Yes, thank you, I read it. I agree with the article. However, for every study or experiment, you have to look at the purpose and methodology, and the pitfalls. The purpose of the study is to prove to readers that upgrading from 5 or8 MP to 13 MP may not make a lot of difference about the print quality of the photos. In other words, upsizing MP is not the main ingredient to improve your photo quality, and I absolutely agree. However, this study is not designed to find out what MP gives the best print quality at 16x24 size, or even bigger. If you pay close attention, the resolution of these cameras stay at the lower quality print at 16x24 size. Again as pointed out previously, true photo quality is 300 ppi whereas 150 ppi is at the lower print quality. The 5-13 MP cameras all have print quality at or below the 150 ppi resolution level for 16x24 size. For the human eye, it is not easy to distinguish between 300 ppi vs 200 ppi (a 100 ppi difference). So it follows that it is not easy to distinguish print quality between 110 vs 175 ppi (between 5 MP vs 13 MP cameras), but a small number of people may be able to, and this is what the news article found too, not surprisingly.
Another important thing to consider is that the quality of the photo also may affect how easy you notice a difference when you enlarge a photo. My experience is that if I have a good shot with good lighting and tact sharp focus, I can enlarge or crop heavily and still get a good enlargement. But if the photo is taken at high ISO with digital noise or if the focus is slightly off, then the same enlargement will look horrible. Why? If the image is near perfect, our brain usually will fill in some of the blanks, kind of like an automatic interpolation. However, if it has defects, we will be more likely to spot them and notice the difference. In the NY Times study, the photo is taken by a professional, likely a pretty good near perfect photo, so it becomes more difficult for an average person to spot the difference. But if you have a less than perfect photo, your large print will definitely look better in a higher MP camera at 300 ppi resolution than at 150 ppi resolution.
But how practical is getting a camera to give high 300 ppi resolution at large prints? Not at all. And that is what I am trying to demonstrate in my original post (with some sarcasm using outrageously priced cameras as examples). It does not make sense to upsize your camera to get the true photo print resolution, and most people do not need to anyways. Does that mean that high MP cameras are useless? No. It is very useful if you crop a lot or if you routinely do a lot of large prints for a living. For the rest of us, upgrading to a higher MP camera does not make a lot of sense, especially if the upgrade is only a few MP more (from 8 MP to 13 MP), it does not make a difference in print quality. You have to upgrade to 30MP plus to really see a difference, and that was my point.
In terms of image sharpness and quality, your camera sensor's high ISO performance, lens quality, lighting, focus, skill, etc play a much more important role than MP alone. I have made a pretty detailed comment in another thread about image sharpness:
By the way, you keep mentioning 400 dpi print on your threads. I just want to comment that dpi (dots per inch) is the printer's output and has nothing to do with an image's resolution or print size. Pixels per inch (ppi)on the other hand represents the image resolution. For printers, anything 360 dpi is good, higher dpi mostly wastes ink and does not add much to the print quality (not noticeable to human eyes).
Was this reply helpful? (0) (0)