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Is an 8.0MP cam worth the $$?
My wife and I are shopping for our first digicam...

I want the Panasonic Lumix FZ10 (4MP, 12x optical zoom, $900), she wants the Nikon Coolpix 8700 (8MP, 8x opt.zoom, $1240). She thinks that 8x10 prints from the Panasonic will not be good enough quality.

Hi and welcome, Cailean!

The short answer is that it depends on what quality you're printing your prints at. For commercial quality prints the standard is 300ppi (pixels per inch), but most people say that you can get photo quality results at around 200-250ppi.

So for 4MP: 2272x1704 pixels for printing at 8x10 inches - will produce approx. 220 ppi...
(2272 divided by 10 inches ~ 227 ppi)

In my experience, I've printed 8x10's using 3MP images and I found them perfectly acceptable.

The other question to ask is that which camera suits you better? The 8700 may have higher quality images, but then again the image stabilisation and longer zoom may get you some photos which you couldn' t have captured... Big Grin

All the best in your search... don't forget to try the cameras out in the shops. I've ooohed and aaahed about camera specs on paper before, but found that I had a totally different opinion when it was in my hands...
Thanks for the info, Julian... you just might have saved a marriage!!! Wink (jk)

Great site you've got here - excellent job integrating punbb (which is how I found you, btw)
Thanks Cailean... yeah punbb is great! I love it! Big Grin

You've got a site running punbb too?
Yep, I have a punbb forum running at

I saw your 'show off' post at and since I was in the market for a digicam, it was a happy coincidence!

BTW, I think we've settled on the FZ10. Went and played with it in-store today - what a great camera! All it's missing is a flip-out LCD like the Coolpix has - oh well, can't have it all.
Cool... great stuff Cailean! All the best on your purchase, and do share your thoughts on the camera when you do - would love to hear some feedback.
Back when I used my Olympus 1.3MP camera, it seemed like enough.
Now I use my 6mp camera, it seems more than enough sometimes; most of my pictures, I do not print out, but instead, always view on computer, so anything bigger than what my computer screen can handle, is a bit of a waste of space (computer space) since it resizes it to fit my screen. Only useful when I want to zoom in, or crop, then I can crop and still make it fit the screen.
Then I might as well stayed with a 1.3MP camera, but I really like my new camera Smile

To see the quality difference, (in terms of mega-pixels) I think I need to print Smile
yeah ..adam .. letds get together a compilation ..and then go print it ...
we should go print one of these days .. .

hrmm 8mp ... i say ... the larger the quality the larger the file . the larger the memory you need .. the larger the hole in ur wallet. ..
yes, we'll print our nicely post-processed pictures, just to see how it turns out Smile

benefits of 8mp over less mp, would be that you can always print larger without losing quality; that is something that can not be substituted Smile
but how often do you print that big where the difference between 6mp and 8mp can be noted?

A concern at the moment for me, for 8mp cameras is the number of photosites per unit area. They might be squeezing it all onto a little CMOS or CCD, but I think for DSLRs, it's not too bad, as compared to compact point and shoots.
itd be nice if they made a 35mm sensor that the lens' effective focal leng will stay the same .. but i guess they want things smaller not larger. ..

well .. youve made you descision anyways... all the best with your new cam .. im sure ull have lots of great moments with it.
Thought I'd let you all know that we did buy the FZ10 and we love it! The 4.0 MP are more than adequate for the 8x10s and leave lots of cropping room for nice full-frame 4x6s.

Thanks for your input!
Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ10
Image Management/Editing:ArcSoft PhotoBase4
Advanced Image Editing: Adobe PhotoShop 7
Great! 12x stabilised lens... drool...

Do post some pics up when you've got some!
Good Work mate .. good to see you made your descision ..
yeah share some photos when you get the chance.. ^^
Cailean Smile I like your avatar, people must think me obsessed withmyself always taking pictures of my reflection Smile
I'll post some
uhauha .. i got plenty of reflective photos as well ..
its no that bvad ...
I wondered if I should use that avatar or not... I just thought it was cool because the slow-sync flash setting allowed me to do it without "flashing out" the whole shot!

Yes, the 12x stab. lens is VERY nice. Took some concert photos tonight... perhaps I'll share those - some at full wide, some at full tele, etc.
Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ10
Image Management/Editing:ArcSoft PhotoBase4
Advanced Image Editing: Adobe PhotoShop 7
cool! Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures Smile
12x optical zoom with stabilised! impressive!!! can't wait to see the pics!
how does it handl when you are using the full tele mode ?
ive never used IS so i dont know how effective it is ..

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Is an 8.0MP cam worth the $$?00