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06-28-2008, 09:36 PM   #1
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Slightly off topic megapixel discussion

I routinely see questions about the megapixels needed to print at a given size.
In the past I've done tests by having large prints done at sam's club. the problem with that approach is that you are limited to a file size of 6mb. I finally succumbed to my desires, and bought "real" photo printer. I've spent all of my spare time the last 3 days setting up my new canon ipf 5100 17" printer, and the results are way better than anything I've received from a local lab.
I've been doing some test prints on a variety of paper, using some older images from a classic car show. The images were all taken with a K100D shot as jpegs.
Printed from photoshop. and printed as 11x17's . I'm confident that the images I'm making with my K10d will be excellent when printed at 17x25.
I believe that with my K10d, and a few sharp lenses, and my new printer I have all the tools I need to produce stunning fine art prints. From here on out it's about mastering skills, not about aquiring equiptment.
Levi

06-28-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
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You're in good company regarding your experience and conclusions, Levi.
06-28-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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Personally I get my work done in the shops, but there's only one shop I'll get anything I sell printed off.
I work with that shop, and always get excellent results, where the rest are hit and miss.
06-29-2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Cool. Mind sharing the name of the printer you have, just for curiosity? I was considering a large printer also, as right now I have just a consumer photo printer (which I LOVE but it's only 8.5" x 11")

I had to pay $12 or so for Shutterfly to print one of my pictures in 11x14....I hope it turns out okay! I hate awaiting for its arrival.

06-29-2008, 12:33 PM   #5
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I purchased the Canon IPF5100
from ITsupplies.com
After 500 dollar epson trade in it was 849 dollars and free shipping. and you get 3 free rolls of your choice of canon printing media.
canonipf » home
is the place I would recomend you go to learn all you can about about the printer.
Also you will find an in depth review of the IPF series printers at luminous landscape
be sure and read the newest review about the IPF 6100 because it most closely matches the 5100.
and don't be deceived about the size/ weight of the printer. it's about 50% larger than the epson 3800, and does in fact weigh about 120 lbs.
I would choose this printer primarily if you intend to print on matt, and fine art paper surfaces.
the blacks on watercolor type surfaces are absolutely perfect.
Thats it for now,
Levi
06-29-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
I had to pay $12 or so for Shutterfly to print one of my pictures in 11x14....I hope it turns out okay! I hate awaiting for its arrival.
$12 for an 11x14 is highway robbery!
Does that include shipping?

Next time, you might want to take a look at Adorama. They're a lot cheaper and you have your choice of several different types of paper, as well as the option for them not to make any adjustments to your image, so it'll come out like you want it to. Their shipping is also fast. Here's a link to their pricelist:
AdoramaPix

There is a part of me that's intrigued by the idea of having a dedicated photo printer, but as expensive as they are and as inexpensive as Adorama's printing is, I find it hard to justify going out and spending several hundred dollars on a photo printer.

Heather
06-30-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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I am using the k100D. What would be your recommendation of the maximum print size I can go to?

I have always wanted to print 1 or 2 of my favourite photo in large print size and frame them
06-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
raider I am using the k100D. What would be your recommendation of the maximum print size I can go to? I have always wanted to print 1 or 2 of my favourite photo in large print size and frame them
There can be differences of opinon on this question. The question's answer is a bit more complicated than some might think. It really depends upon what DPI you want to print at and what quality you find accpetable. That said, my S3 Canon (6mp) produces nice 11 x 14 prints--I have to believe the K100d would outdo this Canon. So I would say you are okay at least to 11 X 14.

Here are some discussions, for example:

How Many Megapixels Do I Need? - Digital Photo Printing
Design215 megapixels comparison and maximum print size charts

Regards,

Ernest

06-30-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
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I have an image taken with a K100D and the 10-17mm fisheye. that I had printed 20x30 that looks very good. but if you look at it very close you can see very minor digital artifacts.
I printed some 12x17" 6mp (from a K100D) On my new IPF5100 that to my eye are impossible to distinguish from film.
I'm expecting that images from my 10mp K10d will be excellent when printed at 17x25"
However I wouldn't expect anthing coming from any point and shoot camera (tiny sensor) to look very good reguardless of how many Megapixels. An 8x10 would be the best I would expect. Megapixels mean nothing unless you have the resolving power of good glass, and a decent sized sensor for the pixels to live on.
06-30-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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Great info. Thanks!

I don't have a colour printer at home. So If I send the photo to a photo printshop, should I venture to print at 12" x 17" or should I stick to 11" x 14"? How many DPI can a normal printshop do?
06-30-2008, 06:56 PM   #11
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My local costco prints at 320 DPI
06-30-2008, 08:39 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Levi
However I wouldn't expect anthing coming from any point and shoot camera (tiny sensor) to look very good reguardless of how many Megapixels. An 8x10 would be the best I would expect. Megapixels mean nothing unless you have the resolving power of good glass, and a decent sized sensor for the pixels to live on.

Levi:

My little Canon S3, tiny sensor and all, produces awesome 11 x 14 prints. And so do many other makes of P & S and “Advanced” digicams. However, and this is where sensor size matters, I would not print anything this large at ISO 200 or higher with the S3. High ISO quality is still a prerogative of DSLR users—no doubt—but perhaps not for that much longer. Actually, after buying the K20, I still keep my little Canon because it does many things better than the K20—particularly when I’m hiking.

Here is a quotation from an old review of the S3: “The resolution of 6 Megapixels is more than sufficient to produce a beautiful A4, or even A3.”

You can find this at this review: CanonPowershot S3 IS Digital Camera Review Introduction

I think you’ll find many little digicams, at low ISOs (50, 80 100) produce beautiful 11 x 14s. A quick search at Google will readily affirm this.

Regards,

Ernest
07-01-2008, 04:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Levi Quote
I have an image taken with a K100D and the 10-17mm fisheye. that I had printed 20x30 that looks very good. but if you look at it very close you can see very minor digital artifacts.
I printed some 12x17" 6mp (from a K100D) On my new IPF5100 that to my eye are impossible to distinguish from film.
I'm expecting that images from my 10mp K10d will be excellent when printed at 17x25"
However I wouldn't expect anthing coming from any point and shoot camera (tiny sensor) to look very good reguardless of how many Megapixels. An 8x10 would be the best I would expect. Megapixels mean nothing unless you have the resolving power of good glass, and a decent sized sensor for the pixels to live on.
Levi,

Congrats on your printer. I don't know if you have taken a look at this tutorial on uprezzing or not but you might find it interesting.
Workflow Technique #060 @Digital Outback Photo

By using this method I've found that a K10D uncropped file can be upsized to 38 X 25 with no artifacts as long as the noise is low. That's a 3X factor so that means I can crop down to a 6MP file like the K100D and still print to 30 X 20 with no problem.

That printer is so good and the low ISO files from the K10D are clean enough you should be able to crop down to a 4 MP file and still get a great 17 X 25 print. Have fun playing with it.

Ken
07-01-2008, 08:05 AM   #14
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Levi,
That sounds like a great price, since it lists for $1995 MSRP. I bet it had to be shipped as frieght at 120lbs.

Dave


QuoteOriginally posted by Levi Quote
I routinely see questions about the megapixels needed to print at a given size.
In the past I've done tests by having large prints done at sam's club. the problem with that approach is that you are limited to a file size of 6mb. I finally succumbed to my desires, and bought "real" photo printer. I've spent all of my spare time the last 3 days setting up my new canon ipf 5100 17" printer, and the results are way better than anything I've received from a local lab.
I've been doing some test prints on a variety of paper, using some older images from a classic car show. The images were all taken with a K100D shot as jpegs.
Printed from photoshop. and printed as 11x17's . I'm confident that the images I'm making with my K10d will be excellent when printed at 17x25.
I believe that with my K10d, and a few sharp lenses, and my new printer I have all the tools I need to produce stunning fine art prints. From here on out it's about mastering skills, not about aquiring equiptment.
Levi
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