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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Digital camera picture size

    I just purchased a Nikon Coolpix AW100 and the default image size is 16 megapixels, 4608 x 3456. This produces insanely large files over 6.5 MB each. My question is, is there any benefit to saving the files in the largest format possible? I usually have to resize the image to post anything on the internet. I very rarely will print a picture. Whats the deal about having such large pixel ratios?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I will store all my digital photo images in the largest size possible, it's generally better to have all one's higher quality originals that way.
    As quality goes, generally, the more pixels the better, especially for professional or semi professional photographers.

    You should be able to easily set the size in your camara if you don't have the space or storage capacity in the camara's storage.
    In fact that's probably what you should do if all you have is 80MB of storage in that camara and your not looking at
    doing professional grade photography.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    The "rule of thumb" that I use:
    If for online use only: use 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 or 1440 x 900 (These are popular screen sizes and look/fit best)
    If you want to be sure that your photos are not 'borrowed' for someone's gain use 320 x 240 and below or watermark them.
    For printing:
    4"x6" - minimum 800 x 600
    8" x 10" - 1024 X 768 minimum.
    Larger than this - use the best your camera has.
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  5. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks CLint! Are you saying that having the high resolution to begin with makes the picture better when resized? If that's the case then it's a no brainer. I do have plenty of capacity on my SDHC card so that isn't really an issue. I guess my point was if the higher respolution doesn't buy me anything when I resize and publish my photo in a forum or blog, then why even waste the space or endure longer transfer times just for the sake of having the largest file size possible. I see your point about professionals requiring the high res but the AW100 is hardly close to being in that league as it's more of an adventurist's type of camera being water proof and all. And I suppose having the larger image allows you to keep your options open if you did want to do something "professionally" with the photo at a later time.
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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    What I'm saying is, if all your doing is cheap photography, you can set your camara to a lower res.

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    Any pics that I want in high res I take in RAW format.
    Then I can edit them and save them as a JPG. But I keep the original RAW file if I want to edit it again in the future.
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  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    The more pixels the better. The resolution does not count, it's all in the pixel count. The more the better. Of course, the picture you take can be a good one or a poor one.

    Save as RAW/NEF depending on what your camera saves.
    Save the NEF/RAW files on disk and you can always go back to them and use them for different media.
    Then use Photoshop (or another application) to downsample (make the image smaller).
    Remember to use the correct interpolation method.


    If you edit a JP(E)G remember that each time you resave it, there can (and usually will) be quality loss.
    If you work on a Photoshop document, there will not be quality loss.

    And most of all: each (yes, *each*) image manipulation like scaling and transforming results in quality loss. Even in Photoshop files.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchPie View Post
    The more pixels the better. The resolution does not count, it's all in the pixel count. The more the better.
    For any given image: Resolution = pixel count!!!

    The minimum required resolution depends on what you're proposing to do with the images - both now and in the future. Once an image's resolution is reduced, you can never get it all back.
    If you edit a JP(E)G remember that each time you resave it, there can (and usually will) be quality loss.
    There will always be a quality loss, due to the lossy nature of the compression.
    If you work on a Photoshop document, there will not be quality loss.
    That all depends on what you do with it.

    The advantage of working with RAW files, be they NEF or whatever, is that the original is usually not edited by an image editor - which only edits a TIFF/jpeg copy extracted from it, meaning you can go back to the original image if you muck up the edited version.

    Frankly, in these days of 1TB+ HDDs, a 6.5Mb file size is trivial. FWIW, a 4608 x 3456 image is good enough for a 48*36cm print @ 240dpi - which is ample for the distance at which such images would normally be viewed.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
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  10. #9
    New Lounger
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    Just to be on the safe side:

    Pixel count resolution.

    Resolution is an instruction for the printing device (and sometimes even displaying device/software). But it is not the pixel count

    Pixels have nothing to do with resolution.
    Pixels just *are*.
    Pixels are zen.

  11. #10
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    DutchPie: Image resolution is entirely independent of any printer. Please take the time to learn what these terms mean instead of pontificating.

    As I said in my previous post, the OP's images are suitable for making a 48*36cm print @ 240dpi. At 1440dpi, you'd only get a 8*6cm print of the exact same image. Tell me: which print has the greater resolution?? Do not both resolve the same level of detail in the image (notwithstanding neither you nor I can resolve detail @ 1440dpi with the naked eye)???
    Cheers,

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  12. #11
    New Lounger
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    @Macropod: resolution is of course device-independent. I never suggested it was dependent of printers, where did you get that from? I am curious.
    Your calculation has nothing to do with my previous post, I didn't even get into that

  13. #12
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    You seem to be trying to have it each way. If it's not related to the pixel count, what do you suippose it is???
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  14. #13
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    Resolution is a measurement unit. It is nothing else than that. Pixel count is the amount of pixels in a file.
    Resolution tells devices what to do with pixels (how many per unit).

  15. #14
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    Resolution means different things in different contexts. Sometimes resolution is, indeed, pixel density, others it is used simply as pixel count. I find this example very telling:

    http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/glo...resolution.htm
    http://presentationsoft.about.com/od/r/g/resolution.htm

    Two different definitions from the same site, although offered in different contexts. I think there is no denying the term is used in both senses and I know of no definite authoritative body that has defined this (although I may be wrong).

  16. #15
    Silver Lounger
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    Ya, just don't mix mediums into the discussion, keep screen resolutions, printer resolutions, and camera resolutions all separate to avoid this confusion.

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