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Do I need 3MP?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Ian Carter, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Ian Carter

    Ian Carter
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    Looking at getting a digi cam and am taken with the Canon A60 & A70.

    The A60 is 2MP and the A70 is 3MP, but that seems to be the only differece. If I just want to have 7"x5" 'holiday snaps' printed off would the A60 be adequate?

    Thanks
     
  2. Peakoverload

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    Well you have kind of answered your own question. The A60 would be adequate but the A70 would be better.

    If all you are ever likely to do is print 7"x5" then the A60 will give you good results for that size. However I would say that one of the key differences between film photography and digital photography is that with digital you always see your pictures first on a screen which is much bigger than your traditional film print. When you see your pictures this big you do start to think that you would like to print them big too and with home photo printers giving superb results these days its all totally possible at very little cost.

    So with that in mind the 2MP of the A60 won't give prints much above the 7"x5" without good interpolation and even then, due to the sensor used, it won't be as good as it could be. The A70 though will be able to make prints up to A4 size without too many problems and indeed on my old 3MP camera I was able to produce a print that was 15"x10" (Using my 6MP camera I have now created a 44"x30" print!!).

    So basically its a judgement call. If you honestly will never want to go above 7"x5" go for the A60 but if the A70 isnt too much more money and you would like the ability to successfully create larger prints as and when you may wish to, then go for the A70.
     
  3. Ian Carter

    Ian Carter
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    Thankyou Peakoverload for your detailed response. The A70 is £210 and the A60 only £130 - hence my dilema - £80 for something I may or maynot need/use. I'm drawn to the Canons because the use Compact Flash memory which is so much cheaper than the XD cards the Fuji's use.
     
  4. MarkE19

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    The other thing to look at with putting your pics on a PC is that you can crop them to cut out unwanted areas of the pic. This is fine for small crops, but if useing this to enlarge a small area of a pic the lower res will start to show pixelation a lot sooner.
    Of course, if you always take a perfect pic then you wont need to do this :devil:

    Mark.
     
  5. alfablue

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    I agree with Mark's point, more MP is like having a better optical
    zoom if you crop your pictures to enlarge the subject. So a 3mp with 3x zoom is better than a 2mp with 4x optical zoom, in my opinion (both A60 & A70 have 3x, but if comparing to other models). You can get nearer to the subject, in effect.

    I bought an A60 for an xmas gift as the price was amazing, given that this is a highly competent camera with all the manual settings found on more expensive ones. Apart from the mp, the A60 is very impressive in quality, build, size and features. For the recipient of my gift the camera is just fine (and it is better than any other at the price as far as i know), but for anyone hoping to be more creative, and perhaps print decent size prints for framing and wall mounting, 3mp is the way to go.

    Both cameras have advanced features missing on many much more expensive cameras (like my Nikon 5700 - £700) such as focus illumination. They use regular NIMH AA's (great) and CF cards - very good and now very cheap format.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the A70 drops in price as well in the not too distant future.
     
  6. Ian Carter

    Ian Carter
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    Thanks chaps - I don't actually have a printer at home so I would have to get any printing done elsewhere. I saw that boots were doing 50 7x5 prints for a fiver recently. I guess that bigger prints will cost a lot more.

    Is 7x5 the limit for a 2MP? Is there a site with this kind of info on ie size of picture for no of pixels?
     
  7. alfablue

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    Just to add, Fuji's tend to give great picture quality, especially in terms of colour, but they seem to be more flimsy, and some models are less "pocketable" than the A60, because of their shape. But some models do have bigger zooms, though some of the cheaper models lack some of the manual features and are more "point and shoot". Personally I much prefer the ability to adjust things to get the best shot.

    I would choose CF over XD too, but on the other hand, XD have a theoretical capacity of 8GB which is amazing. I reckon XD's will get pretty cheap in about a years time, though maybe never as cheap as CF as only a few manufacturers use them (Fuji & Olympus). They are supposed to write more quickly (not so much of an issue on a lower mp camera) and permit more compact camera designs.

    If or when XD comes of age it should allow for some amazing cameras with good speed, storage and size. Maybe in 2 years this will be the way to go, by then you will be ready to upgrade anyway.
     
  8. Peakoverload

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    You can do the maths yourself. Its easy when you know how.

    A 2MP camera will produce an image that is 1,600 pixels across x 1,200 pixels down.

    That gives you the photos physical size but in order to work out the print size you need to divide both figures by your print resolution. Magazines and professionals ideally print at a resolution of 300dpi.

    This would mean that a print from a 2MP camera would be (1600/300)x 1200/300) = 5.33"x4"

    However you can easily get away with dropping the resolution down to 240dpi which would then mean a 2MP camera could produce a print at 6.66"x 5" (basically your 7"x5" print) to get any bigger than that you would have to either drop the resolution further - not a good idea although you may get away with dropping a little bit more but that still wont get you anywhere near A4, or you will have to interpolate it. This is certainly possible but interpolation can't perform miracles and tends to work better with higher resolution images anyway.

    A 3MP camera though produces files that are 2,048 x 1,536 pixels

    At 300dpi this would mean a print size of 6.82"x 5.12".
    At 240dpi this would mean a print size of 8.53"x 6.4"

    With just a little bit of interpolation you could easily get an A4 print you may even just get away with dropping the resolution further in order to achieve this.

    HTH
     
  9. GrahamC

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    Go for the A70 you will use the higher pixel count. The ability to crop and have more resolution left after you crop will give you more successful images from each shoot because of the ability to crop. :confused:

    sounded a lot more together in me ed.....:rolleyes:
     
  10. woody67

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    Its not just about pixels, the sensor type, the lens quality and compression software counts too.

    Do you think some of those cheap 4mp no-name models are going to give the same image as a 4mp unit from a 'proper' manufacturer?

    I mainly used an Olympus C960 for a couple of years. This was 1.3MP but the images were excellent for 'normal' prints and viewing on screen. It is still used now and gives very good results.

    Obviously the more the merrier, but a 2mp Canon is fine for normal snaps.

    Also consider the capabilities of your printer and the possiblity of the occasional enlarged print. If price difference is not that great, then go for the 3mp unit
     
  11. nagasakiblue

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  12. duffduff

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    simple, i have a a60 and its great + works really well with the cp300 printer.
    With the price difference you can afford to buy proper batteries and a charger, a case and a bigger capacity card !
     
  13. Ian Carter

    Ian Carter
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    Thanks people all replies have been really helpful. The above was the kind of reply I was thinking I might get - I'm still undecided - the Wife says go for the 3MP, but she doesn't know the true price difference ;).

    I'm airing towards the A70 because 3MP seems to be the entry level now altough the Canons are alot more expensive that the rest - I guess/hope you get what you pay for.

    I dont want to buy the A60, print my first set of prints and be dissapointed - there agian I dont want to spend £80 more an something with a negligable difference.
     
  14. alfablue

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    Ian, I can email you a picture my son bought with one so you can see if the quality is what you are looking for, just p.m. me with an email address
     
  15. Ian Carter

    Ian Carter
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    Thanks alfablue, is that with the A60 or A70? Anyway email in PM now.
     
  16. alfablue

    alfablue
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    A60, 2mp
     

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