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View Full Version : Compare Digicam to Scans



Javair
08-11-2004, 11:22 AM
Here is what may be an impossible comparison and contrast.

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The short overview of my quandary:

I like to examine photos close-up on the computer screen. I like to zoom-in and out and get a feel for the moment, the faces of my family, the time, the texture of the environment. PRINTS are NOT my reason for having digital photos. So, I need a shot to look good on the computer screen, staying clear on the screen when I zoom in. I don't like grain, I don't like seeing pixels at high screen zoom. I have not found a digicam to mimic my scans.

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Longer explanation, if you're curious:

I can do this with high ppi scans from a flatbed scanner. I have not found images from a digital camera to equal a high ppi scan.

For years, I have been using mid-range Epson flatbed scanners to scan family photos taken on compact cameras with 35mm film. I mostly do this for digital photo albums that I make for our family.

Both of my scanners have done a beautiful job. I scan at a minimum 600ppi and often at 800ppi.

REASON for the high ppi:
I have found that I love zooming in on peoples faces, seeing real close expressions, and such. Its as close as possible to visiting that moment in time. What, in a print, may look like a simple smile, turns our to be a wide-eyed, teeth-gritting excitement when zooming in on an 800ppi scan of my wife. Or, I found that may daughter was actually sticking her tongue out at me on a playground shot. I can zoom in and see the headlines on a newspaper on a coffee table. So, I get a real kick out of all that.

Image quality is out of this world. No noise or pixels even at 400% on-screen zoom.

I thought it would be nice to skip the scanner and shoot with a digital camera. Well, no matter what 3MP or 4MP camera I have tried, no matter what sample pictures I've looked at here at dcreview, none come close to the smooth as glass clarity/resolution as my scans. 6MP looks even grainier to me. Again, no grains or anything in my scans.

So, am are digital cameras not yet up to par for my needs? If there are digital camera solutions for me, then which ones?

If you've read this far,
thanks for your time.

Rhys
08-11-2004, 01:09 PM
Image quality is out of this world. No noise or pixels even at 400% on-screen zoom.

I thought it would be nice to skip the scanner and shoot with a digital camera. Well, no matter what 3MP or 4MP camera I have tried, no matter what sample pictures I've looked at here at dcreview, none come close to the smooth as glass clarity/resolution as my scans. 6MP looks even grainier to me. Again, no grains or anything in my scans.

So, am are digital cameras not yet up to par for my needs? If there are digital camera solutions for me, then which ones?

If you've read this far,
thanks for your time.

Ok. The bottom line is that unless you go for more than 3/4 megapixels, the quality you're seeking is just not present. We're back to the old question of how many pixels equals film resolution.

Kodak makes a 14mp camera and claims it's equivalent to film resolution but don't say which film (some films eg Agfa Pan 25 are higher resolution than Konica 3200 print - for example).

My answer is always the same - measure the width and height of your perfect paper print from film and multiply the width and height (in inches) by the number of pixels per inch that you desire to obtain the pixel height and width of the perfect camera. Then multiply the two together and divide that by a million (shift the decimal point to the left by 6 places). That will tell you how many megapixels you need.

If the number of megapixels you need is above 14 then it's hard luck as 14 is the limit of dSLRs at the moment and 8 is the limit of digital compacts.

D70FAN
08-11-2004, 03:29 PM
Ok. The bottom line is that unless you go for more than 3/4 megapixels, the quality you're seeking is just not present. We're back to the old question of how many pixels equals film resolution.

Kodak makes a 14mp camera and claims it's equivalent to film resolution but don't say which film (some films eg Agfa Pan 25 are higher resolution than Konica 3200 print - for example).

My answer is always the same - measure the width and height of your perfect paper print from film and multiply the width and height (in inches) by the number of pixels per inch that you desire to obtain the pixel height and width of the perfect camera. Then multiply the two together and divide that by a million (shift the decimal point to the left by 6 places). That will tell you how many megapixels you need.

If the number of megapixels you need is above 14 then it's hard luck as 14 is the limit of dSLRs at the moment and 8 is the limit of digital compacts.

In Addition, Phase One digital backs for Hasselblad's go to 16 and 22MP (~$16,000 to $24,000 not counting the camera and lenses). Fuji is making these as well.