/ digital moron question - size of printable image from G9?

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Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
Hello all,

I'm a digital moron - the only digital camera I have is a Canon G9, which is a compact, and I was wondering how big an image I could reasonably print from it?

(Context for those who might not know (and why would you) - I'm normally a film photographer, have no intention of getting a DSLR etc in the imminent future, just want to use my digi compact for one particular thing to save film)

Thanks in advance!
Hairy Pete on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Doesn't that depend very much on how far away you view the image? I've seen G9 images enlarged to A3 - from a few feet away they looked good.
Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Hairy Pete:

I want to be able to look at it close up and not see huge pixels.

It's not the end of the world if I can only get an image up to A3 - I'll just use a medium format film camera instead. Was just curious really.
Dave B on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Hairy Pete:

I've printed A4 from 1800x1200 pixels fine, so A3 seems perfectly possible from about 3600x2400 (8MP). That should allow you to crop out the edges where you'll get more distortion etc from a compact compared to an SLR. There may be a sweet spot in term of zoom for it, so perhaps investigate that...
taine - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The rule of thumb seems to be you need about 200 pixels per inch of print. so divide the number of pixels on the long side of your G9 image by 200 for a ballpark number of inches.

But for most purposes I think you can even go bigger than that because of viewing distance. I'm sure I read an article on Luminous landscape about this but can't find it now.

I seem to recall ChrisJD giving good advice on this on here before.
davidbeynon - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Depends on the print resolution you want. According to wikipedia the g9 has a maximum resolution of 4000*3000. A number of wet printers work at 300dpi, so if you wanted to get all the detail then the smallest image you could print with one would be about 13.3 x 10 inch.

I have printed A3 images from my old 6mp camera without being able to see the pixels unless I get close up and squint. A back of an envelope calculation suggests you would get the same density with 1.4x bigger (sqrt(2)).

davidbeynon - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to taine:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> The rule of thumb seems to be you need about 200 pixels per inch of print. so divide the number of pixels on the long side of your G9 image by 200 for a ballpark number of inches.
>

That's for close up. If you want to look at the pictures from a distance you can get away with blowing them up a lot more.

Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

That's very helpful - it would be for looking at close-up, and for once I want a finished image that's bigger than that (I usually work pretty small!). I'll go with film.

Thanks everyone!
dek - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
I recently saw the Dig v Film scan, comparison on the gadget show. They blew up images from an 8 meg camera, and the Pentax film neg to a huge banner, hung down the side of a one story office. The Dig looked best!
Sean B, of this parish also had big poster type displays, hung outside the museums Edinburgh, they looked great too. No pixilation issues at all!
Richard will be along soon? ...with with his link to the 3mb Nikon blow up image of the big cat, about A2 equivalent I think? Looks fantastic!
(You ought to be fine I reckon!)
digby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The number of pixels is separate from the amount of information in the photo.
You can resample the image so that there are more pixels (and a correspondingly bigger file size). Therefore you can blow it up bigger without seeing squarey pixels.
However the picture information remains the same - it's just stretched out thinner as it were, so will appear fuzzy from close up.

When you downsize an image for the web you are doing the opposite. Chucking pixels to end up with a smaller file size. In this case picture information is lost.
Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to digby:

Yep - the fuzzy closeup is something I don't want.
davidbeynon - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to digby:

Er no. The number of pixels, multiplied by and the precision of those pixels /is/ the amount of information in the photo.
The Lemming - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> I recently saw the Dig v Film scan, comparison on the gadget show. They blew up images from an 8 meg camera, and the Pentax film neg to a huge banner, hung down the side of a one story office. The Dig looked best!

I saw that too and was very impressed with the size of the prints.

Huge. :-)
Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to The Lemming:

But what were they like close up?

It's for a print to go above my desk, so it needs to be pin-sharp close up. I suspect I should stop being tight and just get out and get the shot I want on medium format.
dek - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to dek)
> [...]
>
> Huge. :-)
You Sir, are a 'Lemming'...a 6"x4" enprint must seem huge?!

dek - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
You could forgo all the Geeky Bollox, and take a good file into a big Asda store that has the large format Epson printer. They output A2s cheaper, and quicker than most labs.
At least you'd know how it's going to hold up to enlarging, without spending a mint?!
Tall Clare - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to dek:

That's a thought!
The Lemming - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> But what were they like close up?
>

Going off the TV program and what the TV cameras were showing, there was no discernible difference between both the digital and film enlargements, which were many meters in size. There was no mention of any digital manipulation in photoshop, but from what we saw in the show you could not tell the difference between both images. In fact it was a 50/50 guess.
The Lemming - on 14 Nov 2012
The Lemming - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Has the Gadget Show link, which aired in 2009, given you the bug to try your project sans film?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tall Clare - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to The Lemming:

Nah - that was 35mm vs digital and I'll be using MF :-) I'll use the digi for test shots though.
another_mark on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Out of interest Clare, have you looked at digital backs recently?

Don't know what MF kit you use, but I was surprised to see phase one backs under 1k - in fact theres a hassleblad with digital back for 1500 buy it now on ebay at the moment.
Tall Clare - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to another_mark:

Haha, I use a 1955 Minolta Autocord that Al Evans very kindly donated. I'm cheapskate all the way... Nice thought though!
Stone Muppet - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> (In reply to digby)
>
> Er no. The number of pixels, multiplied by and the precision of those pixels /is/ the amount of information in the photo.

Really? How much information is there in this (binary):

000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000 (and so on for a long time)
another_mark on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Fair enough. I tend to assume that people with MF are loaded - obviously that should be loaded down with the weight.

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