i'm not using it to model though. So no go on the camera image plane idea. I'm actually texturing a plane which is part of a model.
ok so it seems like maya cannot map a large texture to a plane and keep it's UV ratio... nobody from any of the many other forums i've tried has been able to solve this.
that's a HUGE disadvantage! they should get it fixed!!! it's a real BIG problem!!
i know i can have work arounds and eventually get my plane scaled etc to the right size but i shouldn't have to do this for such a basic operation!!
anyhoo thanks guys for the sggestions!