 259ppi - we have hit the point of diminishing returns at
least for the Photo printer I was using (Epson Photo Stylus 780 using
Epson Matte Heavyweight paper at 1440dpi).

200ppi was good - but for me still somewhat marginal.

[an aside: I found that current 3Mp digicams like the "budget" but
popular Canon A70 produces better prints to my eyes than say the once
top 3Mp resolution king of the Sony S75 or even the previous 4Mp
resolution king -Sony S85]

So is a current 5Mp "good enough"?

In a word YES.....

But some may argue that one needs some margin for cropping imperfectly
framed shots - or being able to use a smaller area to enlarge.

Some (and that includes me) used to argue that 300ppi was really
needed for true photo quality - and
Please Remember - my comparisons are self-limited by the quality of
the output from my home photo printer/paper combination - commercial
digital photo printing can produce higher technical quality prints.

If we use 300ppi as a yardstick for 10x8 - then that's
3000x2400 pixels = 7.2Mp

Allowing for the typical 4:3 aspct ratio of digicams -
3200x2400 = 7.7Mp

With 3200x2400 (7.7Mp) one can produce a
13.3"x10" print at 240ppi
16x12 print at 200ppi
21"x16" print at 150ppi

So for me the peg in the ground - or to replace all my photo gear
would be somewhere around 7.7Mp

With the prosumer Sony F828 we have already reached that level - it's
probably not too long before compact digicams will use 8Mp......

Your thoughts?

--
Vincent
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On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:54:53 GMT, Tony Whitaker <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote in the opening post of thread:
5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold

>I just put up some pictures I took to compare the image quality of my Nikon
>Coolpix 5000 to Fuji Velvia ISO 50, Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 160NC, and
>Kodak Gold 200 films:
>http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflie...s-Coolpix.html
>
>There's no question about it - the slow slide films outperform 5
>megapixels.

<snip>
>You can't tell it in the
>4"x6" prints I had made from these negatives, though.
>
>And it was not fun working with the 64 megabyte .tif files from the
>scanner. My 667mhz Pentium 3 with 128mb RAM choked hard on them. It took
>forever to do the simplest things, like adjust the contrast and brightness
>for the 2 slide scans. 45 seconds for the command to prepare itself for
>use. 45 seconds to change the brightness value (you want to get it right
>the first time). 45 seconds to change the contrast value. 45 seconds to
>apply the changes, etc. etc.




On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 15:20:30 -0700, David Chien <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote in thread
Re: 5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold:

>Most already know that 8MP approximates a standard P&S camera with a
>good lens (eg. Olympus Stylus Epic) with around 50lp/mm of resolution.
>
>Kodak film scientist has already said that film contains around 25MP max
>(standard films, not TechPan); which corresponds to the agreement by
>professional digital camera makers such as www.betterlight.com and
>www.phaseone.com (makers of up to 100MP+ digital cameras for many, many
>years, and have already done the comparison for us).
>
>www.deja.com for past posts on this and similar subjects from years ago.


and
--
Vincent
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http://UnknownVincent.cjb.net/
 
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Roland Karlsson
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-09-2003
VT <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Your thoughts?


Agree!


But there are reasons for more Mpixels than 5-6-7 or so.

1. You want bigger prints that still are sharp.

Then you really also want bigger sensors as it is difficult
to make lenses that are sharp enough otherwise. You can of
course use stitching instead if you want bigger pictures
(or wider angles).

2. You want to avoid aliasing with a stronger anti alias filter.

If you want to remove almost any trace of aliasing, you need more
pixels and a stronger anti alias filter. You could also use
a Foveon sensor, which is much more insensitive to aliasing.


Roland
 
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Eolake Stobblehouse
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      09-09-2003
Vincent,
(Ooh, named after my favorite painter, are you?...)

Right you are.
I would say that for holiday snapshots, 3 megapixels are quite enough.
(They are mostly printed in just small hand-sized prints.)

For most professional work, about 6 megapixels does fine.
(A good 6-megapixel image can easily be printed in a double-spread
magazine size. And really, I don't see that size used too often
anyway.)
(What I make with my D100 is better than anything I ever managed with a
35mm camera. And I did rather better than most on such.)

Beyond 6 megapixels is only needed for rarified professional uses, and
for art freak Ansel-Adams wannabes like me, who get all wet thinking
about huge pictures with pinsharp details and tones.

Eolake Stobblehouse

--
- Eolake
--
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http://MacCreator.com
 
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Stephen G. Giannoni
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-09-2003
How very right you are, EXCEPT for cropping ....

On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 14:46:39 -0400, VT
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>In the previous thread
>5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold
>(see reference posts quoted below)
>posed some interesting scenarios.
>
>Many people here hold that 200PPI is good enough for photo quality
>prints.
>
>I regard about 10x8 as the largest print that one is likely to go
>nose-to-paper or want close scrutiny.
>
>Anything larger would (hopefully) be viewed at more "normal" distances
>and not engender such demanding scrutiny
>
>If that is the case then we had reached "Enough" quality at the 3Mp
>level since the average 2048x1536 will produce 10.1"x7.7" prints at
>200ppi.
>
>I am not arguing 200ppi produces very satisfactory prints
>(afterall I have produced 10x7.5" prints from 2Mp and even 0.8Mp that
>although not exactly "sterling" were nothing to be ashamed of - and
>are actually currently exhibited)
>
>However with the reference thread I had re-visted printing out crops
>to the equivalent of 10x7.5 from sample test images from
>imaging-resource.com and inspecting for quality. I used the 11.4Mp
>Canon EOS 1Ds as a benchmark and looked at highly rated 3Mp, 4Mp, 5Mp
>and 6Mp digicams/DSLRs.
>
>Just using visual inspection and with the aid of a regular (~2.5x
>linear) magnifying glass - I can see -
>
>3Mp (200ppi) just starting to show some image breakdown on finer
>details - but I can see this only really with the magnifying glass.
>
>4Mp (227ppi) does not have the image breakdown.
>
>5Mp (259ppi) gains some visual crispness - but I cannot quantify it.
>
>11+Mp (406ppi) I could detect enough improvement over the 5Mp image -
>there were obviously characteristic differences that make comparisons
>difficult (for example much less in-camera "sharpening" for the EOS
>1Ds)
>
>Just from this ad-hoc comparison I would hazard that somewhere between
>227ppi and 259ppi - we have hit the point of diminishing returns at
>least for the Photo printer I was using (Epson Photo Stylus 780 using
>Epson Matte Heavyweight paper at 1440dpi).
>
>200ppi was good - but for me still somewhat marginal.
>
>[an aside: I found that current 3Mp digicams like the "budget" but
>popular Canon A70 produces better prints to my eyes than say the once
>top 3Mp resolution king of the Sony S75 or even the previous 4Mp
>resolution king -Sony S85]
>
>So is a current 5Mp "good enough"?
>
>In a word YES.....
>
>But some may argue that one needs some margin for cropping imperfectly
>framed shots - or being able to use a smaller area to enlarge.
>
>Some (and that includes me) used to argue that 300ppi was really
>needed for true photo quality - and
>Please Remember - my comparisons are self-limited by the quality of
>the output from my home photo printer/paper combination - commercial
>digital photo printing can produce higher technical quality prints.
>
>If we use 300ppi as a yardstick for 10x8 - then that's
>3000x2400 pixels = 7.2Mp
>
>Allowing for the typical 4:3 aspct ratio of digicams -
>3200x2400 = 7.7Mp
>
>With 3200x2400 (7.7Mp) one can produce a
>13.3"x10" print at 240ppi
>16x12 print at 200ppi
>21"x16" print at 150ppi
>
>So for me the peg in the ground - or to replace all my photo gear
>would be somewhere around 7.7Mp
>
>With the prosumer Sony F828 we have already reached that level - it's
>probably not too long before compact digicams will use 8Mp......
>
>Your thoughts?
>
>--
>Vincent
>remove CLOTHES for e-mail
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:54:53 GMT, Tony Whitaker <(E-Mail Removed)>
>wrote in the opening post of thread:
>5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold
>
>>I just put up some pictures I took to compare the image quality of my Nikon
>>Coolpix 5000 to Fuji Velvia ISO 50, Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 160NC, and
>>Kodak Gold 200 films:
>>http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflie...s-Coolpix.html
>>
>>There's no question about it - the slow slide films outperform 5
>>megapixels.

><snip>
>>You can't tell it in the
>>4"x6" prints I had made from these negatives, though.
>>
>>And it was not fun working with the 64 megabyte .tif files from the
>>scanner. My 667mhz Pentium 3 with 128mb RAM choked hard on them. It took
>>forever to do the simplest things, like adjust the contrast and brightness
>>for the 2 slide scans. 45 seconds for the command to prepare itself for
>>use. 45 seconds to change the brightness value (you want to get it right
>>the first time). 45 seconds to change the contrast value. 45 seconds to
>>apply the changes, etc. etc.

>
>
>
>On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 15:20:30 -0700, David Chien <(E-Mail Removed)>
>wrote in thread
>Re: 5 Megapixels Compared to Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra and 200 Gold:
>
>>Most already know that 8MP approximates a standard P&S camera with a
>>good lens (eg. Olympus Stylus Epic) with around 50lp/mm of resolution.
>>
>>Kodak film scientist has already said that film contains around 25MP max
>>(standard films, not TechPan); which corresponds to the agreement by
>>professional digital camera makers such as www.betterlight.com and
>>www.phaseone.com (makers of up to 100MP+ digital cameras for many, many
>>years, and have already done the comparison for us).
>>
>>www.deja.com for past posts on this and similar subjects from years ago.

>
>and


 
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VT
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      09-09-2003
On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 20:27:09 GMT, Stephen G. Giannoni
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>How very right you are, EXCEPT for cropping ....
>

You may well be right on that -

However I think at 240ppi for 10x8 for me probably is good enough
(that's about 5Mp) - so 7.7Mp would give quite a "healthy" margin for
cropping and using a smaller area for enlargement.

For me, the most I have cropped under normal circumstances was to
about 80% (linearly) of the orignal image - but I'll also admit to
probably being influenced (subconsciously?) by a lack of quality
beyond that.

So an 80% scaled (linearly) image from the 3200x2400 (7.7Mp) image
would be one of 2560x1920 - which is close to 5Mp.......
that will allow a 10x8 print to be made at 240ppi......
(neat how the numbers seem to just fall into place )

Thanks for the input.
--
Vincent
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http://UnknownVincent.cjb.net/
 
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Ed Ruf
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      09-09-2003
On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 20:27:09 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Stephen G. Giannoni
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>How very right you are, EXCEPT for cropping ....


How appropriate, given you needed 146 lines for your reply, which took
what, all of one line?
__________________________________________________ ______
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Stanley Krute
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      09-09-2003
Yep, this is a personal view kind of issue.

Myself, I like 300 to 400 ppi for printing.

I want to be able to print 12" x 18" images
without upsizing.

For this calculation, I'll use 360 ppi.

12 x 360 = 4,320
18 x 360 = 6,480

4,320 * 6,480 = 27,993,600

So I'll be momentarily happy when we get 28 MB sensors.

When will we get such a sensor in a 35-mm frame
size in a sub-$2000 body ?

Perhaps never. Perhaps by 2010. I'm guessing the latter.

Amazing little revolution we're getting to enjoy.
As noted by many, 6 MP in a DSLR is Very Good,
and things are only getting better.


Stan



 
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Mike Graham
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      09-09-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, VT wrote:

> If that is the case then we had reached "Enough" quality at the 3Mp
> level since the average 2048x1536 will produce 10.1"x7.7" prints at
> 200ppi.


That doesn't leave you any slack for cropping, though.

4MP would give you that little bit extra.

> 5Mp (259ppi) gains some visual crispness - but I cannot quantify it.


7.2 is the point where you hit 300dpi on a 8x10 print, so 8MP might be
the magic - to give some cropping room and still have the snob-appeal of
300dpi.

> If we use 300ppi as a yardstick for 10x8 - then that's
> 3000x2400 pixels = 7.2Mp


I should have kept reading. You're covering everything I've said.

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
mike 'at' metalmangler.com |
<http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.
<http://www.metalmangler.com/photos/photos.htm>
 
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Mike Graham
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      09-09-2003
In article <090920032058409580%(E-Mail Removed) et>, Eolake Stobblehouse wrote:

> Beyond 6 megapixels is only needed for rarified professional uses, and
> for art freak Ansel-Adams wannabes like me, who get all wet thinking
> about huge pictures with pinsharp details and tones.


I'm not expert on Ansel Adams, but I expect he'd rather hop naked on a
pogo stick through a feminist picnic than have to use a 35mm camera to do
his landscapes... I thought he was a dyed-in-the-wool medium-format
photographer. But I could be wrong...

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
mike 'at' metalmangler.com |
<http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.
<http://www.metalmangler.com/photos/photos.htm>
 
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Jason O'Rourke
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      09-09-2003
Stanley Krute <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Yep, this is a personal view kind of issue.
>
>Myself, I like 300 to 400 ppi for printing.
>
>I want to be able to print 12" x 18" images
>without upsizing.


His initial conditions included the assumption that at sizes over 8x10,
viewing distance will also increase and thus no increase in resolution
is necessary. This is a common stance, but obviously for some applications
may not be ideal.
--
Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
 
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