Stupid pixel questions - 2mp vs. 3mp at 1mp?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Andy K, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Andy K

    Andy K Guest

    This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!

    I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.

    Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
    Andy K, Nov 11, 2003
    #1
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  2. Andy K

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    Andy K wrote:

    > This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??


    It's not a dumb question at all.

    Higher megapixel cameras achieve much better results
    when the image is shrinked to 1024x768, compared to
    what you'd get from a 1024x768 sensor. Of course
    the most sophisticated the resampling routine in your
    software is, the better are the results (but even cheap
    software can still produce much better results than
    from a smaller sensor.)
     
    Paolo Pizzi, Nov 11, 2003
    #2
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  3. Once upon a time 640x480 looked like crap and 1024 didn't look much better.
    Nowadays, this is not true. There a 1024x768 would probably look fine on all
    three cameras, taking into account the general relative quality of all
    three. A Suggestion: shoot at a higher resolution and resize the photos when
    you want to send email attachments. This may "clog" your hard drive but
    think about archiving your photos to cds.
    Hope this helps.
    Steve
    "Andy K" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Andy
     
    Steven Blackwood, Nov 11, 2003
    #3
  4. Andy K

    yep Guest

    >This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    >I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    >using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    >able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    >able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    >Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    >setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    >5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >


    Get the highest MP camera you can afford to get the best quality
    prints. If you want to email a picture, reduce pixels to 640x480 with
    software and compress as required. I understand some cameras will
    even let you make two copies of a picture in the memory card. A high
    res one for archiving/printing and another low res one for computer
    use.

    Don't use a low res setting unless you are SURE a print will never be
    desired.
     
    yep, Nov 11, 2003
    #4
  5. Andy K:
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??


    You'll be wasting your money. You might as well just stick with the camera
    you've got--you're not even using all of its capability.

    If you want to be able to make nice prints, you should start shooting at the
    maximum resolution and best quality level (i.e. least compression) your
    camera (your current one or a new one) supports. You can always resize
    pictures to email them.

    -Mike
     
    Michael Geary, Nov 11, 2003
    #5
  6. Andy K

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Andy K wrote:

    > This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Andy


    What you propose is buing an Indy race card to tool around town. If you
    have a 2mp camera, you have what you need, both to send data over the
    internet, and to print pictures up to 5x7. Simply take the pictures at
    the max resolution, and then resize them on your computer before
    transmission to others. That way you can decide later to print ANY
    picture, and you can still decide how small to make the files you want
    to send.
    Forget about spending more money on a camera unless there are other
    features you want on the more expensive cameras.
     
    Ron Hunter, Nov 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Andy K

    Road Runner Guest

    I'd actually go for a 3.2 MP camera. With that many MP's you have lots of
    headroom for cropping and you can also resize the end result to 1024x768 and
    save it in that state to save drive space. I think for what you are doing,
    going higher than 3.2 may be overkill.

    --

    regards,
    Michael Abbaticchio
    MVP for Exchange Server
    http://mvps.org/exchange

    "Andy K" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Andy
     
    Road Runner, Nov 11, 2003
    #7
  8. Andy K

    Mark Herring Guest

    On 10 Nov 2003 18:08:00 -0800, (Andy K) wrote:

    >This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    >I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    >using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    >able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    >able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    >Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    >setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    >5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >
    >Thanks!
    >
    >Andy


    First: VGA to save computer space???? Storage is CHEAP. I would
    ALMOST ALWAYS shoot at max resolution and then down-sample when
    necessary.

    Virtually all "popular-price" cameras use the Bayer filter pattern, in
    which the color information has lower resolution than the luminance
    info. This---in early sub Megapixel cameras--led to some pretty bad
    color artifacts. Not a real issue above 2-3 Mpixels, but it it still
    there. Thus, a 4Mp image downsampled to 2 will be better than a
    native 2Mp image. Whether it is better enough to make a differenct to
    you is another matter.

    -Mark


    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Nov 11, 2003
    #8
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Guest

    (Andy K) wrote in message news:<>...
    > This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >
    > I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    > using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    > able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    > able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >
    > Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    > setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    > 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Andy



    Is there a simple way to take 50 3mp images, and re-size all of them
    to 1mp? I have Photoshop light...can I "select all" and do a group
    re-size? It's annoying to pull up an image on my PC monitor that is
    3-times the size of the screen!
     
    Andy K, Nov 11, 2003
    #9
  10. "Mark Herring" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 10 Nov 2003 18:08:00 -0800, (Andy K) wrote:


    > First: VGA to save computer space???? Storage is CHEAP. I would
    > ALMOST ALWAYS shoot at max resolution and then down-sample when
    > necessary.


    Gotta agree there.

    > Virtually all "popular-price" cameras use the Bayer filter pattern, in
    > which the color information has lower resolution than the luminance
    > info. This---in early sub Megapixel cameras--led to some pretty bad
    > color artifacts. Not a real issue above 2-3 Mpixels, but it it still
    > there. Thus, a 4Mp image downsampled to 2 will be better than a
    > native 2Mp image. Whether it is better enough to make a differenct to
    > you is another matter.


    This is exactly right. Bayer images get interpolatively upsampled during
    color interpolation, so (smartly) interpolating back down doesn't truncate
    much optical color infromatio, and averages in estimated luminance
    information, until you go below about 25% of the total pixel size. A Foveon
    image will truncate right away upon downsampling, unless it is output at an
    interpolated size to begin with.

    The bottom line is that you will definitely benefit, almost proportionately,
    from buying a 5MP Bayer camera and interpolatively down-sampling to 1.5MP
    over the priginal output from a 1.5MP Bayer camera. But again drive space
    is cheap, and your printer will do the same thing for you when printing
    within pre-determined dimensions, so why bother?
     
    George Preddy, Nov 11, 2003
    #10
  11. Andy K

    mcgyverjones Guest

    "Andy K" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Is there a simple way to take 50 3mp images, and re-size all of them
    > to 1mp? I have Photoshop light...can I "select all" and do a group
    > re-size? It's annoying to pull up an image on my PC monitor that is
    > 3-times the size of the screen!


    Yes you can batch resize in many programs, but for viewing why not use
    irfanview? It'll resize to your screen automatically whatever the image
    size.

    MJ
     
    mcgyverjones, Nov 12, 2003
    #11
  12. Andy K

    Mark Herring Guest

    On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 04:41:20 +0900, "George Preddy"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Mark Herring" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On 10 Nov 2003 18:08:00 -0800, (Andy K) wrote:

    >
    >> First: VGA to save computer space???? Storage is CHEAP. I would
    >> ALMOST ALWAYS shoot at max resolution and then down-sample when
    >> necessary.

    >
    >Gotta agree there.
    >
    >> Virtually all "popular-price" cameras use the Bayer filter pattern, in
    >> which the color information has lower resolution than the luminance
    >> info. This---in early sub Megapixel cameras--led to some pretty bad
    >> color artifacts. Not a real issue above 2-3 Mpixels, but it it still
    >> there. Thus, a 4Mp image downsampled to 2 will be better than a
    >> native 2Mp image. Whether it is better enough to make a differenct to
    >> you is another matter.

    >
    >This is exactly right. Bayer images get interpolatively upsampled during
    >color interpolation, so (smartly) interpolating back down doesn't truncate
    >much optical color infromatio, and averages in estimated luminance
    >information, until you go below about 25% of the total pixel size. A Foveon
    >image will truncate right away upon downsampling, unless it is output at an
    >interpolated size to begin with.
    >
    >The bottom line is that you will definitely benefit, almost proportionately,
    >from buying a 5MP Bayer camera and interpolatively down-sampling to 1.5MP
    >over the priginal output from a 1.5MP Bayer camera. But again drive space
    >is cheap, and your printer will do the same thing for you when printing
    >within pre-determined dimensions, so why bother?
    >

    My god, George: You were making sense until you got to the "F" word.
    Can you not give advice without jumping into the Foveom pulpit?

    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Nov 12, 2003
    #12
  13. Andy K

    eug k Guest

    Andy K <> wrote:
    > (Andy K) wrote in message news:<>...
    >> This may be a dumb question, so forgive me!
    >>
    >> I have had a Nikon Coolpix 800 2.1MP camera since 2000. I've been
    >> using it on it's VGA setting (640x480) to save computer space, and be
    >> able to email photos without jamming people's computers. I want to be
    >> able to print 5x7's now, and can't at the small VGA setting.
    >>
    >> Question is: If I buy a 3-4-5 MP camera, and mostly use the 1024x768
    >> setting, will the results be identical on all 3 cameras, or does the
    >> 5mp camera shine even at it's low setting??
    >>
    >> Thanks!
    >>
    >> Andy

    >
    >
    > Is there a simple way to take 50 3mp images, and re-size all of them
    > to 1mp? I have Photoshop light...can I "select all" and do a group
    > re-size? It's annoying to pull up an image on my PC monitor that is
    > 3-times the size of the screen!


    do you mean Photoshop Elements? You should be able to create an action that
    resizes pics.

    Personally I use ACDSee. just select all the files and press ctrl-R.


    --
    is a valid email address. Don't remove anything!
     
    eug k, Nov 12, 2003
    #13
  14. Andy K

    Andy K Guest

    "mcgyverjones" <mcgyverjones(spamout)@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<Njfsb.3561$>...
    > "Andy K" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Is there a simple way to take 50 3mp images, and re-size all of them
    > > to 1mp? I have Photoshop light...can I "select all" and do a group
    > > re-size? It's annoying to pull up an image on my PC monitor that is
    > > 3-times the size of the screen!

    >
    > Yes you can batch resize in many programs, but for viewing why not use
    > irfanview? It'll resize to your screen automatically whatever the image
    > size.
    >
    > MJ


    IRFanview? I'll have to check that out! Aside from needing a new
    camera, I also need a new PC--I have a 3-year-old Dell w/P650--and a
    dial-up connection! Kill me!
     
    Andy K, Nov 12, 2003
    #14
  15. Andy K

    Andy K Guest

    Re: Resizing?

    > > Is there a simple way to take 50 3mp images, and re-size all of them
    > > to 1mp? I have Photoshop light...can I "select all" and do a group
    > > re-size? It's annoying to pull up an image on my PC monitor that is
    > > 3-times the size of the screen!

    >
    > do you mean Photoshop Elements? You should be able to create an action that
    > resizes pics.
    >
    > Personally I use ACDSee. just select all the files and press ctrl-R.


    I tried irfanview...and Microsoft Photo Editor. When I resize a 4mp
    JPEG image to fit my one monitor, the image distorts and gets jagged
    edges all over the place--in other words, looks worse than the
    original image. How can this be avoided when re-sizing??
     
    Andy K, Nov 13, 2003
    #15
  16. Andy K

    imagejunkie Guest

    Re: Resizing?

    If you're using Irfanview, go to the View Menu and select Display Options
    then Fit Images to Window. This will allow you to comfortably,
    automatically view the full image without having to Resize it. (Keeping the
    full image size will be important later when you want to print it.)
     
    imagejunkie, Nov 13, 2003
    #16
  17. Andy K

    imagejunkie Guest

    Re: Resizing?

    By the way, if you truly do need to resize (to have lower res images for the
    web or whatever), try Easy Thumbnails which can be found at
    http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs/ This is freeware and does a wonderful job
    of creating smaller image files, either singly or in batch mode.
     
    imagejunkie, Nov 13, 2003
    #17
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