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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    6

    Megapixels/Resolution-pixels/image quality?

    I've been checking out reviews, both online ind in magazines, in order to decide which Digital Camera to purchase.

    Looking at the specs of various cameras I've become a bit confused about the info re Magapixels v Image resolution/size v image quality.

    I believe that the higher the megapixel rating of the camera, the better the quality of the images (in theory), however, some cameras seem to have differing options in regard to image settings.

    For instance, the Canon Powershot A95 is a 5 megapixel camera with the choice of Large/Medium1/Medium2/Medium3/Small with the choice of Superfine/Fine/Normal in each of these, giving Resolutions from 3264x2448 to 640x480. This makes sense and is obtained from the Canon Japan Web Site.

    The Fuji FinePix S300 has Resolutions of 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 pixels at 3MP 2MP 1MP VGA respectively according to reviews.

    Does this mean that each image resolution available in the Fuji is at a different megapixel rating and therefore at a lower quality than the largest image, while the Canon has a choice of megapixel ratings at each image size/resolution?

    Would somebody please clarify this for me?

    Thanks

    master_b

  2. #2
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    Jul 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by master_b
    I believe that the higher the megapixel rating of the camera, the better the quality of the images (in theory), however, some cameras seem to have differing options in regard to image settings.
    This is not necessarily so. The current crop of 8 megapixel cameras, for example, generally yield noisier images than their 4-5 megapixel counterparts.
    For instance, the Canon Powershot A95 is a 5 megapixel camera with the choice of Large/Medium1/Medium2/Medium3/Small with the choice of Superfine/Fine/Normal in each of these, giving Resolutions from 3264x2448 to 640x480. This makes sense and is obtained from the Canon Japan Web Site.
    The Fuji FinePix S300 has Resolutions of 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 pixels at 3MP 2MP 1MP VGA respectively according to reviews.
    Does this mean that each image resolution available in the Fuji is at a different megapixel rating and therefore at a lower quality than the largest image, while the Canon has a choice of megapixel ratings at each image size/resolution?
    Would somebody please clarify this for me?
    (Lifted from Steve's Digicams A95 review):
    Compression: Superfine, Fine, Normal
    Still images:
    Large: 2592 x 1944 pixels - 5 megapixels
    Medium 1: 2048 x 1536 pixels - 3 megapixels
    Medium 2: 1600 x 1200 pixels - 2 megapixels
    Small: 640 x 480 pixels - VGA

    Fuji FinePix S3000
    2048 x 1536 - 3 megapixels
    1600 x 1200 - 2 megapixels
    1280 x 960 - 1 megapixel
    640 x 480 - VGA

    Each camera offers a range of image sizes, as detailed above. At each image size step, the Canon offers a choice of 3 compression levels, where the finest will result in the largest image file sizes (in bytes) with the fewest JPEG compression artifacts. But compression doesn't change the number of image pixels, it only affects how accurately the digital image matches the original scene. For example, if you're shooting in the 5 megapixel mode, you can switch between the 3 different compression levels, and you'll get 5 megapixel images regardless of which one you choose. I couldn't find a compression level setting in the Fuji specs I looked at, so evidently Fuji doesn't feel that more than one level of compression is necessary.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    6

    Megapixels/Resolution-pixels/image quality?

    Thanks for the quick reply John.

    As I only want the camera for use with a PC, not for printing pictures, and that I only want images of 1024x788, that the maximum megapixel rating of any camera is irrelevant, only the megapixel rating at 1024x768 being of interest.

    As quoted, the canon A95's nearest suitable resolution is 1600x1200 at 2 megapixels and the Fuji Finepix S3000's is at 1280x960 at 1 megapixel, so I'd not be getting much benefit from the higher price of Canon, nor would I I'm sure be getting the best available megapixel to image size ratio from the Fuji.

    Guess that I'll look around a bit more.

    If anybody has any suggestions re suitable camera's for my needs I'd appreciate advice re same.

    The main reason(s) that I liked the Fuji Finepix S3000 is it's TTL viewfinder, and the Canan Powershot A95 because of its rotatable 1.8 inch LCD. This is because I wear glasses for long distance, and have difficulty seeing clearly very close up ( ie LCD screens closer than about 1 ft or very small print etc) which is age related.

    Thanks

    master_b

  4. #4
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    Jul 2004
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    40

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    Quote Originally Posted by master_b
    I'd not be getting much benefit from the higher price of Canon, nor would I I'm sure be getting the best available megapixel to image size ratio from the Fuji.
    I might be misunderstanding what you're saying but if I'm not, I might be able to help clear something up.

    "Megapixels" is the same thing as resolution. For example, 1600 x 1200 = 1,920,000 pixels, or 2 megapixels. 1280 x 960 = 1,228,800 pixels, or 1.2 megapixels. You can't have, say, a 1 megapixel camera with a resolution of 1600 x 1200. It would be like having a yardstick that's 8 feet long. A yard always equals 3 feet and a megapixel always equals a million pixels (ignoring rounding). So when you say that you're interested in "the megapixel rating at 1024x768," it doesn't quite compute. 1024 x 768 will always be 0.8 megapixels, no matter what the camera.

    Quality settings like "Fine" and "Superfine" refer to the amount of compression applied to the picture when the camera stores it. Less compression makes a bigger file and a better image. The resolution stays the same.

    Having said that, if you really only want pictures at 1024 x 768, a 5 MP camera would be over-overkill. On the other hand, even for display on a computer, a little extra resolution could be a help. For example, you could crop a small portion out of a larger picture and it would still look good. So you'd probably be better off with a camera that has more than 0.8 MP (if such a thing is even sold anymore).

    Hope that helps!
    OLYMPUS C-5060

  5. #5
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    Jul 2004
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    Re: Megapixels/Resolution-pixels/image quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by master_b
    As I only want the camera for use with a PC, not for printing pictures, and that I only want images of 1024x788, that the maximum megapixel rating of any camera is irrelevant, only the megapixel rating at 1024x768 being of interest.

    If anybody has any suggestions re suitable camera's for my needs I'd appreciate advice re same.

    The main reason(s) that I liked the Fuji Finepix S3000 is it's TTL viewfinder, and the Canan Powershot A95 because of its rotatable 1.8 inch LCD. This is because I wear glasses for long distance, and have difficulty seeing clearly very close up ( ie LCD screens closer than about 1 ft or very small print etc) which is age related.
    As Ben said, you're not going find a 1024X768 (sVGA?) camera. But with your vision limitations (shared by many, including yours truly) it looks like you'll have to focus on cameras with EVFs (Electronic View Finder). I have one on my Panasonic FZ10, and with its diopter adjustment, I can see the entire framing field sharply through the eyepiece with my glasses on. An FZ10 would be overkill for your miniscule pixel needs, but Panasonic has recently brought out their DMC-FZ3, which has 3 megapixels (don't worry, you can always crop or downsize to your 1024 X 768 screen size). You might like this camera, as it also incorporates another benefit for "aging" users: Image Stabilization that works, not to mention a fast f2.8 Leica-licensed lens capable of zooming from 35mm to 420mm equivalent. They were introduced at $399, so they don't cost an arm and a leg.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    2,225
    The cropping idea is important to you because you are likely to get a fixed lens camera. You may not be able to get close enough to get a tight view of the picture you want on the computer. But with a large pixel count, you can take even a small portion of the picture and crop that out.

    Also, you computer can do a better job of displaying a photo if it has more information (more pixels) to work with. Sort of the reverse of interpolation.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    6

    Megapixels/Resolution-pixels/image quality?

    Thanks Ben, John and Eric

    It's all clear now. Bit dense of me to not realize magapixels equate to resolution when I've been using PC's for years.

    Checked out the Panasonic FZ3 online and it looks good, and at around $399 US, it should sell for less than $600 in Australia, though I haven't as yet found an Australian online store that stocks Panasonic. Will go to the City tomorrow and check out the shops.

    I want to purchase the camera in the next week or so as we are going overseas at the end of September and I want to give the camera a good workout before then.

    If I can't find something suitable at a reasonable price, then I'll just have to take my trusry old Nikon FM. I know I could buy the Nikon D70, but for my use it's more than I want to spend.

    Given all the info, and my actual needs, selecting a camera with a suitable viewfinder is the first priority, and then I can narrow the field based on other features. I really just want a good "point and shoot", with a few extras thrown in.

    Thanks again

    master_b

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    4
    Hi I'm new (first Time) I have a Kodak Z1285 that I just got. I have been trying to post some pictures . Seem they have a size limit.I thank this is a 12 Magapixels camera.
    Now does Magapixels have something to do with the size of the picture? I notice it can be set 12.0mp down to 1.2 mp. what would be the best setting for posting pictures?
    Thanks Danny

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
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    3,591
    Quote Originally Posted by glorywagon View Post
    Hi I'm new (first Time) I have a Kodak Z1285 that I just got. I have been trying to post some pictures . Seem they have a size limit.I thank this is a 12 Magapixels camera.
    Now does Magapixels have something to do with the size of the picture? I notice it can be set 12.0mp down to 1.2 mp. what would be the best setting for posting pictures?
    Thanks Danny
    You don't need to change it in your camera. You should use a photo editing program to resize your file. You can also upload your photos to a site like Flickr and embed them from there.
    Last edited by TheWengler; 08-13-2008 at 10:22 AM.
    Lukas

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Australia
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    I shot at 1600x1200 for over a year and was happy (just that now people want prints...bastards)


    its best to shoot at whatever size your comfortable with then resize on the computer, nothing worse than shooting at a low resolution and wanting to make it bigger only to scream in agony when its pixellated ^_^
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
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