I had assumed the more pixels, the better. But I think I read somewhere (before I bought my camera) that below certain print dimensions, extra pixels just increase file size, without any appreciable difference in the result. I will be printing 8.5 x 11 inches with an HP Photosmart printer. Do I need to use all 6 million pixels on my D100? Or can I shoot at the smaller resolution? Also, how badly does the greater JPEG compression offered by the "Normal" and "Basic" modes degrade the image, again considering my intended print size?
#1. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 0w4npx Registered since 10th Aug 2002Sun 01-Sep-02 03:42 AM
Joe, you sure do need all the pixels you can get.
You are confused between the number of pixels in the file that the camera makes and the number of pixels that the printer needs to print.
To get a decent picture the printer needs to print at least 200 pixels per inch. Thus a decent 8 x 10 picture would be 1600 x 2000. I prefer to get 250 pixels per inch for the print, thus a final picture of at least 2000 x 2500.
Ok, well you say, then I do not need the 2000 x 3000 that the camera takes. This would be true if you used the whole frame to print, but usually you crop the frame in photoshop or some graphic program and so you start with a 2000 x 3000, but dont use all the pixels when you crop and wind up with a lot less than that. Say you try to blow up (crop) a head out of the center of a picture,--even in a 2000 x 3000 pixel file, you might be down to 800 x 1000 pixels by the time you get through. That would only be 100 pixels per inch when you output 8 x 10 to the printer. You would see big square pixels on the paper.
Secondly, on the file size, I have played with the D-100 now for about three weeks, and have tried all modes. The ONLY MODE to shoot in to get the best picture is RAW mode. The files are much larger, but that is not because there are more pixels, but because JPEG throws away a lot of the information which the picture takes to compress the file. JPEG is an 8 bit file format, whereas the RAW (NEF) files are 12 bit in each channel.
Shoot in RAW and you will love the camera.
#2. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 1jrp Charter MemberSun 01-Sep-02 05:36 AM
I use my film scanner (not a digital camera) at max resolution to print 8X10 on my HP Photosmart 1315. Quite frequently it seems to be almost never enough pixels, even after some enhancing with Photoshop.
Have a great time :-)
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Mainly at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story
Please join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members who help this happen; upgrade.
Check our workshops at the Nikonians Academy and the Nikonians Photo Pro Shop
#3. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 2lordnikon Registered since 17th Feb 2002Sun 01-Sep-02 10:02 AM
Yup, remember there is both dpi and ppi One is for scanning-rinting and the other is for recording.
Aaron J. Heiner
Team Coast Guard Photographer
US Department of Homeland Security
#4. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 3jnscbl Basic MemberSun 01-Sep-02 11:01 AM
If you use jpg (which is ok for most purposes) do NOT use a more compressed mode. (Highest resolution is lowest compression; higher compression is lower resolution.) There will be artifacts in the image. JPG does not just drop pixels, it changes them. I can assure you, if you set your camera to some low-res mode, you will take that once in a lifetime shot, and wish it was a full size file.
"Less is not more. Enough is enough. Less is less."
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
#5. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 0
In a word...yes. Inkjet prints (and other print media, too) benefit from having more pixels to print with to as much at 360 ppi. In JPEG mode, fine compression (about 1:6) has very few artifacts, although you will spot them at high magnification in the right images. In normal compression (about 1:12) these artifacts become more noticeable, and with basic compression (about 1:18) they are quite objectionable.
You can get fine output from the D100 in both JPEG and RAW modes, although it is slightly more challenging to get the best out of the JPEG mode. I would not sell short the JPEG mode, however, as it is more economical of space, it can be written to memory much, much faster, and it allows firing 6 continuous frames rather than the 2-3 in the RAW mode. Just like any camera, there is no one "best" setting, only the most useful settings for your particular application. I use the fine JPEG mode a lot, but do gravitate to the RAW (NEF) mode for certain shots where I want to be assured of getting the most out of the image.
#6. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 0
I just did an article discussing the benefits of all three modes on the D100, RAW, TIFF, and JPEG. It does not go into detail about the printing aspect, but does compare the three modes as to usage.
#7. "RE: Do I need all those pixels?" | In response to Reply # 0
i think if you print no bigger than 8.5x11...than shooting jpegs and your d100 is no prob...i had pt and shoot 3.3 megapixel...with prints like you said....very nice...even on a cheap hp printer...those extra pixel are for picky fanatic photographers who look at every little detail...they think digital is not film photography...but i'm picky but not that bad...thats my 2cents