Printing Resolutions from Mirrorless Cameras
by Derrick Story–
One of the areas that mirrorless cameras need to perform well to gain the trust of enthusiast photographers is in their ability to make high quality prints. During my testing of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Samsung NX300, I’ve been pleased with the output from each. Here’s a look at 5 top mirrorless bodies from a printing point of view.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 (16.3 MP)
The new Olympus flagship Compact System Camera, OM-D E-M1 features a 16.3 MP Live MOS sensor and retails for $1,399.
Its file size measures 4608×3456. At 240 ppi, you can print 19.2″ x 14.4″ If you increase resolution to 300 ppi, you won’t be able to print on 13″x19″ paper because the document size is reduced to 15.4″ x 11.5″ (unless you float the image, which is quite artistic looking). I’ve had excellent results, however, printing at 240 ppi.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 (16 MP)
One of Panasonic’s most exciting Compact System Camera bodies is the DMC-GX7 featuring a 16 MP Digital Live MOS sensor and selling for $898.
Its file size measures 4592×3448. At 240 ppi, you can print 19.1″ x 14.4″ If you increase resolution to 300 ppi, the document size is reduced to 15.3″ x 11.5″.
Samsung NX300 (20.3 MP)
The Samsung NX300 gets you a lot of resolution for the money: 20.3 MP. The kit that includes a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens is selling for $799, and you get more pixels than the Micro Four Thirds bodies by Olympus and Panasonic.
Its file size measures 5472×3648. At 240 ppi, you can print 22.8″ x 15.2″ If you increase resolution to 300 ppi, the document size is reduced to 18.2″ x 12.2″ – close enough to use 13″ x 19″ paper.
Sony Alpha NEX-5T (16.1 MP)
Sony makes two basic flavors of their Alpha line of Compact System Cameras. The first one that I think is worth examining is the Alpha NEX-5T that houses a 16.1MP APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and sells for $548.
Its file size measures 4912×3264. At 240 ppi, you can print 20.5″ x 13.6″ – a nice fit for 13″ by 19″ paper. If you increase resolution to 300 ppi, the document size is reduced to 16.4″ x 10.9″.
Sony Alpha NEX-7 (24.3 MP)
The resolution champ in this field of Compact System Cameras is the Sony Alpha NEX-7 that sells for $1,098. And for your money you get a whopping 24.3 MP sensor.
Its file size measures 6000×4000. At 240 ppi, you can print 25″ x 16.7″ – allowing you to move up a paper size to 22″ x 17″. If you increase resolution to 300 ppi, the document size is reduced to 20″ x 13.3″ – still enough to fill a 13″ x 19″ sheet of Red River Paper from edge to edge.
The Bottom Line
If you use a 13″ printer for your output, any of these mirrorless cameras should produce the results you’re looking for. Not only do they provide at least 16 megapixels of resolution, their dynamic range and color rendition are quite good.
Those who often crop their compositions before printing may want to take a closer look at the Samsung NX300 and the Sony NEX-7 that provide a few more pixels to work with.
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