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Megapixels many?

My wife brought home ?The beginner?s Guide to Digital Photography?, a 12 page free booklet she picked up at Costco. It is printed by Costco in association with the Photo Marketing Association and the Digital Imaging Marketing Association.

Page two is, ?What?s the deal with megapixels and resolution?? and a table
#of Pixels Print Size
Less than 1 Megapixel
Screen resolution good for emailing
1 Megapixel 4-by-6-inch prints
2 Megapixel 5-by-7-inch prints
3 Megapixel 8-by-10-inch prints
4 Megapixel 11-by-14-inch prints
5 Megapixel 16-by-20-inch prints

There is no mention of cropping because this is a beginner?s guide.

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I'm sorry...

In reply to: Megapixels many?

Did you ask a question? The best one for you depends on what you will use it for. Anything above 5 megapixels are usually meant for the advanced hobbiest or pros. If you just want point & shoot prints get 3 - 5 megapixels. Does that somewhat answer the question that was assumed?

and life goes on...


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Sorry for the poor title

In reply to: I'm sorry...

A fair number of posts on this forum seem to be from beginners.

We have had discussions here in the past about how many megapixels are required for various size prints.

The beginners apparently don't search the forum, or anywhere else for that matter.

This post just puts the topic in view again for awhile.

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Interesting Chart

In reply to: Megapixels many?

Since they are showing such nice round numbers, it indicates that this is a rough guideline for beginers.

I just wonder how accurate it is in regards to Cosco's actual printing.

Because it indicates that they print 4 x 6 prints at about 300 dpi (dots per inch).

Then, as the prints get bigger - the dpi is reduced.

The 16 x 20 must be printed at about 120 dpi or less.

.....Something to wonder about....


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My Costco posts at least two numbers. In one place,

In reply to: Interesting Chart

they say they use 320ppi while a second place says 400ppi. They do post the following as their specs for prints;

4x6 1600x2400
5x7 2000x2800
8x10 3200x4000
11x14 4400x5600

which reflect the 400ppi number. These translate to: 3.8mpix, 5.6mpix, 12.8mpix, and 24.6mpix. I guess if the image isn't large enough, they resize it. The above is info that's probably intended for more advanced customers. A lot of photographers use Costco here because the profiles for their printer/paper combinations are available online. That means you can convert to their profile, see how it looks, make changes as needed, and tell them to print it without any automated or other adjustments.

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In reply to: My Costco posts at least two numbers. In one place,

The average eye can discern about 1100dpi. Anymore and the eye won't see it any clearer. 35mm film on the otherhand captures at around 56,000dpi. That's right...56 thousand dpi. That is, 200 film at f16 at 500 on a tripod. When digital first came out several years ago we freelancers weren't too concerned about it taking over film. However, I must admit that reaching 14mp is sometimes all it takes to get into National Geographic. I now use a D100 (6.xmp) which is fine for a 2x2 in any periodical. But for those reeeeeeally good shots, I'll stick to my Nikon F4s. Much..much..faster.

and life goes on...


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1100 dpi could be correct in some contexts, but can easily

In reply to: Overkill...

be misunderstood. Digital images are sized in ppi (pixels per inch) which is not the same as dpi (dots per inch). Thus, it is generally accepted that good quality is obtained when digital images are printed at 150 to 300 ppi. However, the printer can go considerably higher is resolution since it converts the pixels to dots (in some technologies). My inkjet for example, must print at 1440 dpi before additional increases in dpi cannot be detected. That's because the inkjet produces an image by dithering the dots.

Many pros use digital cameras that have much higher resolutions than 14mp, but 14-15mp is considered equivalent to 35mm film.

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