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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Digital Photographic Discussions - Imaging Basics : Explain Digital Resolution

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Photography Question 

member since: 11/1/2000

How Many Pixels Does an 8 x 10 Need?

When buying a digital camera do I really need a 3+ megapixel camera to get truly good 8x10 digital photos? I see 2+ megapixel cameras that have extremely high resolution that would seem to have enough resolution to give a good 8x10 digital image for developing.

11/24/2000 7:51:53 AM


member since: 11/28/2000
  I would say, 2+ is good for an 8x10 but not much bigger.

11/30/2000 10:47:26 PM


member since: 6/13/2000
  Photo quality print requires 300dpi. (8"*300=)2400 X (10"*300=)3,000. Hence, you will need 7.2m pixels to get full quality 8*10 print.

12/8/2000 8:57:13 AM

Hubert Aronson

member since: 9/3/2000
  The Olympus C2020, a 2.1 mega-pixel camera, provides excellent 8x10 prints.

12/13/2000 10:23:33 PM

Morgan W. Bird

member since: 7/8/2000
  While Victor has a point that digital won't be as good as film for a while, with what's available today you really need a 3 megapixel camera to get truly good 8x10's. I've seen plenty of photos print from 2 and 3 megapixel cameras and that extra megapixel really makes a difference.

On the plus side, 3 MP cameras are starting to come down in price. They used to all cost around $1000, but the Nikon Coolpix 990 has dropped to $899, and the Olympus C-3000 is about $799.

12/14/2000 10:59:53 PM

Lisa Young

member since: 9/1/2001
  I have a 2.1 megapixal Sony MVC FD-95 and have printed 8x10s on my HP DeskJet 952C and have been pleased with the quality of the prints. I do change the pixels to 600 dpi in Paint Shop Pro for the ones I print.

1/7/2001 5:49:15 PM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  I would just like to point out that you do not need to set your image resolution to 600 before printing. Even if your printer can spray dots at 600, 720, 1440, etc., any image resolution beyond 300 is overkill. Try setting it to 300 or even 150 to see the difference.

1/24/2001 1:14:04 AM

Ms. Shan Canfield

member since: 3/9/2002
  I think your choice should be based on your own comparison. Take a shot at hq jpeg and the same exposure settings take one as Tiff. Open both in photoshop, zoom in to the shadows and discover which one produces more noise!
From my experience with a Nikon 990,Fugi S2Pro, Olympus E10, the tiffs were much "noisier" Why is this? Well, from the "grapevine" I heard that the JPEG compression works better in some cameras than in others. I thought it was suppossed to be a "standard" thing, but I have to believe what I see. My findings were also re-affirmed when my friend did the same experiment with her in this case with these cameras, the HQ Jpeg is the better choice because it not only produces a less noisier picture and saves tons of space.

9/8/2003 6:44:37 AM

Ms. Shan Canfield

member since: 3/9/2002
  Ignore the above response, I hit the wrong "respond" button. This was meant to go with the previous question, regarding Resolution/compression etc.

9/8/2003 6:53:49 AM

  3.2 is good enough

8/28/2006 8:23:02 AM


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