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Why Do You Need 5 Megapixels?

 
 
Jeff G
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      07-27-2005
I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.

Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need 5
megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?

The camera defaults to a resolution of 2560 x 1920, which gives very large
file sizes (about 1600 KB pictures). I have been cutting it down to 2048 x
1536, but it still gives sizes of about 1100 KB each.

I have cut it down further to 1600 x 1200 and it gives pictures of about 600
KB.

The downside is that it takes up more room when you store them on your
hard-drive. Also the large file sizes are difficult for some people to get
when you send them on an E-Mail, so you have to cut it way down. So, if you
are going to have to cut them down to send to anybody, why take such large
KB pictures? Even 600 KB is big for sending in an E-Mail, so you have to
cut it down to send it.

So, my question is if I take 1600 x 1200 pictures (or even smaller), will I
lose any visible quality on a 4 x 6 print? Jeff




 
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Rick
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      07-27-2005

"Jeff G" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:i0CFe.6214$Zt.4667@okepread05...
>I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>
> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need
> 5 megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?



Don't know about you, but I need MORE than 5MP because I like the ability to
crop off about half of a picture I took, then blow it up to 8x10.


 
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birdman
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      07-27-2005
Not to flame but:
Attitudes like this are the reason Kodak feasted for years marketing the
worst schlock imaginable to consumers who could not imagine why they would
need or want anything better. Why not just get a combination phone/camera
and kill 2 birds with one gadget?


 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      07-27-2005
"Jeff G" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>
> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need 5
> megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?


You don't, for prints that size.

Many of us think of ourselves as serious photographers (or serious
photographic hobbyists, if you like), and are always hoping to take a
picture that deserves better than a 4x6 print. And we don't think we
can be sure to know in advance we've got it, or that we will for sure
have time to change the camera settings, or that we'll *remember*
(since the specially good photos often come from a surprising event,
or when we're really engrossed in the photography). So we put up with
the bigger files most of the time to have the extra resolution now and
then when we need it.

You won't see any visible difference between 5 and 2 megapixels on a
4x6 uncropped print.
--
David Dyer-Bennet
Recovering from server meltdown! Email and web service on www.dd-b.net
including all virtual domains (demesne.com, ellegon.com, dragaera.info,
mnstf.org, and many others) is rudimentary and intermittent.
 
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Gene Palmiter
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      07-27-2005
> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need
> 5 megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?


I saw a program on TV once that showed all the known photos and films of the
Kennedy assasination. Of all the people there with cameras, and there were
several still and a couple of film cameras, not one user knew what they were
doing. If you were there with a digital camera wouldn't you want to take the
best shot possible? You won't have time to make adjustments so you should
have it set up for the best all the time. Your once-in-a-lifetime shot may
come at any moment...be ready for it.


 
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Ken Weitzel
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      07-27-2005


David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> "Jeff G" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
>
>>I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>>
>>Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need 5
>>megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?

>
>
> You don't, for prints that size.
>
> Many of us think of ourselves as serious photographers (or serious
> photographic hobbyists, if you like), and are always hoping to take a
> picture that deserves better than a 4x6 print. And we don't think we
> can be sure to know in advance we've got it, or that we will for sure
> have time to change the camera settings, or that we'll *remember*
> (since the specially good photos often come from a surprising event,
> or when we're really engrossed in the photography). So we put up with
> the bigger files most of the time to have the extra resolution now and
> then when we need it.
>
> You won't see any visible difference between 5 and 2 megapixels on a
> 4x6 uncropped print.


Hi...

I wonder if it might be helpful to newbies to the hobby if
I dared to make this analogy...

Let's try to compare using 1 or 2 mp to using 35 mm film,
and 5 or more mp to using a medium format film ?

Having said that; if I use mf I have the high cost of
film and processing for each and every shot I take. But
with digital there's zero cost involved.

Given that, we never know when we might accidentally stumble
onto the worlds best picture and worlds best shot. Whether
it be the napalm'ed little girl in Vietnam, or the glint in
a grandkids eye, one truly deserving of an mf shot and a
poster sized print.

Take them all at the best quality possible - they're easy to
downsample later if warranted, but impossible to (nicely)
upsample

Ken

 
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ASAAR
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      07-27-2005
On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 04:37:58 GMT, Ken Weitzel wrote:

> Given that, we never know when we might accidentally stumble
> onto the worlds best picture and worlds best shot. Whether
> it be the napalm'ed little girl in Vietnam, or the glint in
> a grandkids eye, one truly deserving of an mf shot and a
> poster sized print.


Two things to disagree with here. Had 2mp cameras been available
back then and if it had been used to take the picture of that girl,
the photos printed in newspapers all over the world would have been
just as dramatic, and probably just as sharp, in the newspapers,
anyway. Second, I know many grandparents that love looking at
pictures of their grandkids, but they almost all keep most in a box
or album, put a few in small frames, and sometimes many on the
refrigerator. Not because the images aren't sharp enough to make an
8"x10" or larger, but because they _don't do_ that. I've
occasionally suggested something larger than 4"x6", but they're
happy with that, and usually prefer 3 1/2"x5" (at least for the
fridge). Maybe the few that groom their little princesses like
prancing ponies and enter them in beauty pageants want large super
high quality prints, but that's not the same thing, and they've
probably hired someone with a high end DSLR, SLR or MF already.

 
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Ron Hunter
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      07-27-2005
Jeff G wrote:
> I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>
> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need 5
> megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?
>
> The camera defaults to a resolution of 2560 x 1920, which gives very large
> file sizes (about 1600 KB pictures). I have been cutting it down to 2048 x
> 1536, but it still gives sizes of about 1100 KB each.
>
> I have cut it down further to 1600 x 1200 and it gives pictures of about 600
> KB.
>
> The downside is that it takes up more room when you store them on your
> hard-drive. Also the large file sizes are difficult for some people to get
> when you send them on an E-Mail, so you have to cut it way down. So, if you
> are going to have to cut them down to send to anybody, why take such large
> KB pictures? Even 600 KB is big for sending in an E-Mail, so you have to
> cut it down to send it.
>
> So, my question is if I take 1600 x 1200 pictures (or even smaller), will I
> lose any visible quality on a 4 x 6 print? Jeff
>
>
>
>

That depends on how discriminating you are relative to picture quality.
Certainly, a 4x6 print from 1600x1200 is a very good print. The main
reason for higher resolutions is to allow flexibility in printing size,
and editing. I suggest you buy a few more flash cards (they are very
cheap now), and don't worry too much about file size. Someday, you may
be glad you had the extra resolution.
The point being, that you can't increase the resolution later, but you
CAN reduce it.


--
Ron Hunter http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Pete D
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      07-27-2005

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:weCFe.18588$(E-Mail Removed) ...
>
> "Jeff G" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:i0CFe.6214$Zt.4667@okepread05...
>>I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>>
>> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I need
>> 5 megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x 6"?

>
>
> Don't know about you, but I need MORE than 5MP because I like the ability
> to crop off about half of a picture I took, then blow it up to 8x10.


Yes you do know about him, he said he will not print bigger than 4x6, oh
course if you can crop you waist many of your pixels.


 
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David J Taylor
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      07-27-2005
Jeff G wrote:
> I have a new 5 MP camera, a Casio Exilim Z55.
>
> Next week I will be on vacation, taking a lot of pictures. Why do I
> need 5 megapixels, when I do not plan to make prints larger than 4" x
> 6"?
> The camera defaults to a resolution of 2560 x 1920, which gives very
> large file sizes (about 1600 KB pictures). I have been cutting it
> down to 2048 x 1536, but it still gives sizes of about 1100 KB each.
>
> I have cut it down further to 1600 x 1200 and it gives pictures of
> about 600 KB.


I would suggest reducing the file size by using a lower JPEG quality
setting, rather than by redcuing resolution. Keep the 2560 x 1920, but
use "Normal" instead of "Fine" quality (or whatever your camera calls it).
I would also comment that 521MB and 1GB SD memory cards are not that
expensive.....

Cheers,
David


 
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