The Truth About Pixels, Part 2-1: Printing 4x3 Inch Photos
Why is a 3 megapixel camera better than a 1 megapixel camera? It really depends on how you intend to reproduce the picture. The reason cameras produce pictures at 72 pixels per inch is that this format is standard in video uses such as television and DVD. So there is no noticeable difference in quality when viewing pictures on a TV or DVD. The difference appears when you are cropping and/or printing these pictures. If you are not familiar with the term cropping, I will explain it later. First, let's talk about printing.
Even the most inexpensive of printers these days are capable of printing at 300 dots per inch (dpi). Most are capable of printing at 600 dpi and you can buy relatively affordable printers that print at 1200 dpi and above. You may have noticed that with cameras it's called pixels per inch and with printers it is call dots per inch. The terms are hardware specific, but relate to the same principal. A printer prints a specific number of dots of ink per inch on the paper whereas a TV displays a specific number of pixels per inch on the screen. In either case, combining the dots or pixels creates the picture.
So how does this affect quality? If we're printing a picture that has 72 pixels per inch from a 1-megapixel camera on 4x3 printer paper we've got a problem. (Here is where I have to crunch some numbers, so please bear with me.) Let's figure it out. Four inches times 72 pixels (dots) per inch equals 288 pixels (dots) on the vertical line. Three inches times 72 pixels (dots) equals 216 pixels (dots) on the horizontal line. The total picture would have 288 times 216 or 62,208 pixels. That's way short of one million.
So where did the other pixels go? If you're printing this picture at a store or camera shop that has conversion capabilities, the machine that you are printing on actually crunches the picture down for you. The size of the picture taken by a 1-megapixel camera is approximately 16 inches x12 inches. (16x72=1152 and 12x72=864 and 864x1152=995,328 pixels). The machine makes this picture into a 4x3 by increasing the number of pixels per inch. The 4x3 picture is 1/4th the size of the 16x12 so there has to be four times as many pixels per inch to reduce this picture to 4x3. Four times seventy two equals two hundred eighty eight pixels (dots) per inch. With more pixels or dots per inch, the picture can be reproduced at a higher quality level making details sharper and more distinct. So a 1-megapixel camera can produce a reasonably good quality 4x3 inch picture on a 300 dpi printer. That's what most amateur photographers get with their snapshot cameras. If you try to get larger pictures, then the picture quality begins to deteriorate. Part 2-2 will deal with larger prints.
Conclusion: If you have a printer with more than 300 dpi capabilities and all you want is 4x3 inch prints, then you are not using all your printer's abilities. If you want prints larger than 4x3 inch, then you need a camera with a higher quality output capability. If all you want is 4x3 inch prints and video reproduction without cropping much, then a 1-megapixel camera and 300 dpi printer should serve you fine.
Note: Different printers produce different quality prints. Since this is a discussion of pixels and digital cameras, I do not get into choosing printers for the quality. Suffice it to say, if you have a reasonably good quality printer, then the information provided should work for you.
Note 2: There are ways to enlarge prints with lower dpi rates and size and still get quality results. This information will come in later discussions and is probably geared toward the more advanced photographers and digital dark room users.
The Well-Dressed Photographer - Summer
Outdoor photographers shoot year round. That includes the hot summer. You may be surprised to learn that the best way to tolerate the heat is not to strip down to your skivvies. Instead, using the right products and wearing clothing designed to face the challenges of summer will help you keep your cool.
Underwater Photography: The Wonders Under the Sea
The world of photography is an amazing one. It's been with us for quite a while now but it is constantly changing. Cameras are changing and improving. Methods of developing are changing and improving as well. We have digital cameras that allow people to take a view of their pictures immediately without traditional developing. Another change in the world of photography is underwater photography.
Landscape Photography - Capture the Beauty That is All Around
There are many different types of photography. You can take pictures of anything and there is someone out there somewhere who would like to see the pictures that you take. So, photography is a great field to get into.
Studio Photography and Digital Backgrounds
The article given here was written for Adobe Photoshop 5,6,7,CS, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 and 3.
How to Buy a Digital Camera
Are you buying your first digital camera? Well, you must be confused by the bewildering range of models out there. How do you know which model will suit your needs? To make things worse, digital cameras do not come cheap. Choosing a bad camera will easily cost you a few hundred dollars.
Getting the Most From Your Digital Camera Memory Card
Imagine taking your new digital camera on a vacation and then realizing that you can barely click 20-30 images at a go. So, what do you do to avoid such a situation? The answer to this question lies in the purchase of an extra memory card or two.
Digital Camera Interpolation Explained
In a device such as a digital camera it is very important to understand the very basic aspects of the device so as to properly operate it and give it the due respect it deserves. Such a topic is interpolation! These are accessories that help the digital camera to perform the technologically advanced features that it is capable of. In extreme explanatory and simple terms it can be summed up as that interpolation refers to software programs that can effectively enlarge image resolution beyond the actual resolution by adding extra pixels using complex mathematic calculations. Now, this is a feature that can be absolutely useful in providing a good success to a user.
Four Unique Ways for the Pet Portrait Artist to Stand Out
The warm feelings are flowing all around when the pet lover sees her commissioned portrait of her beloved dog or cat for the first time. Would you like the love to last even longer and reward you above the standard commission fee? If so, consider these ideas:
Traveling to Europe with Your Digital Camera?
The Vacation Season is fast approaching and naturally you will be taking your digital camera along for the journey. After all your vacations are far and few between and it is nice to look back on those memories as you slave away at your job. However, when you travel with a digital camera, it is a completely different experience from that of traveling with a film camera. This is a lesson that far too many travelers seem to be learning the hard way, especially if you're traveling to Europe. After a couples years of relying solely on digital camera for taking photos when I travel, there are things you should consider before you head off on your next trip.
Digital Zoom Versus Optical Zoom
The digital camera is but a technological advancement of the conventional analog camera. And thus every component of the analog camera must have been upgraded or changed to bring in some improvisations. This discussion is an effort to unravel alteration and make one comparison between what was and what is! This discussion is thereby focused upon a very critical component of a camera (analog as well as digital), the zoom!
Digital Camera Memory - An Introduction
The digital camera is essentially a computer-based device, whose core is controlled by the computer. And as a result the photographs are stored in a location called memory. Now, this concept is or paramount importance in discussing digital camera. Strictly speaking, digital camera memory is where digital pictures are stored inside the camera. The digital camera memory is an essential and often a very neglected and overlooked section of equipments for digital photography and camera. There are many types of memory available for digital cameras, and it is a good practice to mull over what type of memory a camera uses before buying a digital camera. This discussing is aimed in revealing some of this relevant information!
Extreme Digital Photography: Beyond Point-and-shoot
When my old Olympus digital camera got broke while caving during a family camping trip, I had mixed feelings. For quite some time I had felt that the quality of some of my pictures was hampered by the limitations of that camera, but I did not look forward to spending the money on a new one.
Photography - Rules of Composition
Composition is defined as the combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole. In photography that definition is very important in taking quality pictures. The following rules of composition should be learned and considered but not necessarily used in every photo. Once you have learned these rules you will be more observant of the possible photo opportunities that surround you. But keep in mind that the really famous photographers usually find a creative way to stretch or break the rules of composition.
A New Way to Use Old Snapshots
If you're like me, you have hundreds of photographs sitting in envelopes. Pictures from birthday parties, weddings, family gatherings, anniversaries, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You have already put the best snapshots into albums and these are leftovers. You don't want to throw them away, but you also don't know what to do with them.
Better Photos with Your Digital Camera
Everyone has a digital camera today and we all take a lot of photos. But if your photos still have trees coming out of your father's head, mom has red eye, and your beloved pet is never facing the camera then here are some tips to help you take better photos.
Photography: The Basics
Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "light writing" and first became known back in 1839 by Sir John Herschel. For many years prior to this, people had discovered ways of causing certain chemicals to change color when exposed to light but they did not discover ways of getting the images to remain permanent until later on.
Kodak CX7300 Digital Camera
Quality digital cameras are becoming affordable for just about everyone these days. Kodak's entry into the low cost end of the market is their CX7300 3.2 mega pixel model. You just may be surprised at what a terrific value it is. Please read on.
Infrared Photography and the Car Thief ? Successful Digital Imaging
Infrared photography is sometimes placed on the outside edge of the mainstream photographic world. To the uninitiated observer infrared photography conjures up television images of car thieves speeding away from police helicopters during the dark hours of the night, only to be caught hiding beneath bushes beside a darkened home as their hot bodies light up the camera monitor in the police chopper like Bedouin camel herders atop a Sahara sand dune.
Using Film Speed Effectively (Black & White Film Thoughts)
It's hard to find sometimes but it's making a resurgence, black and white film. If you've never used this film now is the time to try it out. Here are some tips to using b&w film and what you can expect from the results.
Black & White Photography
Photography is a diversified field of creating a spectral variety of art. It is a specialization that deals with different experimentations with colors, however it is also a fact that only shades of black and white can also do wonders in this zone of creative art. With the advent of the digital camera the scope of this wonderful business has opened up new horizons for the users and photographers who seek to explore new lands and trod the ground of innovative creation and thus it can be aptly said that black & white can become more creativity with the boon of digital photography and digital camera. This discussion is primarily aimed at exploring the incipient information regarding the blessing of the digital camera in black & white photography so that the novice as well as the expert photographers can become richer in knowledge!
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