Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How much is good enough?

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:34:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
extra cost? Just curious.
Tony

More about : good

Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:34:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use.

I still have a 1.3 megapixel P&S that's just fine for family use. Over the
years, I've accumulated over 12,000 photos with it. Of course, it's no
longer my main camera, but with a description like "general family use",
it's tough to know what you really need.

> Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.

Cameras don't give you better pictures, better photographic technique
gives you better pictures. : )

The more pixels you have, the more detail you have - all other things
being equal - and so enlargements can be made larger. Of course, few
cameras have an insufficient number of pixels these days. Even a
3-megapixel image doesn't look *too* bad blown up to 8x10, and with 6
megapixels, the 8x10s look awfully darn nice. In fact, I've seen 20"x30"
prints from a 6-megapixel camera that weren't unacceptable.

Of course, the catch is the "all other things being equal" - all other
things rarely are equal. As an example, one of my friends has a cheap 5
megapixel point-and-shoot that has the most noise I've ever seen in a
digital camera - prints from that camera are unacceptable to me at *any*
size. I honestly prefer prints from even my 1.3 megapixel camera over those
from his. Then, you also get into things like color balance, etc..

Unless there's something in particular you're unhappy about with the G3,
just enjoy it, and focus on taking the best photographs you can. As your
abilities improve, you'll eventually run into limitations of the camera, and
then you can think about getting a newer one - once you've realized what
camera functions are truly important for the pictures you take.

steve
February 5, 2005 4:34:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

For some reason the general public rates digital cameras only based on pixel
sizes. It's easy for camera manufactures to fabricate different numbers
using different ways if doing it...which probably tends to be controlled by
marketing for sure. It's all how many cameras you can sell and if OUR 5mp
camera is $100 less then our competition we will sell more.

Don't go by pixels. General family use you indicated? Hell, you could use a
2mp camera for $100 or less and get away fine with that one.

"Tony Hwang" <dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:hoVMd.273017$Xk.136826@pd7tw3no...
> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony
Related resources
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:34:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

A good 3-5 megapixel camera has sufficient detail for good to very good
11x8 prints, all other things being equal - ie name brand, good lens,
competent user!

Non - DSLR cameras with more megapixels tend to run into noise
problems, so the jump to say an 8 Mp camera is not necessarily a good
one. Visit www.dpreview.com and read the reviews of the cameras you
are interested in, and take note especially of the CONs in their
conclusions...
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:34:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Tony Hwang" <dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:hoVMd.273017$Xk.136826@pd7tw3no...
> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating necessary
> for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the better"? I
> have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony

Don't get too hung up on pixel count. Some 3 and 4 megapixel cameras
produce better images than a lot of 6 megapixel cameras. I would say most
people want the ability to print a decent 8x10 on their own computers. I
could probably get by with 2 to 3 megapixels easy, but the reason I want all
out and got a DSLR is for the creativity aspect of the camera. A good
photographer should be able to produce a good photo with just about any
camera, but the ability to swap lenses and get creative with lots of shutter
speeds and aperture settings is nice. And, the nicest thing about the
camera is the instant startup time along with a non existent shutter lag
time. Great for sports and action. But, not everybody cares about that.

Enjoy your Powershot. They are good cameras, and after awhile you may have
a better idea of what you "really" want. Or, you may find that the camera
you now have is all you really need... and that's okay.
February 5, 2005 4:34:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Lots of variables. I have 1.3, 2.0 and 5.0 (or thereabout) Olys and
with good composition, a steady hand, and some Elements tweaking can
get beautiful prints out of all of them. Of course, it is useful to
have more megapix for cropping, those really large prints, etc. But for
80% of what a normal shooter wants to do I believe these lower megapix
cameras are just fine, particularly when they have good optics (I'm
absolutely persuaded that my old Oly 460 has one of the finest lenses I
have come across in terms of color balance and accuracy). It all
reminds me of the old days when transistorized hi fi receivers hit the
market and everyone went nuts over wattage, harmonic distortion and
other things which absolutely escaped the ears of 90% of listeners who
wanted to enjoy music and invest in software. There's always a 'pro'
who can tell you that what you are seeing or listening to is garbage,
but as one who makes a pretty penny off of photography I say spend your
time working on making a good shot, editing a good shot, and going out
and taking more good shots till the camera drops dead!


Jeremy wrote:
> "Steve Wolfe" <unt@codon.com> wrote in message
> news:36ingdF52d2tdU1@individual.net...
> >
> > Cameras don't give you better pictures, better photographic
technique
> > gives you better pictures. : )
> >
>
> Amen to that!
>
> I still work in film, but I have a lot of fun with my 2.3MP digital
camera,
> from back in 2000.
>
> 3:2 Aspect ratio--which is the same as a standard 35mm frame, 300 ppi
> resolution (1200x1800) which produces very nice 4x6 prints, and I
have had
> OFOTO even do a number of 8x10s that were quite pleasing.
>
> I was able to get much better results when I began using a tripod and
> actuated the shutter using the self-timer, rather than pressing the
shutter
> firing button. Since I shoot landscapes and cityscapes, the tripod
and
> self-timer routines are not much of a problem.
>
> I have several tripods, but the one I reach for the most is my $15.00
> Vivitar, that I bought several years ago at Wal-Mart! It holds the
camera a
> lot steadier than my hands could, it is ultra light and easy to
carry, and
> the effect it has had on my image sharpness has been quite visible.
>
> I don't see many digicam users with tripods, but I recommend the use
of them
> heartily. It will yield the maximum sharpness from whatever
combination of
> lens and chip that you happen to have.
February 5, 2005 4:34:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Sheldon wrote:

>
> I
> could probably get by with 2 to 3 megapixels easy, but the reason I want
> all
> out and got a DSLR is for the creativity aspect of the camera.

Exactly why I got a dSLR. The little nikon 2100 I bought has produced some
nice prints, even 8X10's but the control I had over the results was almost
zero.
--

Stacey
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:36:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tony Hwang wrote:
> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony

When you have advanced to the point where you REALLY feel limited by the
capabilities of the G3, then it is time to change. If you just want to
get more bells and whistles because they are available, a change would
probably not be cost effective.
Bob Williams
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:41:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tony Hwang wrote:
> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony

Since most home/family photographers print at the largest, 8x10, 3 or 4
mp should be adequate for the family album, and some pictures for the
wall/mantle. If you plan to do a lot of post processing, then 5 to 8 mp
might give you more flexibility. For the simple 4x6 snapshot
photographer, 2 mp would work.
Choose what suits your style of photography, and your budget. Note that
an optical zoom of at least 3x is pretty much required to make framing a
picture without moving in too close (makes people uncomfortable) possible.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
February 5, 2005 5:38:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Steve Wolfe" <unt@codon.com> wrote in message
news:36ingdF52d2tdU1@individual.net...
>
> Cameras don't give you better pictures, better photographic technique
> gives you better pictures. : )
>

Amen to that!

I still work in film, but I have a lot of fun with my 2.3MP digital camera,
from back in 2000.

3:2 Aspect ratio--which is the same as a standard 35mm frame, 300 ppi
resolution (1200x1800) which produces very nice 4x6 prints, and I have had
OFOTO even do a number of 8x10s that were quite pleasing.

I was able to get much better results when I began using a tripod and
actuated the shutter using the self-timer, rather than pressing the shutter
firing button. Since I shoot landscapes and cityscapes, the tripod and
self-timer routines are not much of a problem.

I have several tripods, but the one I reach for the most is my $15.00
Vivitar, that I bought several years ago at Wal-Mart! It holds the camera a
lot steadier than my hands could, it is ultra light and easy to carry, and
the effect it has had on my image sharpness has been quite visible.

I don't see many digicam users with tripods, but I recommend the use of them
heartily. It will yield the maximum sharpness from whatever combination of
lens and chip that you happen to have.
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 6:01:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Sheldon wrote:

>"Tony Hwang" <dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote in message
>news:hoVMd.273017$Xk.136826@pd7tw3no...
>
>
>>Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
>>more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating necessary
>>for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the better"? I
>>have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
>>So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
>>extra cost? Just curious.
>>Tony
>>
>>
>
>Don't get too hung up on pixel count. Some 3 and 4 megapixel cameras
>produce better images than a lot of 6 megapixel cameras.
>

Which Ones?

>I would say most
>people want the ability to print a decent 8x10 on their own computers. I
>could probably get by with 2 to 3 megapixels easy,
>
To do some cropping and then get some good hang on the wall 8.5x11
prints, I would say 5MP would be the least. You also need to consider
lens quality, metering, autofocus, speed and the quality of the sensor
as well as the firmware.

>but the reason I want all
>out and got a DSLR is for the creativity aspect of the camera. A good
>photographer should be able to produce a good photo with just about any
>camera, but the ability to swap lenses and get creative with lots of shutter
>speeds and aperture settings is nice.
>
True. And in all cases the DSLR has a much larger sensor so you have
much better quality.

>And, the nicest thing about the
>camera is the instant startup time along with a non existent shutter lag
>time. Great for sports and action. But, not everybody cares about that.
>
>Enjoy your Powershot. They are good cameras, and after awhile you may have
>a better idea of what you "really" want. Or, you may find that the camera
>you now have is all you really need... and that's okay.
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 1:37:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tony Hwang wrote:
> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony

What is good enough for you? I would advice not measuring that in mega
pixel or any other specific measure, but rather by real world output quality
of the type of product you are interested in. Back some years ago we talked
about film sizes the same way. Was 2¼ good enough or did you need 4x5 or
larger then there was 35mm which was not good enough, but has become the
standard. For some people they later found that the Instamatic was good
enough (near 35 mm size but generally lower quality equipment) add in half
frame and then the Disk camera.

Most people started seeing the difference with the disk camera. They
could not see the difference between a 2¼ and an Instamatic but they did
notice the loss going to the Disk. The professional and advanced amateur
were always a step or two up over the rest of the world.

Today is no different. What is good enough is what works for you. If
you are happy, why worry? Actually what you have is rather nice.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:41:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 18:55:29 -0700, "Steve Wolfe" <unt@codon.com> wrote:

>> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
>> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
>> necessary for general family use.

> The more pixels you have, the more detail you have - all other things
>being equal - and so enlargements can be made larger. Of course, few
>cameras have an insufficient number of pixels these days. Even a
>3-megapixel image doesn't look *too* bad blown up to 8x10

As it happens I've just had 10x8's done of a few 2-megapixel photos, and
they look pretty good to me (and my family). Maybe not competition
winners, but well up to the standard for "general family use". Allowing
for a bit of cropping etc, 3 Mp should be fine.

--
Stephen Poley
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 7:02:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 01:34:05 GMT, you, Tony Hwang <dragon40@shaw.ca>, wrote
in news:hoVMd.273017$Xk.136826@pd7tw3no:

> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.
> Tony

Picture quality wise, I've seen A4 pictures from someone else's G3 and
they're cleaner and sharper than my A4 prints from negatives ISO100 films.

Functionality wise, the G3 is a dog for it's too slow focusing, too long
shutter lag and too long shot-to-shot cycle time, especially if there're
kids in your family. But you can use your patient and learn to anticipate
events when needed. Otherwise I'd love to have a G3 for free.

--
T.N.T.

Lbh xabj jung gb qb vs lbh rire jnag gb rznvy zr.
February 7, 2005 9:33:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 01:34:05 GMT
In message <hoVMd.273017$Xk.136826@pd7tw3no>
Tony Hwang <dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote:

> Looks like mega pixel war is on, everyone making cameras with more and
> more pixel rating. What is considered minimum mega pixel rating
> necessary for general family use. Or is it the case of "the more, the
> better"? I have a hand-me-down Powershot G3 and am learning on it.
> So far I am happy. Say G6 would give better picture to justify the
> extra cost? Just curious.

In the Los Angeles Artist district a reasonable trade off between size
and cost is a 400dpi museum quality 20x30 inch print. 20x30 at 400dpi
is 96 megapixels.

Fortunately, they have a 200dpi "display" version of the print for us
"non professionals" and that's a mere 24 megapixels. I've been
thinking the last few months that digital cameras will become serious
when we hit 24 megapixels in the under $2000 price range. :) 

Jeff
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 8:10:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 21:04:27 -0500, <xman@thedripper.com> wrote:

>For some reason the general public rates digital cameras only based on pixel
>sizes. It's easy for camera manufactures to fabricate different numbers

I assume you mean pixel count -- if they _did_ rate on pixel size, they
might see that a lower number of higher-quality pixels will give a better
photo than far too many [for most uses] small, noisy pixels!



Regards,
Graham Holden (g-holden AT dircon DOT co DOT uk)
--
There are 10 types of people in the world;
those that understand binary and those that don't.
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 2:20:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In message <618f015u0aeboblf6aqqf5hr7h08m81cj6@4ax.com>,
Graham Holden <look@bottom.of.post> wrote:

>I assume you mean pixel count -- if they _did_ rate on pixel size, they
>might see that a lower number of higher-quality pixels will give a better
>photo than far too many [for most uses] small, noisy pixels!

.... on a per-pixel basis. The noisy one can still outresolve the big,
perfect, pixels, though.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
!