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Old Sep 11, 2003, 1:39 PM   #1
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Default Jumped in with both feat, over my head now?

(for those that don't want background skip to the dashes)

As a wedding gift my fiance and myself purchased a Sony F717 2 weeks ago. In order for her to want to use it she wanted to get good quality pictures, no "digital look" to any of the print outs. (her sister has printed out pictures for her in the past and they look very poor)

I figured the 5mp ability of the F717 would help in getting good quality pictures combined with the fact she wanted a film SLR originally (the Canon 10D would of been nice but out of our price range).

So, we picked up a really nice photo printer Canon S9000, and a bunch of photo paper (13x19 and 8x11).

Today I finally received my 256mb Memory stick pro.

I'm totally computer literate (you might be able to guess this from my spelling mistakes throughout this post), So I understand the idea of memory/space, resolutio, pixels, etc...

What I'm trying to figure out is what would be the optimal setting to use when taking pictures, quality vs number of pictures taken.

The confusion starts by the fact that the manual has 3 types of quality.

One would think that a Normal quality would take more space, but Email takes slightly more per shot.
I understand that TIFF is pretty much the raw data and will give you the best quality, but leaving it at this setting isn't an option for a vacation and only being able to snap 13-14 pictures.

(this is further muddied up by the fact that the compression ratio is further modifyable by setting the camera to FINE or STANDARD modes... I plan on just leaving it in FINE mode)

and it can do the following resolutions

What I'm wondering, is what would be the best setting for a really good 8x11 picture? That would be the setting I would want to leave it on nearly all the time... and then if I wanted to snap a picture of something I would want to go 13x19, bump it up to TIFF compression, or is 2560x1920 in fine quality good enough to do a really nice 13x19?

Day to day use I'm not concerned about it, since I can download the data right away. I'm thinking about going on a vacation, and snapping as many pictures as possible on a 256mb memory stick, while having the ability to tank any picture and print out a really nice 8x11 or even an 13x19.

Sorry for being so long winded


ps. Thanks for taking the time to read this... as it will save me a lot of frustrating and money testing out theories on printing paper
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Old Sep 11, 2003, 3:51 PM   #2
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Not unusual questions. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the F717 (other than that I've seen positive "I like it" posts.)

I would take the largest JPG and the highest resolution for normal use. That would mean FINE (if they didn't redefine it without telling you) for the compression setting. Like you, I would have expected it to also be "Normal" and not Email. I would hope your manual would have explained the difference.

I agree on your evaluation of TIFF. Technically, it isn't the "raw data" but since you put the "pretty much" in front of that, I might agree. As you might know, jpg pictures use a distructive compression. This allows for even more compression than would be possible otherwise. But this hurts image quality. With TIFF, there is no distructive compression (it might not even be compressed... there is a non-compressed TIFF standard.) I would not use TIFF unless it really mattered. It also will be slower because the camera will have to write more data to the memory stick. Just remember that!

As for those resolutions. I would always use the highest resolution. But that is just me. I care a lot about image quality and you never know when a picture might be amazing. If you took it at a lower resolution you'll just be really annoyed.

Size of a printout is a difficult thing. This is asked a lot, so I'll only recap. Please search around for the longer answers.

It's picture dependent. Pictures with lots of detail (complex landscapes, for example) require higher resolution. If the detail isn't there (because the resolution isn't enough) then it will not make large prints. On the other hand, pictures of things we know well (human faces, for example) can be blown up more because our brains fill in some of the details. It also depends on how far away the viewer is. Billboards don't have a lot of data but they get away with it because you are so far away.

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Old Sep 11, 2003, 4:40 PM   #3
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Great start!! thanks so much... I said "pretty much" because with TIFF from my limited knowledge there is slight compression. it isn't in fact a RAW picture.

So the only time I really should look to be taking a TIFF picture is if it was really intricate detail orintated.

I guess part of this will be trial and error as much as I'd rather it not be

I've been flipping through the forum and I'll continue to do so to pick up more and more.

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Old Sep 11, 2003, 6:36 PM   #4
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In addition, you might want to post on the Sony forum.
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Old Sep 11, 2003, 9:21 PM   #5
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Use the lowest jpg compression on your camera. Which aspect ratio you use depends on printing requirements. If you plan to print 8x10 use the default, if you want to print 8x12's use the 3:2.

Frankly I see little difference between TIFF and the lowest compression (largest file) jpgs on the F717. Both are excellent - tiff takes lots of storage space and slows things down considerably.

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Old Sep 13, 2003, 1:13 AM   #6
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I have a S9000 and the prints I get out of it are amazing, I'd put them up against almost any photo lab.

The image settings I used for 11x17 and 13x19 is 2560x1920 JPG and RAW formats. I saw a difference in the RAW photo but, the JPG still looked fine to me. I'm sure I could go larger, possible up to 16x22 and just start to see some quality loss. If you are making 8x10 photos, 2048x1536 will be enough.

I wish the 5700 had the 2048x1536 setting, it goes from 2560x1920 down to 1600x1200.

I use Canon Pro paper for all prints. I have tried Espon and Kodak at 11x17, the Epson paper is on-par with Canon yet the Kodak is lacking in a big way, the photo looks 'faded' compared with the other 2.
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Old Sep 15, 2003, 11:09 AM   #7
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Great!! thanks so much for the feedback!!!
So if possible, just leave it in the highest resolution settings. I've read a number of places (well in the sony forum) that the fine/standard compression doesn't reallve make too much of a difference... I would suspect that it might on an 13x19 printout.

What would be the major difference in taking pictures in 3:2 format instead of 2560x1920? I'd think that if you take a picture in 2560x1920, you'll still be able to create the same picture that is in 3:2 format... (perhaps if you snap the picture in 2560x1920 you will have to cut off part of the picture to get it 3:2?)

Thanks so much for all the awesome feedback.

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