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Old 01-10-2006, 08:35 PM   #1
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on my digi camera i bought the other day ya can select 5 different sizes

1m = 1024 x 768
2m= 1600 x 1200
3m = 2048 x 1536
4M = 2272 x 1704
5m = 2592 x 1944

anyway i took 5 different pictures of the same thing then put them on the computer and there all the same size and look the same how are they suppose to be different? i know the lower one ya choose the more pics ya can take so wtf?
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:03 PM   #2
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You're seeing them the same size because that's what your software is setting all photos as viewable. If you view the photos as actual size there will be a big difference. Also if you use the "zoom" function (it frequently looks like an eyeglass with a + in the middle) you'll be able to get up way closer on the 5mp photos than the 1.

Mostly it has to do with whether or not you'll want to get prints made from your pictures. The higher megapixels you use, the more detail and better-quality photographs you'll get. That said, I have some absolutely beautiful photos taken with my old 2mp camera.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:08 PM   #3
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usually anything above 2-3mp is enough for printing very very good 4x6's but if you plan on blowing anything up set it as high as you can to prevent the pics from becoming grainy
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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I rarely print my photos, but I still use the highest setting (5mp in my case) just to get the best resolution photos.. That way if you shrink them down for the web, you're starting with a better source, since the camera's going to compress your photo anyway (usually as a JPG) leaving a bit of artifacting... the higher the resolution, the less of an issue this is when you shrink it down later on!
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:56 AM   #5
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I shoot at 1600x1200 usually with my dimage 7hi.

I've made 8x10 prints using a 1.3 mp camera. there's more to image quality than megapixels.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by d_fresh@Jan 11 2006, 12:56 PM
I've made 8x10 prints using a 1.3 mp camera. there's more to image quality than megapixels.
[snapback]98163[/snapback]
Yep.
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:45 PM   #7
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thanxs guys
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:32 AM   #8
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That's right. They all look the same on your monitor because your monitor probably only has about 1 Mp worth of resolution, so the bigger photos would take an array of five monitors to see all of the pixels at once. Or you could "view actual size" and only look at 1/5 of the pixels at once and scroll around. Or you could make a large print, which is the true value of megapixels.

Usually about 4 MP is good for most size prints most people will make (up to about 11 x 14, depending on how close you're standing to the print). I know many people who leave their 6 Mp camera set on 3 Mp most of the time to "save memory". WTF- you already spent way more on the camera to get those extra pixels, and storage is cheap at about a dollar per gigabyte. I think you'll appreciate having the extra pixels five or 10 years down the road. Remember- 5 years ago 3 mp was huge, and people were probably turning it down to 1.5 to save space. Many of these people probably wish they hadn't done that now. The only time it usually makes sense to turn the Mp rating down is for pics where you're just fooling around...maybe at a club or at dinner or something, and you know the image won't be great anyway OR if you are ONLY taking the picture for email. Other than that, crank it up. You can always size it down for email later, and storage is cheap. You never know which photo is going to turn out spectacular, so just leave it at a high setting. Shooting at a higher mp also lets you be more creative in cropping your picture later on while still having enough resolution for a good print. This is very important.

That said, I usually use the 2nd best compression setting. The pics come out at about 1/2 the file size and you'd be hard-pressed to see a quality difference without a loop. I only turn it up to the max quality compression setting when I know the photo will be special for some reason...maybe a family portrait or something.

Also, on my upcoming Thailand trip (tomorrow!) my camera will probably be on 5 mp 1/3 the time and 7 mp the other 2/3. Five is still pretty damn good though. I'll use the 5 mp setting for the pictures that journal our trip (e.g. here is where we stayed, here is the sleeper train, here are some people we met, etc.) and I'll use the 7 mp setting for pictures of detailed architecture, beautiful scenery, sunsets, and more artistic photography in general. I'm taking several 1 Gb memory cards, which are about 85x to 150x as expensive as hard drive or dvd storage, so memory definitely isn't cheap in this case! I'm hoping to find places to burn my pictures to CD or DVD along the way though, and if this proves easy and affordable enough I'll probably just leave it on 7 mp all of the time.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:37 PM   #9
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here's a good article on megapixels:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm
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Old 01-13-2006, 05:23 PM   #10
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That article is a little heavy handed. While there are other very important features besides megapixels, like software and lens quality, the number of megapixels is still very important. For instance, at a recent office party, someone was snapping away on a Canon E-20 DSLR with an L-series lens. This is THOUSANDS of dollars worth of top of the line gear. Unfortunately, they forgot to move the setting up from the 640 x 480 the previous person used. Needless to say, all the 4x6 prints they handed out were terrible, although they don't look too bad on the monitor. Mind you that a 0.3 mp 4x6 is only slightly less pixels per square inch than the 1.3 mp 8x10 mentioned earlier

So, while megapixels aren't the only thing, you shouldn't underestimate their importance either. But yeah...I'd rather have a 4 mp Canon or Fuji than a 7 mp low-end camera.
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:32 PM   #11
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well that's kind of the point...I mean so many companies harp on MP and try to sell you on that...meanwhile their lenses are garbage. the average person buys into that thinking they're getting quality for cheap.
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by d_fresh@Jan 14 2006, 02:32 AM
well that's kind of the point...I mean so many companies harp on MP and try to sell you on that...meanwhile their lenses are garbage. the average person buys into that thinking they're getting quality for cheap.
[snapback]98600[/snapback]
^ Which is exactly why I decided to stick with the 5mp version of my camera (Canon A610) instead of 'upgrading' to the 7mp one (A620) with the exact same lens.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:48 PM   #13
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jesus christ @dam you know your camera shit.... thanx man
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by chelseafc05@Jan 14 2006, 12:48 AM
jesus christ @dam you know your camera shit.... thanx man
[snapback]98618[/snapback]
Thanks. I always have to research the hell out of things before I buy something like that.

In case you're curious, I wound up with the Canon SD500 7.1 mp sub-compact. My very close second choice was the Fuji F10. It is a bit cheaper (but it takes more expensive memory cards), and it takes awesome low-light photos. Regular daylight photos weren't quite as good though, and I like the user interface and all of the options on the Canon better. If the Fuji F11 (like the F10, but with manual controls) were available in the U.S. I probably would've gotten that one instead.

Well, I'm off to Thailand now. Talk to you all in a few weeks
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