Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal.

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
bronxbombers4 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,387
Re: not what i've seen

rwbaron wrote:

bronxbombers4 wrote:

LaszloBencze wrote:

I currently have a show of 38 20" x 30" prints appearing at the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento. Most of the pictures were taken with either a 5D MKII or 5D MKIII. However, some of them come from the Canon 1D MKII and 1DMIII which are not full frame and have about half the number of pixels of the 5D cameras (8 & 10 megapixels vs over 20 for the 5Ds).

What I noticed is that I could not tell which pictures were taken with the lower pixel count 1D cameras. They do not stand out as obviously inferior. In fact all the pictures look good and are indistinguishable in terms of sharpness or resolution.

Now I'm sure that there are benefits of the 20 megapixel cameras. And I do own two of them. But my point is that real life photo situations with large areas of bland texture or out of focus areas do not reveal such differences. This is a bit of a surprise for me but a reassuring one.

If you happen to live in the Sacramento area, you're welcome to look for yourself. The gallery is at 2015 J street and is well identified with signage.

All I can say is could tell apart 8MP from 20MP prints even on an 8x11 never mind 20x30!

I printed at 720PPI on crisp paper.

Plus you have a lot more freedom to crop the 20MP images when you need to and they sure give a lot more reach for stuff like sports and especially wildlife.

I'm confident you have a lot more experience with this than I but why are you printing at 720PPI? I did a comparison on my Canon i9900 and could see little advantage going above 240 and in many cases 180. The commercial printer I work with who has the latest and biggest Epson and Canon printers has never asked for a file more than 240PPI. To print at 720 you have to upres the files dramatically even from a high res sensor which would cause all sorts of artifacts.


Well if you download one of those special PPI comparison sets of test files you can see a difference. Going from 180 to 240 to 360 to 540 you could see a big difference in each step up. 540 to 720 was there but that was very, very minor and hard to spot. So you can clearly see differences going above 240PPI, very, very clearly.

anyway those little prints I referred to above were only 10" wide

normally I pick 360ppi or 720ppi depending upon the print size and the file MP count, Epson drivers seem use either 360 or 720 and internally scale to that anyway I believe

I mostly use very crisp papers. Some papers are much softer and some non-glossy that are also less crisp version of those on top might not gain much over 240ppi.

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