- Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tnfergus@aol.com, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Hi...
    I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I know
    digital is the way to go these days...so my question is this....

    For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...

    How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10 enough?
    16?
    (is there anything else I may need to know about digital resolution?)

    Also.... is it reasonable to think I could use a digital SLR for
    weddings and events?

    Thank you.... more to come.
    , Sep 22, 2006
    #1
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  2. wrote:
    > Hi...
    > I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    > seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    > quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I
    > know digital is the way to go these days...so my question is this....
    >
    > For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...
    >
    > How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10 enough?
    > 16?
    > (is there anything else I may need to know about digital resolution?)
    >
    > Also.... is it reasonable to think I could use a digital SLR for
    > weddings and events?
    >
    > Thank you.... more to come.


    Many professional wedding photographers use digital today. That is not
    a problem.

    If you are considering doing it professionally, I suggest going to the
    best camera equipment available today and remember, buy two of everything.
    If you are going to do weddings remember Murphy's law. It means something
    is always going to fail and it will fail right when the bride starts down
    the walkway.

    I would also suggest doing some time working with a professional to
    learn the tricks.

    Finally I suggest you consider a different employment. Weddings are
    tough work and not much pay.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 22, 2006
    #2
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  3. Scott W Guest

    Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    wrote:
    > Hi...
    > I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    > seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    > quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I know
    > digital is the way to go these days...so my question is this....
    >
    > For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...
    >
    > How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10 enough?
    > 16?
    > (is there anything else I may need to know about digital resolution?)
    >
    > Also.... is it reasonable to think I could use a digital SLR for
    > weddings and events?
    >

    I would worry more about low light performance then the number of
    pixels. I would think that the 5D would be just about perfect for
    wedding work, more then enough resolution and you can shoot in low
    light with out the need of a flash.

    Scott
    Scott W, Sep 22, 2006
    #3
  4. ASAAR Guest

    Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    On 22 Sep 2006 09:41:24 -0700, Scott W wrote:

    >> I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    >> seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    >> quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I know
    >> digital is the way to go these days...so my question is this....
    >>
    >> For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...
    >>
    >> How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10 enough?
    >> 16?
    >> (is there anything else I may need to know about digital resolution?)
    >>
    >> Also.... is it reasonable to think I could use a digital SLR for
    >> weddings and events?
    >>

    > I would worry more about low light performance then the number of
    > pixels. I would think that the 5D would be just about perfect for
    > wedding work, more then enough resolution and you can shoot in low
    > light with out the need of a flash.


    While the 5D is a very good camera, it is also quite expensive,
    especially considering the lenses that might be added to the kit.
    Your recommendation would be a good one, say, for a pro film
    photographer looking to switch to digital or another type of pro
    that's developing an interest in weddings. But here we have an
    amateur that only says that in time, he'd "maybe even shoot
    weddings". The OP should understand that wedding photographers
    have successfully used (and are still using) lesser 6mp and 8mp
    digital cameras, which can produce very high quality 11"x14" prints.
    In fact, there are probably many wedding photographers that have
    used or are still using 20Ds for their work. Know any? :)

    Almost any current DSLR would do about everything the OP needs, as
    his stated initial primary concern is learning and practicing.
    Restricting the discussion to Canon and Nikon models, the now
    obsolete Canon 350D and Nikon D70 would do everything he needs, even
    producing very nice 11x14's, and would result in savings of from
    many hundreds to thousands of dollars better spent on lenses and
    lighting equipment (not just flashes). After a couple of years, the
    OP would know quite well whether getting a newer, better camera
    would be justified, and by then would probably know whether getting
    the latest 10mp or 12mp camera would be a good idea, or whether
    switching to a full frame model such as the 5D would be justified.

    Even though the 5D doesn't require as much light as some other
    models doesn't mean that the skilled use of lighting equipment
    wouldn't improve many of the shots it could produce. I wouldn't
    want the OP to think that a 5D requires no lighting assistance for
    wedding photography, especially given that it's one of the DSLRs
    that has no built-in flash. A good external Canon flash would
    provide fill and bounce flash, which any serious amateur
    photographer should be as familiar with as understanding the proper
    use of White Balance as well as the advantages of shooting RAW.
    With a couple of good lenses (preferably IS, right?) and lighting
    equipment, the 5D would make a very nice training and learning
    setup, but would cost thousands of dollars more than many other
    DSLRs that would be just as effective for learning. And they'd also
    be able to produce decent 11x14's even using inexpensive kit lenses
    (if the worst ones are avoided).
    ASAAR, Sep 22, 2006
    #4
  5. Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    wrote:
    > Hi...
    > I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    > seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    > quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I know
    > digital is the way to go these days...so my question is this....
    >
    > For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...
    >
    > How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10 enough?
    > 16?

    [snip]

    Others have answered some of your points. My target is typically to
    print on A3, up to about 11" x 16", for club and external competitions
    & exhibitions. For this purpose, I consider that I need at least 5
    million good pixels after cropping. (More than 5 is a bonus). I
    currently use a 6 MP camera launched 3 or more years ago. (I am likely
    to upgrade to a 10 MP camera).

    I suspect that you have too many requirements mixed together. If you
    want to learn and practise, perhaps you should get a cheap dSLR, (I've
    seen the Pentax K110D at low prices), and learn about all the software
    issues, understanding how to choose between raw and JPEG. Then you will
    be able to make up your own mind, and invest in a system more closely
    matched to your needs.

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/photography/
    Barry Pearson, Sep 22, 2006
    #5
  6. Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    ASAAR wrote:
    > On 22 Sep 2006 09:41:24 -0700, Scott W wrote:
    >
    >>> I am an amateur photographer (35 mm) that is looking to take it more
    >>> seriously and learn and practice... to the point that I can take
    >>> quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even shoot weddings. I
    >>> know digital is the way to go these days...so my question is
    >>> this....
    >>>
    >>> For good quality portrait enlargements up to say 11x14...
    >>>
    >>> How many megapixels should I expect to have to purchase? is 10
    >>> enough? 16?
    >>> (is there anything else I may need to know about digital
    >>> resolution?)
    >>>
    >>> Also.... is it reasonable to think I could use a digital SLR for
    >>> weddings and events?
    >>>

    >> I would worry more about low light performance then the number of
    >> pixels. I would think that the 5D would be just about perfect for
    >> wedding work, more then enough resolution and you can shoot in low
    >> light with out the need of a flash.

    >
    > While the 5D is a very good camera, it is also quite expensive,
    > especially considering the lenses that might be added to the kit.
    > Your recommendation would be a good one, say, for a pro film
    > photographer looking to switch to digital or another type of pro
    > that's developing an interest in weddings. But here we have an
    > amateur that only says that in time, he'd "maybe even shoot
    > weddings".


    I personally believe that anyone even considering doing weddings as a
    professional should be fully aware ahead of time they they need to be
    professional. That includes their equipment and experience. Far too many
    people think doing weddings is easy and fail to deliver. This is not new to
    digital, it was true back in the early 60's when I was starting in
    photography.

    I do believe the 5D would be a good choice and I would agree that there
    are many "professional" photographers using less. However if the price of
    the camera is keeping you out, then likely you don't belong in.



    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 23, 2006
    #6
  7. ASAAR Guest

    Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 00:39:36 GMT, Joseph Meehan wrote:

    > I personally believe that anyone even considering doing weddings as a
    > professional should be fully aware ahead of time they they need to be
    > professional. That includes their equipment and experience. Far too many
    > people think doing weddings is easy and fail to deliver. This is not new to
    > digital, it was true back in the early 60's when I was starting in
    > photography.
    >
    > I do believe the 5D would be a good choice and I would agree that there
    > are many "professional" photographers using less. However if the price of
    > the camera is keeping you out, then likely you don't belong in.


    Wedding photography is difficult, and probably shouldn't be
    self-taught. The sense I got from the OP wasn't that he was gung ho
    to become a wedding photographer though, at least not yet. Did you
    notice that he didn't say that he had a burning desire, but said
    that he:

    > is looking to take it more seriously and learn and practice... to the
    > point that I can take quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even
    > shoot weddings.


    As such, it doesn't seem worthwhile or wise to spend several
    thousands of dollars more for a learning setup than is really
    needed, on the odd chance that several years from now the slight,
    possible interest in wedding photography will actually grow to the
    point where he wants to do something about it. If it happens then,
    he'll be in a more knowledgeable position and should be able to
    select the right equipment for his needs. It might then be an old,
    serviceable 5D, or some new Canon 7D, announced in an '08 or '09
    Photokina. Or maybe he'll hook up with an old pro and want to
    invest in similar equipment so that he has a greater pool of lenses,
    backup bodies & batteries and other equipment to share. He has a
    lot to learn, and the kind of skills he'll need will include people
    skills and organizational skills, not just photographic skills. For
    developing those almost any DSLR will do nicely. If he has plenty
    of money and doesn't mind spending it on a 5D that'll work. But he
    won't learn any more quickly than if he gets a 350D, 400D, 20D or
    30D. One of the ng's Canonista denizens said earlier today that:

    :DJL> You really have to get your money's worth out of a digital body
    :DJL> in the first three years.

    so if a lot of money is going to be put into a camera, it's
    probably best to put it off until the learning phase is over, and
    the equipment has a better chance of earning its keep. :)
    ASAAR, Sep 23, 2006
    #7
  8. Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    ASAAR wrote:
    ....
    >
    > Wedding photography is difficult, and probably shouldn't be
    > self-taught. The sense I got from the OP wasn't that he was gung ho
    > to become a wedding photographer though, at least not yet. Did you
    > notice that he didn't say that he had a burning desire, but said
    > that he:
    >
    >> is looking to take it more seriously and learn and practice... to the
    >> point that I can take quality protraits.... and in time... maybe even
    >> shoot weddings.

    >

    ...
    >
    > so if a lot of money is going to be put into a camera, it's
    > probably best to put it off until the learning phase is over, and
    > the equipment has a better chance of earning its keep. :)


    You made good sense there.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 23, 2006
    #8
  9. Re: - Question: How many megapixels for portraits/wedding photos?

    I depends upon the medium.

    If a photo album is the end result, then figure that decent prints
    require a minimum of 300 dpi. If you are going to have 8x10s then you
    need at least 8 megapixels and if you are going to crop, then you will
    need more. Similarly for 11x14s you need at least 15 megapixels.

    A person wanting perfect results would want 4 times the megapixels so
    they could print at 600 dpi, but that is overkill and the improvement is
    only noticeable upon close inspection.

    An amateur wanting nice results could use half as many pixels and get
    200 dpi which is marginally acceptable if no printing is present. If
    printing is present, then a minimum of 300 dpi is necessary.

    Some people prefer 200 dpi for portrait photography since it softens the
    image.

    If a DVD is the only end result then much less resolution is necessary.

    --
    Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to
    Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
    http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
    Stephen Henning, Sep 23, 2006
    #9
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