Monday, October 16, 2006

Just how large can I print from a digital camera?

This is a question many people new to digital photography ask. How big can I print, well the answer may actually surprise you. Lets look at the current crop of digital cameras. The "smallest" megapixel (MP) cameras are in the 5MP range some are smaller but pretty tough to find. For example the Canon PowerShot A530 5MP Digital Camera. The image sensor is 2592 pixels wide by 1944 pixels tall. Generally accepted printing for images is 300dpi (dots per inch) in general we can think each pixel as a dot that will be printed so we take the 2592 divide that by 300 and we get 8.64 inches (about 22cm) and 1944 pixels will get us 6.48 inches (16.5cm). So this little guy right will produce nice prints for the typical person like a 4x6 or 5x7 that most people will print.

Can you print larger? Yes you can but you either have to invent the dots (interpolation) to upsize or use a lower DPI in order to print larger. One can safely drop down to 200 or even 150 dpi So we could get a 13x17 inch print out of this camera at 150dpi. Something this size would most likely be placed high and viewed from a further distance so the lower DPI would not affect quality of the print. If you were to get a few inches away you would notice it though.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Canon Rebates are out

Well it's the Oct 15th and the Canon USA rebates are out now and for you folks in Canada too. And they appear to be pretty good $300US ($350CAN) off for the Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP and if you buy 2 or more qualifying products the rebates double. hmmm I may just have to get one hehehe Maybe.

Digital Triage

With the advent of digital photography I find that a lot of people in the field photographic triage. Imagine all the pics that we thought were "bad" and promptly deleted forever. Some of the greatest pictures were "snapshots" that today would probably have been deleted because the photographer thought they were "bad" I think this really illustrates that possibly some of the greatest shots will be deleted in the future just because...

A lot of the great images of the 20th century were spontaneous and not thought out, and in the end did not come out "technically perfect." When Joe Rosenthal took his famous image of the raising of the American flag over Iwo Jima he did not initially like the image. His intention was to have all the Marines looking at him. He looked up and they were already raising the flag and the guys were not looking at him when he took the photo. If it had been done with a digital camera, he could have made the decision in the field that the second image was better and forwarded that one to the editor, and deleted the now famous image. I know that there are times I have done a shot that I thought was horrid, only to have people tell me that it was a GREAT shot. I did not see what they were seeing and I do delete images in the field.

I have great respect for Joe Rosenthal's work. It's not easy to be a photographer in that type of situation, so any image is an accomplishment, and an amazing image such as the raising of the flag is a greater feat. Basically, I think that a lot of us do on the field triage of our photographs, that one day could be considered fantastic images. A lot of famous images of the past could have easily been deleted right in the spot because the photographer deemed it as "bad" even though it was a fantastic capture.

Make one think doesn't it....