Digital camera for large prints

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Fionn, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Fionn

    Fionn TPF Noob!

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    I am fairly new to photography. I have a Canon g1 and I am considering upgrading to an SLR. I want to use the camera for larger prints at times.

    I would like to be able to make prints in the 36X48 to 48X48 range. I have read a number of articles about techniques to make these sixe prints. My question is, can I use an 8.0 or 10.0 megapixel for these types of prints?
    Will it make a big difference between 8 and 10 megapixels?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    is that inches? cm? miles? give us some reference frame here ;)

    the difference betwenn 8 and 10 MP is smaller than many people think... as in MP we talk about the square of pixelnumbers, whereas interesting are the pixels in one dimension (resolution). Hence the resolution gain not that impressive.

    the optical resolution (as in resolution of the lens) plays often a more important role. often you see 10MP images where the lens or the plain focus was actually the limiting factor.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The issue would be the quality of the prints and that is subjective. Personally, I wouldn't consider a 36X48 print from a typical digital SLR or 35mm camera to be very high in quality. On the other hand, one made from a 4X5 negative would satisfy my quality requirements just fine. Your idea of quality could well be different from mine. Another issue is the distance from which prints are viewed. That is as important as the size of the print. There isn't a clear answer to your question.
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I keep hearing this how far away do you want to view it... I never handed a client a picture and asked them to view it from three feet. I'm not sure they would have paid me.

    I can right now,and this is no joke we have done it, pull an old 20x30 portrait print of mine shot with some agfa 50 or some royal gold 25 on 35mm from the sudio wall and it is sharper than a common 20x30 from a ten maga pix camera. Some of the difference might be in the negative but a heck of alot of it is in the fact that ten years ago everybody even the econo labs were using wet process which is continuous line I am told. A paper printer or ink jet lazer ect is still laying down dots. Yes they are a heck of a lot better but both my SIL and I can see a difference and we don't agree on much.

    He had some 40 x 48 made from his nikon d200 and searched the net for a wet process printer to do them. He found one in a distant state. I have seen the prints and they are a 100% better than others of his I have seen. Yes I think they still look plastic but they look much better than the ink ones from the prolab here.
     
  5. struss

    struss TPF Noob!

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    As far as my understanding, if you are talking about 48"x48" print, for 150 dpi quality, you'll need 150x150x48x48=51,840,000 pixels. Almost 52 megapixels (300 dpi is almost photo quality for viewing at close distance-i.e. holding the picture in your hand. You can get away with 150 dpi for poster size)
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm with fmw, on this one. It's a question of acceptable quality...you can make prints that big from a camera phone...if you want to...but the quality will be crap. You can make large prints from 8 or 10 MP cameras...and maybe the quality will be acceptable to you...maybe not.

    There are a lot of other factors here. An extremely sharp photo will enlarge better. That means using a tripod, Mirror lock up etc. Using a good quality lens will help as well. The image will probably need some sort of interpolation...which is dependent on the software. Some software is better than others. I hear Genuine Fractals is one of the best.

    You could always go out and buy a 39 mega-pixel Hasselblad :D
     

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