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Old 11-19-2017, 08:51 PM
ArtMaybe ArtMaybe is offline
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Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Hi, all ==

This is my first venture into the Photography Realm at WC. I'm a painter, not a photographer, but I need to take seriously accurate digital photos of my work. Low-rez images that appear on my website are easy, but images that are the basis of Print-on-demand prints sold to customers are "serious bidness."

I've been studying up, and have built my own 4-point lighting based on 5500K CFL bulbs. I'm serious about getting good images, but am limited in both budget and camera. My camera is a 12megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 as appears on DPreview.

My problem is that I can't seem to capture images at a high-enough resolution. At 12MP, my camera set to its 4:3 aspect ratio produces only 166ppi at best. 4000px divided by 24 inches of canvas width. I intend to stitch two images together as shown in the illustrations below, but even that won't deliver basic 200ppi resolution.

SEE MY METHOD AT THIS LINK

Basic POD providers require 200ppi images, and high-end PODs want 300ppi.

Assume a canvas width of 24". I'd like for the printed output to measure 20", but I'm not sure how the math works out. Can I obtain a good result by increasing the apparent resolution via Interpolation in Photoshop? Is there a better approach?

I intend to invest in a relatively inexpensive 24MP DSLR, if that's worthwhile. It won't be for several months yet, and when it does happen it'll probably be something like a Canon EOS Rebel T6i.

That camera's probably not your Number One suggestion, but money's tight. I figure I need the 24megapixels most of all, but I will also rely on the camera for good quality YouTube video, for gathering subject matter reference images and for general amateur photography.

Any advice is much appreciated.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:29 PM
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BitsOfNature BitsOfNature is online now
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

I've had a Canon T6 for about a year now and have been quite happy with it. Color seems spot on, very good battery life (important for me on week plus camping trips), lots of features like any of the current crop of DSLRs. I've never done any studio work so I can't speak to those aspects but been happy with the unit overall.

Regards,
Dale
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:33 AM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Hi Wendy

I was writing a whole essay on the topic. Unfortunately it fell foul of the Captcha nonsense that Wet Canvas seems to apply to South African users - doesn't do it when I'm in Europe or even when in Namibia.

Although I do not do much in the way of photographing paintings, I do a fair bit of photography including my own printing in the sizes you mention. I feel that it should be possible to make reasonable prints of artwork using a 12 Mpx camera.

I'll PM you my home email address and you can get in touch if you want to.

regards - Peter
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:15 AM
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frodron frodron is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Before you go any further I suggest you read "Photographing Paintings-Step by Step" by Artists Network.
It may help you identify the problem you are having.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:46 AM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

I tend to agree that a resolution of 12 MP ought to be enough for what you want to accomplish (although more MPs would of course be better).

Perhaps good image resizing algorithms (as found in PhotoShop) would help.

I think the Photo Equipment and Software forum might be a better place for your thread - a moderator can move it for you if you want.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:15 AM
ArtMaybe ArtMaybe is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by BitsOfNature
I've had a Canon T6 for about a year now and have been quite happy with it. Color seems spot on, very good battery life (important for me on week plus camping trips), lots of features like any of the current crop of DSLRs. I've never done any studio work so I can't speak to those aspects but been happy with the unit overall.
That's very good to know, Dale. I've been researching cameras online and it's easy to spend 4 or 5 times the price of the T6i. I don't think I need all the features/capabilities of those cameras, but am leery of "not spending enough" and being disappointed when I become familiar with the camera.

I looked at your website. I'll bet your work is fun and very fulfilling. Week-long camping trips! Too good, and it speaks well of the camera's durability.

As I get closer to purchasing a Canon EOS Rebel T6i (IF I do that) would you allow me to "pick your brain" a bit? I don't know what's different between the T6 and T6i, but I'll bet it's not much - and your opinion/insights would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:17 AM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by dewarp
Hi Wendy
Thanks for the offer of assistance.
For the record, I'm not Wendy.
I'm a guy.

And thanks for the encouragement regarding use of a 12MP camera. It's all I have right now so I have to make it work. Is Interpolation the only way for me to achieve 200ppi?

Last edited by ArtMaybe : 11-20-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:26 AM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by frodron
Before you go any further I suggest you read "Photographing Paintings-Step by Step" by Artists Network.
It may help you identify the problem you are having.
That's a GREAT article!

I spent weeks, off and on, researching how to photograph my paintings. I read everything I could find, and as a result I already know most of what's in the article you recommend. BUT...if I had found your article at the outset I could have spared myself all that reading and taking of notes!

Thank you very much for the recommendation. I have downloaded the page for future reference as it is a very good "in a nutshell" overview of the process.

Here's the link for anyone interested:
http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articl...g-step-by-step
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:43 AM
ArtMaybe ArtMaybe is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by droll13
I tend to agree that a resolution of 12 MP ought to be enough for what you want to accomplish (although more MPs would of course be better). Perhaps good image resizing algorithms (as found in PhotoShop) would help.
I hope you're right. 12MP with Photoshop resizing seems like it would work, up to a point. I intend to look deeper into that approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droll13
I think the Photo Equipment and Software forum might be a better place for your thread - a moderator can move it for you if you want.
GOOD SUGGESTION but I don't see a way to contact a Moderator...

Last edited by ArtMaybe : 11-20-2017 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:02 PM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtMaybe
I hope you're right. 12MP with Photoshop resizing seems like it would work, up to a point. I intend to look deeper into that approach.


GOOD SUGGESTION but I don't see a way to contact a Moderator...
I took the liberty of contacting a moderator (Luv2Shoot) via PM. She (Lorell) can probably move the thread if you want.

And you're right - they should make it easier to identify and contact the moderators.
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:12 PM
ArtMaybe ArtMaybe is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by droll13
I took the liberty of contacting a moderator (Luv2Shoot) via PM. She (Lorell) can probably move the thread if you want. And you're right - they should make it easier to identify and contact the moderators.
Thanks a lot, Dave. I still don't see how to contact Lorell, so if she's watching:

Moderator, please move this thread to the Photo Equipment and Software forum.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:29 PM
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dewarp dewarp is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtMaybe
Thanks for the offer of assistance.
For the record, I'm not Wendy.
I'm a guy.

Oops - sorry for that mistake .

regards - Peter
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:25 PM
Quint Quint is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

I've been taking good quality images of artwork done in watercolor, oil, pastel, etc. I do it with natural light but not with direct sunlight. I use a 35mm prime lens on a crop sensor Nikon D7000 (16 mp) and do 16 bit RAW images that I convert to jpg or tiff. No trouble getting 300 dpi resolution. I use an aperture of F8 or F11 and try to fill my viewfinder with enough trim to allow for slight cropping and straightening. I'm using Photoshop 12 Elements also. Keeping square to the artwork, using a tripod and your camera's timer or remote release is important. Your camera's RGB/sRGB setting can be either way when you take RAW images. The camera uses this setting when it converts the file in camera to a jpg. You may adjust this as you see fit in Photoshop when working files to the jpg or tiff format.
When printing with my Epson 3880 I can get beautiful results with smaller jpg (<5mp) files for my 5" x 7" cards but usually save as tiffs for larger prints. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:55 PM
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtMaybe
As I get closer to purchasing a Canon EOS Rebel T6i (IF I do that) would you allow me to "pick your brain" a bit? I don't know what's different between the T6 and T6i, but I'll bet it's not much - and your opinion/insights would be much appreciated.

I'd be glad to help out any way I can, with the caveat that I'm a long ways from a professional photographer!

One note on sizing. People have been chasing more megapixels for years and I suspect the camera manufacturers contribute greatly to this malaise, but the key question for resolution requirements is what size prints are needed. As I understand it the human eye can't detect anything more than 300 dpi, and that's probably in a very "contolled" test like having one pixel a different color and seeing if it can be detected. But that's mostly a moot point because most printers can't reach that output resolution, and for the vast majority of uses that resolution would be wasted anyway -- the subject matter doesn't "improve" with a higher resolution.

Anything north of 200 dpi is quite good, with 250 being ideal. North of that typically isn't achievable for most printers.

I scan my flowers at 1200 dpi allowing me to print 4x the size without breaking a sweat, or 32x40 and realistically 48x60 with little risk. (My 11 year old Epson will go up to 12k dpi scans or something crazy like that, but "just" at 2400dpi at 24 bit color the raw files are 1.6 GB!)

I learned this from Wayne Fulton's "A Few Scanning Tips" http:// www.scantips.com. I got a printed copy from way back so it is out of tune with current technology but presumably the latest is on his site.

An important tip: JPEG is a "lossy" compression algorithm. Editing the same JPEG file over and over will cause loss of information. Either edit all in one "go" or better yet save in the TIFF format with the lossless LZW compression algorithm.

Regards,
Dale
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:32 AM
ArtMaybe ArtMaybe is offline
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Re: Can't Get Enough -or- Camera vs. Canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
I've been taking good quality images of artwork done in watercolor, oil, pastel, etc. I use a 35mm prime lens on a crop sensor Nikon D7000 (16 mp)...No trouble getting 300 dpi resolution....When printing with my Epson 3880 I can get beautiful results with smaller jpg (<5mp) files for my 5" x 7" cards but usually save as tiffs for larger prints. Hope this helps.
Thanks, Quint. I read and understood your entire post, but edited it to make a point. I think you're able to achieve 300ppi because your art work is much smaller than mine and your camera makes higher definition images than mine. If you were to shoot a painting that is 30x24" using a 12megapixel camera I think you'd be in the same boat as me.

Or maybe I'm missing something...
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