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Old May 21, 2003, 3:33 PM   #1
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Default please explain compression and resolution and the effects t

Real Newbie question here , and yes I have consulted the manual of my Canon A70.

Can someone please explain to me (in very clear and concise, and geek free terms) the concepts, effects and differences surrounding Compression and Resolution - the manual doesn't really say anything and yes I must at some stage invest in a book on digital photography but at present my bank manager is already tut, tutting at the amount I've spent on the cam and all the other stuff I've bought for it.

In relation to this can someone also advise which of the following should give better quality results:

My A70 has 4 resolution settings: S, M2, M1, L and four compression settings: Normal, Fine and Suoerfine.

The question is which of the following two combos SHOULD give the better rsults:

1) M1 and Superfine


2) L and Fine

No of pics these will produce differs by approx 30 pics so just wonderin which to use and if there will be much diff in quality of images.


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Old May 21, 2003, 6:24 PM   #2
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Resolution is the size of the pictures (in pixels)... the higher the resolution, the better quality of the printed picture (everything else being equal). A six MP camera will take the same quality picture as a two MP camera if you select low resolution in both. A 640 X 480 picture will work fine on both cameras, if you're sure you just want that same low resolution. You have wasted your money if you bought a big megapixel camera and take only low resolution pictures.

My suggestion: always select the highest available resolution. You can always reduce the resolution in software to e-mail or post pictures on the Web. If you take a fabulous picture and want to print it as a big photo, you're out of luck if you took it at low resolution... you can go down, but you can't go up.

Compression (fine, super fine, etc.) is a measure of how the camera deals with whatever picture the camera takes. High compression (usually in the JPG format) makes files smaller, but throws away more data. The downside is that higher compression results in poorer prints. Lower compression takes more space on your hard drive or compact flash card.

Your camera may offer RAW mode. If it does, the files you make will be bigger, but it may be worthwhile to you. You have more control over the files. The downside is it takes an extra step to convert the files to manipulate them with most editors. I always shoot in RAW mode. I'm a "geek"...

Starting out, I'd suggest shooting in the highest resolution and the lowest compression. Once you're comfortable with that, shift to RAW mode...

Hope this helps.
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Old May 21, 2003, 7:46 PM   #3
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[quote="Wildman"]....Starting out, I'd suggest shooting in the highest resolution and the lowest compression. .../quote]
That is the best advice you will get. When shooting JPEGs, always shoot with those settings unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. Memory is cheap enough that lack of memory should never (well, almost never) be a reason to do otherwise.
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Old May 24, 2003, 2:54 AM   #4
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The only thing you need to worry about with low compression is the amount of time it can take to write the images to your card. If you need to take "bursts" of photographs (as I do for wildlife) low compression may be too slow.
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Old May 24, 2003, 3:05 AM   #5
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thanks for all the replies most useful :-)
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