Turning Archive 2008

OT: Photography rant

steve antonucci
>I'm certain that a lot of people here are "guilty" of this, but I have a pet peeve about people who think they are UPGRADING their digital cameras by buying ones with higher megapixels! My wife is one of those people, and we now own 4 digital cameras, and she still doesn't know how to take a decent snapshot.

Rant time.

Megapixels are a measurement of resolving power of the camera, which is only really useful when you are enlarging to a "big print". Most commercial prints come back at 4x6, which is a throw back to 35 mm negative. The paper and the equipment used to print matters much more than the amount of data in the image, since if the paper can't handle the resolution, it doesn't matter how many megapixels there are. Think of it as an HD signal on an old B&W 12" TV...

Lots of people are under the impression that more is inherently better. At magnification and to a discerning eye, that is certainly true, but how much so? I have a snapshot of Yosemite Falls in my living room that I had enlarged to 20"x30". It was taken with a $99 Kodak 3.0MP camera, and there is no obvious loss of quality at that magnification.

I laugh when I hear about "upgrading the camera". Most folks need to point and shoot, and almost anything will do. In fact, there's probably nothing wrong with their current cameras, other than the fact that people believe that "better" cameras will take better pictures and make them better photographers. No camera in the world is capable of taking a good picture with a bad photographer.

Just like we need to learn our craft standing at the lathe, a camera is an instrument, a tool. Without training, it is useless. The good news is that huge improvements can be had with very little effort- sometimes less than a day or one good book on photography. I highly recommend this as the next upgrade to most people.

Rant off.


P.S. Did you ever notice that most website pictures are 20K? Ellis only lets us push 80K up. Think about it.

P.P.S. Anyone want to buy a good 3.0MP camera? A 5.0MP? a 6.0MP? Wife still doesn't get it...

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