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pixel count relation to printed image sizes
Ok.. I'm confused about some things...

My old Kodak DX4330 3MP camera would take photos that'd print 4x6 without having to crop..

I just bought a Canon SD750.. and while the image look much better.. in order to print 4x6's I have to crop the image..

I was reading an article online that said a 6MP camera would produce 4x6's without having to crop.. just like a 3MP, yet with a higher DPI..

Is that to say a 9MP camera would produce a 4x6 without cropping..with an even higher DPI that would really only be useful for printing larger photos when I wanted?.

Does the size lens have anything to do with that? Like.. the Panasonic TZ5 has a 28mm lens.. My kodak has a 38mm..

I thought about getting the TZ5 originally, but when I went to Circuit City to just look.. I ended up with the SD750..

I want a camera that for everyday outings I can take a long and not have to worry about having to crop them to print a 4x6... but also I want something to take some higher quality images for everything other than the 4x6 prints. I like the tZ5 because of it's wide angle lens.. and I think I read you can have it save 3 images per shot.. in the 3 diff aspect ratios.:/.

Thanks for any clarification!..

Comments (11)

Hi,.

The SD750 has an aspect ratio of 4:3 which is great for paper that's 4:3 but not for 4" x 6" which is 3:2 (or 2:3 whatever you like). So you have to crop it down to fit the paper without a wide margin wasted or else buy a printer that does (say) A4 and print within the A4 aspect ratio (or two at A5 as 8" x 6" and lose a little bit as A5 is 8" by just under 6")..

But there's no simple answer and hasn't been for years. Look up aspect ratio in the "Search" thing on this forum and you'll see we've been ranting and raving about it for years. What makes matter worse is that Canon make printers and paper and ink but do they do a 4:3 aspect ratio paper?.

Sorry I can't help more..

Regards, David..

Comment #1

Fenrisx wrote:.

Ok.. I'm confused about some things...

My old Kodak DX4330 3MP camera would take photos that'd print 4x6without having to crop..

It must have had a sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio..

I just bought a Canon SD750.. and while the image look much better..in order to print 4x6's I have to crop the image..

Presumably, like most compacts, this has a 4:3 aspect ratio which doesn't match 6 x 4 inch paper..

I was reading an article online that said a 6MP camera would produce4x6's without having to crop.. just like a 3MP, yet with a higher DPI..

Again, that would depend on the aspect ratio of the camera. It sounds like the point being made was that 6MP is far more than enough for a 6 x 4 print.

Is that to say a 9MP camera would produce a 4x6 withoutcropping..with an even higher DPI that would really only be usefulfor printing larger photos when I wanted?.

... only if it had the 3:2 ratio. For very sharp prints, 300 pixels per inch is the generally assumed requirement, so a 6 x 4 inch print needs 1800 x 1200 pixels = 2.16MP. So 9MP allows you a lot of leeway to crop and still get pin-sharp 6 x 4 inch prints if you want. )r, of course, you have the scope to make larger prints.

Does the size lens have anything to do with that? Like.. thePanasonic TZ5 has a 28mm lens.. My kodak has a 38mm..

No. the focal length of the lens has nothing to do with the aspect ratio of the sensor or the size you can print at. the two cameras you mention probably have different size sensors, which is why they need different focal length lenses to cover the same field of view..

I thought about getting the TZ5 originally, but when I went toCircuit City to just look.. I ended up with the SD750..

I want a camera that for everyday outings I can take a long and nothave to worry about having to crop them to print a 4x6... but also Iwant something to take some higher quality images for everythingother than the 4x6 prints. I like the tZ5 because of it's wide anglelens.. and I think I read you can have it save 3 images per shot.. inthe 3 diff aspect ratios..

All cameras now have far more than enough MP to allow you to make sharp 6 x 4 inch prints. Most compacts however have a 4:3 aspect ratio which would translate to a 6 x 4.5 inch print... not a size paper you can easily get. It is indeed completely ridiculous that most common paper sizes (7 x 5, 10 x 8, A4 etc. etc.) do not exactly match the proportions of EITHER the 3:2 cameras (most DSLRs) or the 4:3 cameras (most compacts), which means that some cropping is a necessity..

If this really annoys you, find a camera with a 3:2 aspect ratio and make 6 x 4 inch prints - that is the only common print size that exactly matches the proportions of a common type of sensor. if you want to make bigger prints you will either have to crop the image to match the paper, or get a guillotine and trim the print afterwards (e.g. you could print a 10.5 x 7 inch print from a 3:2 camera on A4 paper and trim the unused edges off)..

Personally I find trimming prints a complete pain so I prefer to crop the image first in photoshop and print using a full piece of paper..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

Thanks.

That cleared up a lot..

I guess I could use the SD750 after all for 4x6 prints... I'd just have to set it to 1600x1200 resolution...

Comment #3

Why do that? Why not just leave it at maximum??.

Fenrisx wrote:.

Thanks.

That cleared up a lot..

I guess I could use the SD750 after all for 4x6 prints... I'd justhave to set it to 1600x1200 resolution...

Comment #4

I agree: leave it on maximum and stick a couple of bits of sticky tape over the edges of the screen for composing..

You'll find some software lets you set the size that you crop to and save it and other software* sets the picture in a position on the paper to use the entire print and leave a choice of margins. You can use the margin on portraits to scribble messages or notes like an autograph or copyright notice or else just the date..

On landscapes you end up with a lot of paper in the bin or else have to crop but that's not much of a problem is it? It gets complicated when you've four digital cameras in the house and have to remember all the different crop sizes for each one as A4 and 4"x6" and so on. Then you need a large wall chart....

Regards, David.

* Have a look at FastStone and irfanview: both free and excellent...

Comment #5

Other posters have answered your questions on why...

Try Picasa2 by Google. Its free and when you make crops or edits, it is non distructive to your image. This means you can go back and redue the crop as many times as you like. 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, etc. Print any size and you control the crop...

Ed..

Comment #6

Yeah.. that's a much better idea. I'll just leave it on maximum. There's an option on the camera for 3:2 shots that darks out the area that won't be used to help frame the shot. I'll just use it..

I use Photoshop CS3 for cropping.. I just keep the master image, and the cropped image as two separate files. I might try Picasa2 in the future though..

Thanks everyone...

Comment #7

Should have bought the TZ5.it has a 3:2 aspect ratio setting..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #8

Hi,.

The other point to consider is, just how many of your pictures do you print?.

Most people look at 90 to 95% of their pictures on the monitor and don't bother to print them. They'd be better off leaving the camera at 4:3 - which is the aspect ratio of the usual moitor. Use 3:2 all the time and the monitor will never be filled..

So as I said, just how many do you print?.

Regards, David..

Comment #9

David Hughes wrote:.

Most people look at 90 to 95% of their pictures on the monitor anddon't bother to print them. They'd be better off leaving the cameraat 4:3 - which is the aspect ratio of the usual moitor. Use 3:2 allthe time and the monitor will never be filled..

Most people here at DPR, maybe..

But a huge portion of the general public still likes to fill up those photo albums..

And, the OP still likes to print 4x6's, as was said in the OP..

J. D.Colorful Colorado..

Comment #10

David Hughes wrote:.

Hi,.

The other point to consider is, just how many of your pictures do youprint?.

Good point indeed. Photos I take most of the time are just on my PC, but when the lady and myself are somewhere... generally 99% of the photos we take get printed and put into an album..

This SD750 has a 3:2 settings as well, all it's doing is cropping some off the top and bottom though. Which is fine..

I'm still considering just getting the TZ though.. and maybe a used Fuji F20 off eBay for some 'low light' stuff. They're much cheaper than the F30s and 31fd's...

Comment #11

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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