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Digital Camera capable of producing poster size prints?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by astateoftrance, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. astateoftrance

    astateoftrance
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    Hi,

    I am looking to purchase a digital camera which is of a high enough standard for me to be able to print of poster sized prints in the region of A3-A2 size. I am not a photo enthusiast or anything so I don't need the prints to be perfect.

    I also need the camera to have options for both quick and long exposures as I plan on using it around the world in countries such as Egypt where the sun is very strong.

    Ideally I need a wide-angle/panoramic feature as well.

    I'm not really sure how much i should expect to spend on it. But I definitely won't be paying more than £1000

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    No digital camera can produce that size print straight from the camera but as long as you have a camera that has a resolution of at least 5MP and ideally 6MP you can easily do this.

    I quite regulary create A2 and A0 prints from my Canon 10D by careful resizing in Photoshop.

    Resolution isnt everything though and if you have a naff lens you still wont capture the right quality.

    If you can afford it I would highly recommend getting either the Canon 300D or the Nikon D70. Either of these camera's will create superb prints at the size you want but they may be out of your budget depending on what lens/lenses you choose to go with them.

    If a DSLR just isnt in your budget then check out some of the Coolpix range from Nikon and some of the 4-5MP range from Fuji
     
  3. Thrash

    Thrash
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    Also the Canon G5 can be found for well under £400 now.
     
  4. astateoftrance

    astateoftrance
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    thx 4 the info guys. There are a few things i don't understand though.

    1. What do you mean about the resizing in paintshop?

    2. What is the difference between a DSLR and a normal camera?
    (i have tried searching for this info but cannot find it)
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    1. the pictures taken on a digi cam can be set to different sizes. As stated none of the options will be as large as A3 etc and therefore you will need to edit them in software such as Photoshop to enlarge it to the required size. This is similar to getting an enlargement from a negative in a standard photo lab. Enlarging will reduce quality, but if the picture was good enough to start with the loss will not be too noticeable.

    2. A DSLR is a digicam that has removeable lenses. Normal digicams have a fixed lens. Obviously a DSLR is much bigger than the standard pocket cam, but the quality will be much better as the lens will be bigger, getting more light onto the CCD and therefore much better for creating posters. You can get slightly cheaper & smaller DSLR style cameras with a fixed lens such as my Minolta Dimage7. They are still quite large and will tend to cost somewhere between the £200 pocket cams and the expensive £1000+ DSLR's and might well be good enough for what you need. They come with a fixed lens and therefore you do not need to buy expensive removeable lenses.

    Mark.
     
  6. alfablue

    alfablue
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    I have a Nikon 5700 (SLR - like) (5mp, good lens, 8x zoom, can get good quality wide and tele attachments) which will do A3 pretty well (with a Canon i9100 printer). I think they can be had for around £500 now.

    I think the offerings from Fuji & Cannon are also good. I had a Fuji 6900 slr-like, excellent useability, I upgraded to the Nikon last year for more mp's and an 8x zoom, but the new top-end fuji of this type competes with the Nikon on features, but at a lower price - they are bulkier, slightly less well built, but benefit from dual media slots and use AA batteries. An S602 can be had for under £360 now!

    The Nikon is fairly compact and very well built and very nice to handle - the only downside I have found is the lack of a focus assist light, and only partial integration with Nikon Speedlights (which I can't afford anyway) . I think there is a newer model that fixes this (the 8700)

    http://www.waltersphotovideo.co.uk/walters/details.php?id=nik8700

    But at that price I think I would spend another £100 and get a true SLR.

    I think Canon and Nikon have both introduced digital SLR's in the £800 to £900 mark, both 6mp, but more if bought win a kit with 2 zoom lenses, which would be ideal. I would be very tempted...

    http://www.waltersphotovideo.co.uk/walters/details.php?id=d70

    http://www.waltersphotovideo.co.uk/walters/details.php?id=eos300dkit

    They would be attractive to me because even if I opt for the cheapest lens to start, it should be possible to improve on this via secondhand market, as I think the lenses are the same as their film camera ranges. I think such a purchase would be fairly future-resistant compared to a non-SLR because of the lens choice, of course higher mp cameras will come on stream at this price eventually, but 6mp with a good lens is pretty handy!


    Mark: as for resizing (I use paint shop pro), I can change the image size, but I can also increase resolution in the software. Is this going to improve the print (I guess it's some sort of interpolation), and if so, what should I aim for for good A3+ size results?

    Many thanks
     
  7. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Then there's always the Minolta A2:-

    'SLR-Like'
    8mp
    28-200mm zoom
    'Anti-Shake' mechanism
    Choice of normal digital 4:3 ratio, or 3:2 ratio (as used by traditional film cameras). If you decide to shoot in 3:2 ratio, you then don't need to crop your 6x4 photos at the top and bottom as with most other digital cameras.
    Excellent LCD monitor that you can actually see in bright daylight!

    This costs about £650

    http://www.digitalfirst.co.uk/camdetail.asp?ProdID=1391&cat=Cameras
     
  8. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    Sorry I should have explained that better.

    As everyone else has said a DSLR is a camera that has removable lenses. However a DSLR is not really a point and shoot camera and although you can put them on auto modes and take decent shots with them, you won't get the performance to justify their cost unless you know how to use apperture and shutter priority etc.

    As Thrash mentioned the Canon G5 has come down in price and really is an excellent camera and well worth checking out.

    Ultimately any camera with a resolution of at least 5MP will produce the print size you want but as I mentioned before resolution isn't everything and unless you have a good lens those 5MP might as well be 3MP. A DSLR will typically have much better lenses than any compact camera on the market but the lenses are expensive. You can pick up one or two cheap lenses from Sigma for £99 but to be honest they really are not that great but may do for your trip and until you are confident with using a DSLR. As a rule of thumb a decent lens, depending on the focal length etc, would cost between £200-£350. The Canon 300D and the Nikon D70 both are availiable with various lens bundles that offer excellent value for money.

    However I would imagine that a compact camera may be more suited to you as its less to carry around, easier to use and cheaper than a DSLR.

    Check out the Canon G5 I don't think you would be dissapointed, oh and the Minolta A2 is also superb but the Canon would get my vote due to the price. With the money you would save you could afford to buy a digital wallet to download your pictures too whilst on your travels and then download them to your PC when you get home, that way you could take 1000's of pictures to remind you of Egypt.
     
  9. astateoftrance

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    thx every1, u've been gr8 help.
     
  10. alfablue

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    Peak

    Got any recommendations on the digital wallet?
     
  11. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Any increase in resolution with software would be interpolation. All software will give different results with different effects. What works in one prog may well look poor with another. I'm afraid that to get the best results it really is a matter of trial and error. Many of these progs will 'improve' a picture automatically when you resize etc and often work very well.
    Obviously when printing an A3 photo trial and error costs a lot of money.

    Mark.
     
  12. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    Personally speaking I like to keep these things as basic as possible. There are loads of fancy ones on the market that come with colour screens to allow you to view your shots but the price of those tends to be around £250-£300 which personally I think is too much.

    I use the X's-Drive which is very basic, just has two buttons - power and copy, but reliable.

    In the UK the prices of these can be on the high size but if you do what I did you can build one for less than half price!

    I bought just the bare unit, no drive, from a store in the USA. They delivered it to my door for £65, then all I needed was a 2.5" hard drive and got a 40GB one off Ebay for £37. Installing the drive takes about 5 minutes and is dead simple but you must have the means of formatting and partitioning a 2.5" drive.

    In the UK a 40GB model costs around £239 but I built mine for £112 and it works like a charm.

    As I shoot in RAW 99% of the time a digital wallett is essential for me but is also very useful for anyone who is going to be away from a PC for any length of time.
     
  13. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Great information Peak

    I have 2 questions:

    What was the US store and did you pay duty when it arrived, and what facilities do you need to format the drive - I presume it has a usb or fire wire, so can it be done via windows, or what?
     
  14. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    The company I got it from was Mydigitaldiscount.com and No I didn't have to pay any duty but that doesnt mean to say that if you do the same you won't either, I just got lucky. However, even if you do pay duty you will still be making one hell of a saving.

    Just one other thing. If you buy a X's-Drive from the USA it will come with a USA power supply. You can buy an adpator for it to work in the UK or do what I did and buy the UK power supply for it from card-media.co.uk for £6.

    Also your warrenty will be for the USA and not the UK but the way I figured it, at that price, I could afford to buy a second one if my one fails!

    HTH
     
  15. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    Oh and I forgot to mention. It is a USB device but you cannot format it via USB.

    Instead you either need to put the drive into a laptop to format it or, I believe, there is either a cable or an adaptor that you can buy that allows you to connect a 2.5" drive to a desktop PC.
     
  16. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Thanks Peak - the final piece of the jigsaw.

    I think you could connect the drive to a pc temporarily, the existing HD leads usually have a spare connector - it may be that 2.5" drives need a narrower connector hence an adapor - maybe someone will know. It only needs to "dangle" in there so a drive bay adaptor shouldn't be necessary.

    I feel a project coming on...

    By the way - you have an excellent web site
     
  17. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    Yes the 2.5" drive does have a narrower connector than a 'normal' drive and IIRC the power connector is different too. However I know that there is a way of fitting these into a desktop PC in order to format them as my IT department at work have done this in the past.

    It is really worth doing, once you have a wallett you will wonder how you did without one.

    Thanks for the compliments on my web site :D
     
  18. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Yes - I had a nasty experience with my 512mb card in Australia this year. I was deleting individual pictures to get a bit more space but accidently (clumsily) deleted the whole lot! Some of the pictures nearly cost me my life (heat exhaustion in the wilderness - alone! - another example of clumsiness!), - I was gutted. A digital wallet would reduce the risk of such traumas.

    When I got home I was able to recover all the pictures, amazingly

    ( www.image-rescue.co.uk )

    Anyway - digital wallet here I come!
     

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