4 or 5 megapixels?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by josh plumlee, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. josh plumlee

    josh plumlee Guest

    Hello,
    I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be a
    general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    Thanks,
    Josh
    josh plumlee, Feb 24, 2004
    #1
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  2. josh plumlee

    Marty Guest

    If you have the money why not? However, as has appeared in this group
    hundreds of times, there is a lot more to "good" than MP. I actually
    took my best family photo ever with my five-year-old's 1.3 MP camera.
    5x7's look fine to me with my old 3 MP with little or no crop. As I
    said, bump away if you have the cash to burn. BTW, my friend has an
    A70 and the photos look very nice. She knows how to take pictures.
    Maybe the camera at your wife's job has been abused in some way?

    Marty


    On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:58:00 -0800, "josh plumlee"
    <> wrote:

    >Hello,
    >I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    >grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    >difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    >will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be a
    >general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    >where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    >track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    >Thanks,
    >Josh
    >
    Marty, Feb 24, 2004
    #2
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  3. josh plumlee

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <> on Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:58:00 -0800,
    "josh plumlee" <> wrote:

    >I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    >grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    >difference in resolution between the two. ...


    In a word, no.

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas
    [PLEASE NOTE: Ads belong *only* in rec.photo.marketplace.digital, as per
    <http://bobatkins.photo.net/info/charter.htm> <http://rpdfaq.50megs.com/>]
    John Navas, Feb 24, 2004
    #3
  4. josh plumlee

    Mike Kohary Guest

    "josh plumlee" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be

    a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    > track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh


    I understand that the Canon A80 is an excellent camera, and there is so much
    more to quality than simply megapixels. Anyway, 4MP is plenty to do up to
    8x10 prints. While 5MP will provide a bit more leeway with regards to that,
    you could easily get a 5MP camera that is of lesser quality than the Canon
    A80 that you're considering. Personally, I'd rather have the quality.

    Mike
    Mike Kohary, Feb 24, 2004
    #4
  5. josh plumlee

    Lucas Tam Guest

    "josh plumlee" <> wrote in
    news::

    > Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10.


    1.3 MP is enough for 4x6. 2MPs for 5x7s. 3.2MP for 8x10s.

    So basically, 5MP is an over kill (for your needs). 4MP is more than enough
    : )

    --
    Lucas Tam ()
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
    Lucas Tam, Feb 24, 2004
    #5
  6. josh plumlee

    Vin Guest

    Lucas Tam <> wrote:
    > "josh plumlee" <> wrote in
    > news::


    >> Most of our use for the camera
    >> will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10.


    > 1.3 MP is enough for 4x6. 2MPs for 5x7s. 3.2MP for 8x10s.

    Using the 300dpi rule, you should bump each off the above
    to the next level:

    Approximatly:

    1MP 1200x900 - 4x3
    2MP 1600x1200 - 6x4
    3MP 2000x1500 - 7x5
    6MP 3000x2000 - 10x8

    > So basically, 5MP is an over kill (for your needs). 4MP is more than enough
    > : )


    Not really. Not to start another flame, but we are also only
    talking 4MP Bayer pixels anyway. I wouldnt say that it is
    overkill. Maybe acceptable but not overkill for the odd 8x10.

    But yeah, a 4MP should suffice for the OP'er's purposes.

    Vin.
    --
    Vin
    Melbourne, Australia
    Remove no and spam from both sides of the @ sign email address to reply
    Vin, Feb 24, 2004
    #6
  7. josh plumlee

    Lucas Tam Guest

    Vin <> wrote in news:8gne1c.09a.ln@
    192.168.11.2:

    > Not really. Not to start another flame, but we are also only
    > talking 4MP Bayer pixels anyway. I wouldnt say that it is
    > overkill. Maybe acceptable but not overkill for the odd 8x10.


    Well of course. We would all love to have 14 - 16MP cameras. But generally
    speaking, the average buying public would be very happy with 4x6's taken
    with a 1.3MP camera : )

    --
    Lucas Tam ()
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
    Lucas Tam, Feb 24, 2004
    #7
  8. josh plumlee

    Mark Herring Guest

    On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:58:00 -0800, "josh plumlee"
    <> wrote:

    >Hello,
    >I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    >grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    >difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    >will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be a
    >general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    >where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    >track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    >Thanks,
    >Josh
    >

    There is maybe more difference between the models than the number of
    Megapixels---e.g. sensor size and optics speed.

    If you are just counting Megapixels, consider this: The difference in
    linear resolution going from 4 to 5Mp is only about 12%. Yes, you
    will see the difference, but is it worth the extra cost?

    I am doing nice snaps with an A40 2Mp. My next upgrade will be based
    on getting a longer zoom--more than Mp.


    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Feb 24, 2004
    #8
  9. Although a 5MP camera may provide slightly higher resolution, it typically
    has more noise, particularly in lower light and/or higher ISO values. For
    small P&S cameras using the 1/1.8" sensors (which the A80 does), the
    tradeoff between resolution and noise seems to be around 4-5 MP.

    James
    James Akiyama, Feb 24, 2004
    #9
  10. josh plumlee wrote:
    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving
    > me grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much
    > of a difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for
    > the camera will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare
    > 8X10. It will be a general use vacation kind of camera. She has an
    > Olympus ????model 4 MP where she works and says it isn't very good.
    > Was I headed down the right track with the A80 or should I bump it up
    > to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh


    In short, yes. However there are differences between any two cameras
    and the small difference between 4 and 5 megapixels is likely to be less
    meaningful than the other differences. 4 is good and I doubt if you will
    ever be able to notice the difference with your intended use.

    Despite all the formulas equating megapixels to print size, the end
    result is what counts and that involves more than just a pixel count.


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Feb 24, 2004
    #10
  11. Josh,

    you have had excellent advice in the previous posts.
    To emphasize the problem: 5 MP may be outright not as good as 4 MP even if
    everything else is the same namely the sensor size and the quality of the lens.
    Take Canon G3 (4 MP) and G5 (5M) as an example. The sensor area is the same
    (1/1.8"). The lens is the same (4x zoom). The G-series starting with G2 is
    generally esteemed as being very well engineered.
    However, the G5 is by now cheaper than the G3 when sold in a free market
    situation
    < http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=7711852 >.

    Why is this?
    Among other reasons the 5 MP sensor has per photo-site a smaller area. This has
    two consequences: more noise (bad in low light situations) and the images are
    more prone to purple fringing, an error due to aberration seen quite clearly in
    corners of prints when twigs of a tree are before bright white clouds, eg.

    Therefore people are more happy with a 4 MP sensor than a tweaked 5 MP sensor. I
    have a G2 and can report that 8x10" prints are of outstanding quality. In fact
    prints smaller than 8x10" are not doing justice to the inherent quality of the
    images taken with a 4MP sensor.

    By the way, the A 80 would be a good choice as it has the well regarded 4 MP
    sensor of the G3 and the lens is well spoken of.
    If you are toying with 5 MP than research the camera testing sites carefully,
    eg. < http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/ >.

    Guenter





    josh plumlee wrote:

    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    > track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh
    Guenter Fieblinger, Feb 24, 2004
    #11
  12. josh plumlee

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Joseph Meehan wrote:

    > josh plumlee wrote:
    >
    >>Hello,
    >>I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving
    >>me grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much
    >>of a difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for
    >>the camera will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare
    >>8X10. It will be a general use vacation kind of camera. She has an
    >>Olympus ????model 4 MP where she works and says it isn't very good.
    >>Was I headed down the right track with the A80 or should I bump it up
    >>to a 5 MP unit?
    >>Thanks,
    >>Josh

    >
    >
    > In short, yes. However there are differences between any two cameras
    > and the small difference between 4 and 5 megapixels is likely to be less
    > meaningful than the other differences. 4 is good and I doubt if you will
    > ever be able to notice the difference with your intended use.
    >
    > Despite all the formulas equating megapixels to print size, the end
    > result is what counts and that involves more than just a pixel count.
    >
    >

    Given a choice between a 4 mp camera with a good lens, and a 5 mp camera
    with a fair lens, I would go with the 4mp. Which I did.
    For your stated needs, a 3 mp would work. The 4 mp will give you some
    latitude to do some judicious cropping in post-processing.
    Ron Hunter, Feb 24, 2004
    #12
  13. josh plumlee

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <8gne1c.09a.ln@192.168.11.2> on Tue, 24 Feb 2004 05:30:06 GMT, Vin
    <> wrote:

    >Lucas Tam <> wrote:
    >> "josh plumlee" <> wrote in
    >> news::

    >
    >>> Most of our use for the camera
    >>> will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10.

    >
    >> 1.3 MP is enough for 4x6. 2MPs for 5x7s. 3.2MP for 8x10s.

    >Using the 300dpi rule, you should bump each off the above
    >to the next level:
    >
    >Approximatly:
    >
    >1MP 1200x900 - 4x3
    >2MP 1600x1200 - 6x4
    >3MP 2000x1500 - 7x5
    >6MP 3000x2000 - 10x8
    >
    >> So basically, 5MP is an over kill (for your needs). 4MP is more than enough
    >> : )

    >
    >Not really. ...


    Here's my own take, as posted some time ago:

    Assuming that the image has been taken with a good lens, for printing figure
    at least 130 PPI (pixels per inch) for acceptable results (at normal viewing
    distances), and up to 230 PPI for excellent results. With current technology,
    anything more than 300 PPI is pretty much wasted.

    4x6 5x7 8x10
    ------ ------ ------
    Acceptable: 0.4 MP 0.6 MP 1.4 MP
    Very good: 1 MP 1.4 MP 2.5 MP
    Excellent: 1.4 MP 2 MP 4 MP
    Best: 2.1 MP 3 MP 7 MP

    640x480 = 0.3 MP
    1024x768 = 0.8 MP
    1600x1200 = 1.9 MP

    Note that there is much more to the quality of digicam images than the raw
    pixel count. The quality of the lens is an important item that is often
    overlooked -- I'd usually go for 1.4 MP taken with a high-quality lens over
    2.1 MP taken with an inexpensive consumer lens.

    Note also that the above is only my own opinion, and that opinions can and do
    vary widely. ;-)

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas
    [PLEASE NOTE: Ads belong *only* in rec.photo.marketplace.digital, as per
    <http://bobatkins.photo.net/info/charter.htm> <http://rpdfaq.50megs.com/>]
    John Navas, Feb 24, 2004
    #13
  14. On Monday 23 February 2004 07:58 pm, josh plumlee wrote:

    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving
    > me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of
    > a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the
    > camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It
    > will be a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4
    > MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the
    > right track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh


    Go here: www.steves-digicams.com and check out the sample pictures for
    the various cameras and resolutions you are interested in. 'Steves' is
    better than dpreview as far as sample pictures, because 'Steve' shoots
    the same scenes, and uses the default camera settings with no post
    image enhancements unlike dpreview, which does do post work. Great for
    side-by-side comparison. I particularly like the brick building for
    comparing picture quality. Look at the motar lines on the far building
    to see how well a CCD really resolves fine detail. You can even
    download the full resolution image and print it out, if need be.

    FWIW, the best right-out-of-the-camera shot by a 4MP camera of that
    building I saw was the Olympus C-4000. Very sharp. Even better than
    their 5MP C-5050.


    --
    Stefan Patric
    Stefan Patric, Feb 24, 2004
    #14
  15. josh plumlee

    per Guest

    "josh plumlee" <> wrote in
    news:...
    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be

    a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    > track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh
    >


    I wish there was a 4.5 MP camera, then you could have the best of both
    worlds!
    : ) per
    per, Feb 24, 2004
    #15
  16. josh plumlee

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Stefan Patric wrote:

    > On Monday 23 February 2004 07:58 pm, josh plumlee wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Hello,
    >>I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving
    >>me
    >>grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of
    >>a
    >>difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the
    >>camera
    >>will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It
    >>will be a
    >>general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4
    >>MP
    >>where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the
    >>right track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    >>Thanks,
    >>Josh

    >
    >
    > Go here: www.steves-digicams.com and check out the sample pictures for
    > the various cameras and resolutions you are interested in. 'Steves' is
    > better than dpreview as far as sample pictures, because 'Steve' shoots
    > the same scenes, and uses the default camera settings with no post
    > image enhancements unlike dpreview, which does do post work. Great for
    > side-by-side comparison. I particularly like the brick building for
    > comparing picture quality. Look at the motar lines on the far building
    > to see how well a CCD really resolves fine detail. You can even
    > download the full resolution image and print it out, if need be.
    >
    > FWIW, the best right-out-of-the-camera shot by a 4MP camera of that
    > building I saw was the Olympus C-4000. Very sharp. Even better than
    > their 5MP C-5050.
    >
    >

    I think at 4 mp to 5 mp resolution, the quality of the lens makes more
    difference than the 1 mp difference in sensor size.
    Ron Hunter, Feb 24, 2004
    #16
  17. josh plumlee

    Milan Fait Guest

    See the digital camera resolution chart at the following link.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...page&Q=Product_Resources/resolution_chart.jsp


    josh plumlee wrote:

    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    > track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh
    >
    >
    Milan Fait, Feb 25, 2004
    #17
  18. josh plumlee

    Ol' Bab Guest

    IF you need/like a rule of thumb: Resolution varies as the SQUARE ROOT
    of pixel count. So 5 IS better than 4, but only by about 12%. Really.
    You probably couldn't see the difference.

    Oh yeah, "other thing being equal." Which usually isn't true, so I will
    join the chorus and say, go for the better lens.

    Ol' Bab


    josh plumlee wrote:

    >Hello,
    >I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving
    >me grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much
    >of a difference in resolution between the two.
    Ol' Bab, Feb 25, 2004
    #18
  19. josh plumlee

    Patrick L. Guest

    "josh plumlee" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    > I had made up my mind to purchase a Canon A80. Now my wife is giving me
    > grief about it not being a 5 megapixel camera. Will there be much of a
    > difference in resolution between the two. Most of our use for the camera
    > will be 4X6 prints with the occasional 5X7 and very rare 8X10. It will be

    a
    > general use vacation kind of camera. She has an Olympus ????model 4 MP
    > where she works and says it isn't very good. Was I headed down the right
    > track with the A80 or should I bump it up to a 5 MP unit?
    > Thanks,
    > Josh
    >
    >



    You can get tack sharp 11x14 prints from a 4 megapixel camera. I do it all
    the time for my clients. I shoot with an Olympus E-10, which has a very
    sharp lens.


    Patrick L.
    Patrick L., Feb 25, 2004
    #19
  20. josh plumlee

    PR Guest

    PR, Feb 25, 2004
    #20
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