Complete novice

7 replies [Last post]
KeithReeman
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Joined: Apr 5 1999

I am considering moving into digital photography having used a Canon EOS SLR for a number of years. I occasionally pick up the relevant mags and read the reviews, but they leave me short on a particularly relevant bit of info'. Namely, what resolution is necessary for decent 7x5 prints, (assuming ones printer is suitable)?
This has particular relevance to the amount of storage required, (ref Bob C's total no of photo's from Alaska, the cost of digicam memory could be enormous!). I recently had a holiday in China and came back with 14x36 reels to get developed.

If megapixels are necessary to come close to the EOS at 5x7 then for long holidays (New Zealand next), the cost of memeory would be prohibitive.

Any thoughts?

Cheers
Keith

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

OK. It depends on the required quality of the final image.

I have an Olympus C3030, 3.34Mpixels, 2kx1.5k. With that, I can print to A4 size and not see the original pixels. That isn't because my eyesight's failing, but because the print software does some nifty interpolation. Olypmus would have me believe I can print up to A3, but I suspect the pixels would then be visible. A professional who I showed the camera to, tried printing from it on to an industrial press printer, and he wouldn't go above 7"x5", saying "that's as far as it will go".

So, it all depends on what you're going to use the pictures for, and who's going to see them.

Sorry if that sounds wooly, but life's like that.

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alan@mugswellvillage.freeserve.co.uk. Delete village for a spam-free diet.

Bill S
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Joined: Aug 14 2000

The need for high resolutions is quite subjective - I find that 1600X1200 is as high as is needed for 10"x 7 1/2" or 1024 x 768 for 7" x 5". Those give roughly 150dpi on the printer without using interpolation.

The best way is to download some samples and try it on your printer.

On costs of media/memory, have a look at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonycd1000/

This camera records onto CD-R. The disks can be purchased for about £1 each and hold 160 of the 1600x1200 , 350 of 1024x768 and over 1000 pictures at 640x480. It also has the advantage of optically stablised 10x optical zoom. Expensive for the camera (dabs price £849 +VAT)but after my partner brought back over 50 reels of 36exp. last holiday (not quite up to Bobs Alaska!)I guess £5 for 5 8cm CD-R is a lot cheaper!

peter millard
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

A lot depends on how you're going to use the final pictures. To print a decent 7x5 photo on an inkjet printer (eg Epson) you need about a 3.25Mb file, or approx 1280x960 pixels @ 180 dpi (If you're going to print the pictures at that size in say, a magazine or brochure, then you'll need approx. 300dpi, or a 9.45Mb file.) Presuming you're going the inkjet route, if you're prepared to compress these at the time of taking (and to be honest, you'll have to), then you'll be capturing between 200 and 400k per picture, assuming minimum/low JPEG compression, and depending on subject matter. This would give you between two and three hundred shots to a 64Mb card, or the equivalent of approx. 5-8 rolls of film.

Other options include the IBM Microdrive, starting at 340Mb and going up to 1Gb, but they're not cheap, they need a CF2 slot to work in, and write times are pretty slow. The new Sony CD1000 looks interesting, using mini-CDRs, but it's a new approach which no other manufacturers have tried to implement (yet...) and personally I wouldn't want to be an early adopter (Betamax, anyone?)

For long trips away, a fall-back position is to take a laptop along and drop the pictures you take down to the HD as you go - I know a couple of guys who've bought the Sony Picturebook sub-notebooks to do just that - though this starts to make the IBM Microdrive look positively economical...

The last option is to edit the pictures as you go - literally delete the ones you don't think are worth keeping in order to free up some space on your card; takes a steady hand and a deep breath, mind!

Hope this helps.

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Peter Millard
petermillard.com

Peter Millard
www.petermillard.com

Stephen Carter
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Joined: Nov 18 1999

Anybody wanting to get their head around this mind boggling topic I suggest has a look at Wayne Fulton's Scantips website http://www.scantips.com/ You'll understand it all after that!

Stephen Carter
www.seraphmedia.org.uk

KeithReeman
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Joined: Apr 5 1999

Thankyou everyone. I have a lot to think about and the suggestion that I download some examples and print out sounds very good. I shall try it.

Once again thankyou all for your advice

Cheers
Keith

peter millard
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

Just be aware that the majority of downloadable samples available for free will be either low-resolution, very heavily JPEG'd, or a combination of the two - not the best samples to use when you're trying to learn (it's a bit like learning to print on a poor quality enlarger - you don't know if the weird results you're getting are your fault, or the equipment...)

I'd be happy to email you some samples if you're interested - 'mail me off list if you like.

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Peter Millard
petermillard.com

Peter Millard
www.petermillard.com

Bill S
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Joined: Aug 14 2000

Check out the dpreview gallery - the original files are available (select camera,select image,click on 50% reduced,then right click and save full jpg file)
http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/

plenty to select from!