At 300 dpi, 6" x 4", 1800 x 1200 (MP war)
Since my printer can only support 300 dpi resolution, I always resize the image to 300 dpi.
It seems to me that, no matter how many mega pixel your camera has, at 300 dpi, and 6" x 4" size, the resolution will always be 1800 pixels x 1200 pixels.
I tested it on my 12MP G9 and 8MP SD850IS.
So in the end, if you're printing a 6" x 4" at 300 dpi, a higher MP camera won't give you more pixels than lesser MP camera, am I right? '
Simply put, yes.
That is true, the picture will be scaled down to 300 dpi (1200 x 1800 pixels for a 4x6 pirnt). If you did not pro-actively make a 1200 x 1800 image file, the conversion will be made automatically at the time of printing
The larger megapixel capability of the camera would come in handy if you were making larger prints.
Digital camera hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/digicam.htm
So in the end, if you're printing a 6" x 4" at 300 dpi, a higher MP
camera won't give you more pixels than lesser MP camera, am I right? '
Sure, and if you A) never crop a picture to get a more pleasing composition, or B) you never print bigger than 4x6, you'll never miss those extra pixels. But those seem like a couple of pretty arbitrary restrictions to me. YMMV.
Since my printer can only support 300 dpi resolution, I always resize
the image to 300 dpi.
I can't speak for your particular printer and driver software, but it's pretty much unheard of these days for the printer/software combination to require images to be at a specific DPI for printing. The printer itself may be fixed at printing 300dpi, the but the driver usually scales whatever is printed up or down as necessary.
And of course you can also manually scale the picture in Photoshop or other image editor to get whatever print sizes and scale you want.
I am wondering, what is the smallest resolution camera with 1/2.5" sensor or bigger that is being manufactured these days? 7.1MP? I don't count Casio F1 because it is specifically designed for high-FPS shooting.
I absolutely agree that for P&S (point-and-shoot) cameras you don't really need more than 4MP. It should be enough to print up to 8x11". If you need to print anything larger in size, you will most likely need a DSLR to maintain quality!
There is the "rule of two". Multiply number of megapixels by two to get the smaller size of a 2x3 picture that you can print. E.g. 2MP - 4x6; 3MP 5x7; 4MP - 8x11.
The advantages of the smaller pixel count seem to be obvious:
Better sensitivity to light due to a larger sensor cavity size.
Less noise because more light can be captured by the sensor in a given period of time and better color separation and better dynamic range can be achieved. A few more factors can be added to contribute to improved image quality.
Smaller file sizes mean less storage space is wasted and better in-camera processing, file writing, focusing and shot-to-shot times can be achieved. Overall response should be snappier then in today's megapixel monsters.
Some people would argue that the noise becomes finer-grained at higher MPs, so the noise is not as noticeable when the picture is shrunk to print size. But they forget that there is going to be MORE noise with less light on such sensors and the details will lose contrast faster, details will be more smeared out due to noise reduction, and pictures will appear more like water color paintings. Just read through some postings about Sony H9. With increased megapixel count, despite a better feature set, it was a step down from H2/H5.
However, camera maker marketing departments don't seem to like the idea.
Typical consumers are interested in more megapixels. That's what they ask about the most. Therefore, megapixels sell. Often they would buy a camera with higher MP count just to brag about it. Others argue that you can do more cropping. But, how often do you crop and how much cropping do you really need? Will you ever crop more than 1/2 of the picture? I really doubt... If you do it often, you probably have to pay more attention to the composition of the frame or need another camera.
Unsatisfactory image quality and performance of P&S cameras are pushing more advanced consumers (prosumers) into the DSLR market, where even more money can be made. Dropping the pixel count in P&S may result in the opposite effect.
I would love buy a 4MP travel camera with a 1/1.8" sensor and a flip or tilt screen if there was one on the market. If only A650 had a 4-5MP sensor, I would have bought it the first day it hit local stores! I am pretty sure it would have had a great IQ, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to others.
But, I don't see anything even remotely close to what I like in the P&S segment on the market! I really hope one of the manufacturers will start eventually producing a camera like that!
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