How many MegaPixels to print 8X10

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by tk, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. tk

    tk Guest

    I am looking into buying a digital camera and would like to know the minimum
    amount of megapixels it would take to print a good quality 8 x 10 print.
    Many of
    the manufactures literature state that 3.2 megapixels is enough. Is this
    tk, Aug 22, 2004
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  2. Yes. 2 megapixels really works quite well; better than most consumer
    snapshot film cameras. Until the lighting and sharpness of the photo
    are up to first-class standards, there's not much point in worrying
    about the resolution being above snapshot standards.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Aug 22, 2004
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  3. tk

    grenner Guest

    3.2 will work just fine.
    grenner, Aug 22, 2004
  4. tk

    Jem Raid Guest

    I suppose it depends on what you are used to, compare a 10 x 8 from 35mm 400
    ASA Kodak Tri-X film and there's not a lot of difference, though the print
    from the film will still be better quality. Same film on 2.1/4 Sq, forget
    it, not even in the same street.

    But, show the average person in the street a 10 x 8 from a 3 to 4 Mp digital
    camera and they will be ecstatic, esp if the subject is something they like.
    Photographers tend to look closely at prints, the average person just looks
    at the picture as a whole. And they are quite right, when looking at a
    painting people stand back, will sometimes go close to get the effect of it
    disintegrating and then reforming as they step away again. More
    photographers should be aware of this, stop looking at the techie info and
    make more pictures, that is what the cameras are for.

    Jem Raid, Aug 22, 2004
  5. tk

    Ryadia Guest

    The quality of the image is more important than the pixel count. I
    frequently make 8x10s from my daughter's 1.4 Mp. camera using 'QImage'.
    This program interpolates the image to the right size for the printer.
    And don't be fooled by those who say it can't be done.

    Interpolation is widespread, used on almost every image you print
    without your knowledge and does indeed produce very good results. Have a
    look at some of techno aussies stuff here: most of his monster wall art
    size prints are interpolated up from small negatives or digital files.

    Ryadia, Aug 22, 2004
  6. tk

    Ryadia Guest

    If what you say is true Ron (and it is not) a Canon 10D with a 6 Mp
    sensor could not produce an 8x10 print. Rubbish! I frequently make A3
    and A2 size prints from my 10D files. The new printer I have, along with
    Photoshop produces prints (so far) 20" x 34" with no evidence of digital
    break up. Http:// I expect to make panoramas
    24" x 60" from 2 or 3 images from the 10D next week. Do your sums on the
    size/mega pixel thing for an image that size. Certainly need bundles
    more mega pixie's than the 12 or 18 I'll be using - according to your

    Ryadia, Aug 22, 2004
  7. tk

    Jem Raid Guest

    That is very interesting, I downloaded the trial.


    Jem Raid, Aug 22, 2004
  8. tk

    PhAnTOmaS Guest

    It'll be fine with just 1 or 2 mp, but need use a chemical process to reveal
    PhAnTOmaS, Aug 22, 2004
  9. tk

    EF in FLA Guest

    Why is that tree branch blocking the lighthouse on that calendar cover shot?
    That pole on the left side should have been cropped out too.

    EF in FLA, Aug 22, 2004
  10. tk

    grim Guest

    Then your pictures don't have much detail in them. A 6MP camera making
    20"x34" prints will be using about 83 ppi. At that resolution, an image with
    detail in it (like a landscape) would certainly show blurring. If you hang
    the print on a wall that's a fair distance away from the observer, they
    wouldn't be able to tell. But close up, it would not look very crisp.

    Then again, different people have different standards, so if you're happy
    with it...
    grim, Aug 22, 2004
  11. Using my Canon A40 Powershot I recorded macro photos of a shell at about
    1.4 megapixels. Putting this file through photoshop and setting the
    resolution at 300 DPI I created several examples that were now 200-300
    megabytes in size and printed out as 24X36 posters. The color,
    resolution and contrast were all manipulated in Photoshop and the
    resulting prints show no sign of pixelation. The input is somewhat
    immaterial if you have the ability to manipulate the output and have
    access to a quality printing service.
    John Enockson, Aug 22, 2004
  12. tk

    bob Guest

    In addition to the comments others have made regarding your preferences,
    there are two other things to keep in mind:

    1) Not all megapixels are the same. Some digital cameras make nice clean
    images, but some have bad compression and poor colors. A good quality
    camera with 3.2 Mp will produce results that most people would consider
    "good" or even "great."

    2) Some subject matter can be compellingly reproduced with lower pixel
    counts. If you want to see individual grass blades in a marsh shot you need
    more pixels than if you want soft focus closeups of kids.

    bob, Aug 22, 2004
  13. tk

    grim Guest

    Yeah okay, sure pal. Your 1.4 MP camera is just as good as a 1000 MP camera.
    I suggest you're better off investing in eye glasses than a quality printer.
    grim, Aug 22, 2004
  14. tk

    Bob Williams Guest

    It all depends on how picky you are about image quality.
    In general, MORE pixels are better....BUT...
    I have made nice 8 x 10s with my 2 MP camera.
    I have made better 8 x 10 images with my 4 MP camera.
    Your print quality is also highly dependent on the printer AND the paper
    you use to print on.
    A rule of thumb many of us use for excellent quality prints is:
    At least 240 pixels/inch. (8 x240) X (10 x 240)= 4.6 MP
    However a good photo editor can resample your image from 4.0 to 4.6 MP
    with NO discernible degradation in quality.
    Good 4-5 MP cameras are so reasonable today, that I would go for a 4-5MP
    rather than try to save a few bucks by dropping down to 3.2
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Aug 22, 2004
  15. tk

    Ryadia Guest

    Hey Grim...
    Open your mind to possibilities. Even a relatively cheap flatbed scanner
    and a grossly under exposed negative can produce what you say cannot be

    Ryadia, Aug 22, 2004
  16. tk

    Ryadia Guest

    It's called interpolation, Ron.

    Your insinuation that "Pros in the newsgroup" are somehow different from
    Pros who make a living from their work is putting down people you don't
    know. A major part of my business is taking relatively small image files
    and producing 8x10 and larger photos from them. I charge for the
    service. I doubt I could sustain that part of my business in the area I
    trade, if the quality was not there.

    If you ever bothered to explore the process of enlarging digital images,
    you just might realise that company's like Durst (who produce the Lambda
    laser powered photo printers) or their customers who pay $250,000 for
    the equipment, could not exist without interpolation software. They
    could not exist either if they had to rely on "Pros in the newgroup" who
    are all too willing to post messages claiming what these machines do,
    cannot be done. I think they put their Loupe in the wrong end of their
    body most of the time.

    The purpose of a loupe in a professional photographer's kit is to check
    sharpness of transparencies and "see" what the trannie has without first
    getting a print enlarged from it. There is absolutely no value to
    anyone, to use a loupe of any magnification on a print you can't even
    see the edges of unless you stand back to look at it.

    Ryadia, Aug 22, 2004
  17. tk

    Arthur Small Guest

    The printer is the weakest link. If you are using a dye sub printer 3.2 is
    great. Some ink jet printers may not be able to produce a good 4 x 6.
    Commercial labs can print a very good 11 x14 or even 16 x 20 from a 3.2 MP
    Arthur Small, Aug 22, 2004
  18. tk

    Ryadia Guest

    Because it is not a picture of the lighthouse! The lighthouse is a
    'prop' in the scene, just as the people sitting in front of it are. The
    picture is of a recrational area in the Redlands of Queensland
    (Australia) and that is what the photos inside the calendar seek to
    This is a picture of the lighthouse:

    Ryadia, Aug 22, 2004
  19. tk

    Bob Fusillo Guest

    Often one does not want "detail." I have taken lots of informal portraits at
    the lowest definition setting on my camera. The 8 x 6 " prints look quite
    nice, and are kind to complexions.
    Bob Fusillo, Aug 23, 2004
  20. tk

    Bob Fusillo Guest

    I recently exhibited a 30 x 20 portrait print made with Tiff. on a 2.3
    Olympus. One can see gradations in the nose hairs of the subject. That's
    enough for me. (With an Epson 750.)
    Bob Fusillo, Aug 23, 2004
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