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Old Jul 1, 2005, 10:41 PM   #1
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Hi all. Just spent an hour browsing the forum. Wow, great stuff! I think I've learned enough about lenses reading these forums in the past hour that I could be an expert! But anyway, I still haven't found anything that focused (pun not intended) on JPG and RAW file formats.

I'm a newbie to the DSLR world. In fact, I just bought my Rebel XT (with the kit) two days ago. Most of my fotos will center around people -- particularily portraits and candid shots with intentions to print them in the largest possible size I can get away with.

So with that said, when I send my files to kinko's, walmart or some online printing company
  • should I be sending them JPG (fine) or RAW?[/*]
  • and what pictures sizes can I expect from an 8 MP camera?[/*]
Thanks guys.

-Ronnell
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Old Jul 1, 2005, 10:51 PM   #2
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do not send raw. raw is not the finished product. raw is the preprocessed image right off the sensor w/o color correction, WB, and any post processing

if you want to get the highest quality image from it send them a tiff converted from raw after processing. they are massive but a wee bit more accurate then a jpg. that is if your doing large image output. a low (as in lowest)compression jpg is good for 8x10 of average quality but not for exposition.
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 8:11 AM   #3
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sjms:

Ah. Thank you for the info. Could I produce bigger prints from a RAW-converted-to-TIFF file?
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 9:02 AM   #4
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to a certain extent yes there being more info in the file. but the limits are set by the the original sensor itself with pixel size and at what level pixelation rears its ugly head. a 8mp sensor image will produce an excellent 8x10 and 11x14 and for some even higher w/o interpolating up. that though is subjective. giving your service the most to work with is always an advantage.
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 11:15 AM   #5
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Yes TIffs are fairly universally accepted :-)

I tried sending Costco a series of photoshop 16bit .psd file, well over 60meg each, and their kosik had no trouble reading and printing them at 12*18.
But for that you would have to try a test print with each place to make sure they could read a .psd

The file size is pretty much the same for a .psd and a .tiff, so it is a personal preference in what format if you like to keep your files. Since I do my edits in Photoshop CS I tend to have most of my WIP files in the .psd format.

Peter.


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Old Jul 2, 2005, 11:19 AM   #6
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you mean them tiny little ones? i print at home and you can imagine a 16 bit 1Ds2 image they do grow substantially don't they?:lol:
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 11:42 AM   #7
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Ya, :-), who would have thought that a CD could only hold 5 or 6 images :-)
CD's have taken the place of the floppy disk, cheap and low on space :blah:

Peter.
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 3:44 PM   #8
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Ronnell wrote:
Quote:
So with that said, when I send my files to kinko's, walmart or some online printing company
  • should I be sending them JPG (fine) or RAW? [/*]
  • and what pictures sizes can I expect from an 8 MP camera? [/*]
Thanks guys.

-Ronnell
Always shoot RAW. If you convert to TIFF, you will lose nothing. JPEG is a lossy compression that does leave information "on the table". I've not seen a place that couldn't use TIFFs. Most online photofinishers accept only JPEGs, except for this place:

http://www.expressdigitalimages.com/

I've used them to get slides (for competitions) from digital. They allow you to upload TIFFs or PSDs in just about any size, so if you want to do some careful upsizing before you send your images, you can do so with you having the control.

I've seen 20D pictures printed to 20x30 by a local photofinisher. They were quite impressive. At captured image size, that is about 115dpi before upsizing. You have to see it to believe it. I personally print 13x19s all the time on my Epson 2200. People can hardly believe the quality from the 17-85mm IS lens on the 20D (and these are people in a camera club!)
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 8:33 PM   #9
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Shoot in RAW+JPEG...that's what I do with my XT. I love it, I never have to worry about anything. Only thing is that it takes up more memory. I use Sandisk Ultra II 1GB and 2GB cards and get about 83 shots per GB and also use the 60GB iPod Photo (now the 60GB iPod) to free up space if I need to.

Personally, I think that the RAW files are great. Not that I dislike the processing the camera does (I've messed around with the settings as well), but the quality you get with RAW I feel is better, plus you can process it however you want as many times as you want.

I save my files in JPEG, TIFF, and PSD...usually TIFF. I upload them to Winkflash (highly recommended) using highest JPEG and TIFF format. I've uploaded a TIFF and a JPEG of the same image and had them send me a 5x7 of each and I can't tell the difference, even with an 8x loupe. As long as the JPEG has only been saved once or hasn't been recompressed, you should have no problem with the quality.

As far as print size goes, I've done an 18x24 with some resizing with CS2 and am plenty happy with the result. I'm hoping to have an image I can do a 24x36 of soon.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 3, 2005, 12:15 PM   #10
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SlapNTickleJr wrote:
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I've uploaded a TIFF and a JPEG of the same image and had them send me a 5x7 of each and I can't tell the difference, even with an 8x loupe. As long as the JPEG has only been saved once or hasn't been recompressed, you should have no problem with the quality.
You have made a key point here. Each time you save a jpeg as a jpeg, it gets compressed again. If you want to test this, open a jpeg and save it as a new name. Close then open the new fileand save again. Repeat about ten times. Compare the tenth saved version to the original. You have just learned about JPEG compression.

So even if you shoot JPEGs, when you copy to the computer and start working on it,first save as aTIFF or PSD to use as your working file. If your ultimate application requires a JPEG, then make a JPEG copy of the final image (which you also have saved as TIFF or PSD).
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