OM-D E-M5 vs E-5 (build quality)

Started May 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Re: On "gold standards" for printing ...

Great Bustard wrote:

John King wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

On the other hand, we can display the photo at any PPI we like by upsampling.  So, we could upsample both the 5 MP and 12 MP files to, such as 300 PPI (the "gold standard" of viewing resolution).

What exactly is the basis for your belief that 300 ppi is the "gold standard" of "viewing resolution"?
I also assume you mean "printing", or "print resolution" ... ?

Could you please explain precisely and succinctly why you understand this statement to be some kind of touchstone for printing of any kind?

Neither here nor there, actually.  The relevant point was that there is no more real detail in the photo than what is captured by the camera, and that by upsampling, we can get any PPI we want by introducing false detail.

That avoids my question, rather than answering it.

I again refer you to Smugmug and their comments about resolution, here:

And their requirements for their commercial printers as regards image file resolution, as per their graph on that page.

It merely echoes one of the points I was making:

Suppose your photo is 2000x3000 pixels and you expect your admirers to order anywhere from 6" prints to 40" prints. What should you do?

Our recommendation is to leave it alone. EZ Prints will upsample/downsample as needed and they can do it better than all but the most serious experts.

That is, they can get whatever PPI they want via resampling.  Rather irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is why 5 MP shows no visible resolution advantage over a 12 MP for a 17 x 22 inch print.

That is what I expected you to seize on.

I take it you are referring to the statement:

We have only seen two prints in a million returned for too few pixels, and they were 400x600 pixel images from cheap consumer cameras, printed at 8x10.

Again, neither here nor there.  The fact that lack of resolution is rarely the reason for a returned print doesn't address the question as to why there is no visible difference in resolution between 5 MP and 12 MP for a 17 x 22 inch print.  All it says is that the vast majority are satisfied with the resolution that their prints show.

Also what I expected you to say.

I will give you a clue ...

If you read what Smugmug have written on their site, you will find that they state that 80 dpi is sufficient resolution for a large print. At its native resolution, an E-1 is producing a file that is 2560 x 1920 pixels. That is to say, good for a 32 x 24 inch print, according to Smugmug and the printing services they choose to use. Perhaps that is why there is no discernible difference when printing at 21.51 x 16.14 inches (347 square inches)? i.e. less than half the practical maximum print area for the E-1 (768 square inches), according to Smugmug and their presumably expert commercial printers.

So when I up-sample the images, I am not actually "introducing false detail", as you put it.

According to their printing algorithms, the E-510 and E-30 are therefore natively good enough for prints of 45.6 x 34.2 inches and 50.4 x 37.8 inches respectively.

E-1, E-510 and E-30 therefore have no reason to have "false detail" introduced into their files for printing at A2 size (actually 54.65 x 40.99 cms, after leaving a small border for mounting on the mat ... ).

Which returns us to the question you avoided: why do you believe that 300 ppi is some sort of "gold standard", and for what reasons?

So, I would ask you:  would this not be clear argument against spending all that extra money for an SHG lens if resolution was not an issue?

No. The "discussion point" you are raising has nothing to do with anything that I have stated, and is a non sequitur from what you have stated.

I do not notice you choosing to use cheap Canon lenses. Why should anyone using a camera not buy the best lenses they can afford? There is far more to a lens than just its resolution.

The Tamron lens ( that both you and your buddy mentioned has pretty rough distortion and CA, leaving aside the fact that it doesn't appear to be very sharp anywhere in the image, here:

AFAICS, none of the sample images taken by DPR with this lens particularly impress me, whether taken with the 6D or the 650D, even after downloading some of the originals and examining them closely.It is very difficult for me to understand why the reviewer rates this lens so highly.

I expect my kit lenses to deliver better images than this lens appears to; and they do - comfortably. My HG and SHG lenses are better again by a small but noticeable margin.
Perhaps that is because my standards and expectations as regards lenses and cameras are different from yours, or the reviewer at DPR.

Perhaps you could do that while I contemplate my answer to the other statements that you have made.

No rush -- take your time.

Perhaps it might be better if you were to go to the local printing services that you respect and find out what they can offer you and whether that is suitable for your expectations? They will inform you of what they require in your image files, what they can deliver, and you can follow their advice and use their services if the results they can deliver are good enough to satisfy your quality thresholds.

I have been through this exercise locally, and what the best pro labs here could offer me is nowhere near up to my expectations in print quality, paper choice, resolution or colour. This is why I chucked down a small mountain of cash and bought the Epson R3880. It is nearly double the price here that it is in the USA, but it gives me a better result (and ultimately cheaper) than using what, for me, are quite unsatisfactory pro printing services with their rigid and narrow constraints.

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Olympus E-1 Olympus E-510 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II +17 more
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