How many mega pixels?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mustangman, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. mustangman

    mustangman TPF Noob!

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    I wanna start enlarging photos to poster size and larger. I have a 5 mega pixel camera is that enough? If not what is the minimum I should go?
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm... define 'poster size'. The short answer is that using interpolation it's possible to make large prints from 5mp, 3mp, even the camera on your phone if you really want to. Question is, how close are people going to be looking at the prints? If they'll be holding them up to their face then no, I expect a very large print from a 5-megapixel camera will not look very good to them. If on the other hand people aren't getting that close then you don't really need the 300dpi that is usually considered a requirement for printing, and you can get away with large prints relatively safely. The other issue is, ignore for a moment the number of pixels; how good are those pixels? A large print from a 6-megapixel digital SLR is probably going to be better than one from a 6-megapixel compact, because the softness, noise and various aberrations from the compact camera will become more obvious at larger print sizes.

    IMO, if you just intend to make a few large prints that won't be viewed too close then use your 5mp camera. If you want to make good large prints on a more regular basis then get yourself a digital SLR; 6mp might be ok but you might as well go for 10mp now that's the standard. And if you want to make enormous prints that are extremely sharp and detailed even when looking very close, then start looking at medium format and saving money :)
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Don't forget that using a tripod will also help.
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    C'mon Mustangman, don't start thread after thread with the same question ... this is the third thread with the same kind of question I am finding now ... it is getting a bit much and the forums get totally cluttered. Soon enough I'll merge all your threads so the answers will all be in one thread only.

    This at least will wander into the Q&A-forums and out of the Gallery!
     

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