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Old Dec 3, 2002, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default S230 Compression and Image Size

If I am only taking 4X6 pictures maybe wanting to enlarge to 8X10, does it make sense to use the highest compression and the largest image size or in doing so would I only assure that I could blow the pictures up and zoom? And if I want to sacrifice one or the other to get more pictures, which one should I lower? Thanks so much!
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Old Dec 3, 2002, 5:29 PM   #2
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Using the highest compression means that you may be getting more jaggies or other such JPG artifacts. But at 4x6 you probably won't see it. You may not even see tham at 8x10, UNLESS you edit/retouch/correct an image (ie. fix red eye, change format, etc.) and save again as a JPG. Making a JPG of a JPG makes even more artifacts, especially at high compressions.

My advice: buy a larger CF card.

128MB cards are going for $50 or less now. The 16MB card included is hardly useful for a special event (ie. wedding), vacation, or holiday gathering. Over Thanksgiving I took over 80 shots alone! And that's after deleting the 'bad' shots. My 128MB card had room to spare even at FINE quality at the largest image size.
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Old Dec 3, 2002, 5:40 PM   #3
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You want to use the lowest amount of compression. For the Canon, this is caleld SuperFine. On my A40, the factory default is "Fine". This is the middle setting, between SuperFine and Normal
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Old Dec 3, 2002, 5:40 PM   #4
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I actually just bought a 256 MB card. I realize now I mispoke in my first message. Right now I am using the largest image size and the LOWEST compression (I now understand the larger the size of the image and better the quality). The new card holds 154 pictures at the best quality. I suppose the only circumstance I would need more is if I was going on a long vacation. That being said, is there any harm is using a slightly smaller image size or the middle level compression if I am printing the 4X6's and maybe 8X10's. Most importantly, if not, which should I sacrifice first? Thank you again for your help.
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Old Dec 4, 2002, 10:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Singer
That being said, is there any harm is using a slightly smaller image size or the middle level compression if I am printing the 4X6's and maybe 8X10's. Most importantly, if not, which should I sacrifice first? Thank you again for your help.
Small image size tends to produce poorer enlargement than high compression. Being that artifacts are the lesser evil than softer images and jaggies. But that's subjective.

But since you do have a 256MB CF card, why be so stingy.
Even if you're going to be shooting 4x6 90% the time, avoid ECON mode at all costs. Stick with STD or FINE in all cases.

If you plan on a trip for goodness sake buy another 256 CF card. Or better yet buy two 128MB cards and keep one of them that way you're forced to devide your shots between the cards (thus avoid losing all of your photos should your camera or CF card be damaged, etc.).
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Old Dec 4, 2002, 11:38 PM   #6
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What specifically happens to the image if you use the fine vs. super fine? In other words, what is the effect on the image if it is possible to explain? Thanks!
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 3:38 PM   #7
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Default Fine V. Superfine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Singer
What specifically happens to the image if you use the fine vs. super fine? In other words, what is the effect on the image if it is possible to explain? Thanks!
Fine v Superfine are different ammounts of compression value given to an image. This is a gross simplification, but think of it this way: At fine, more pixels (ie. data) in the image are 'thrown away' than in superfine.

You don't see holes in the image because the camera digitally fills in the holes with generic pixels (actually more like pixel textures). These are the 'artifacts', those weird texture blobs or jaggies that appear near edges of objects in the image at high compresson. If you look closely, these artifact/shapes often repeat (like repeating tiles). Thus the file is smaller because there are less unique pixel (ie. data) shapes and more generic or repeating pixel shapes in the image.

Test it for yourself. Shot a picture of somebody in front of your house at the same time of day in both FINE and SFINE. Look at both at 100% (or better yet print them both out). Deciding with your own eyes, is is the best way.
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 3:42 PM   #8
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Got it! Thank you very much for your time.
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Old Dec 6, 2002, 5:05 PM   #9
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Wait! So is it better to take pics with 3 meg setting on "fine" or 2 meg setting on "superfine"? Thanks!
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Old Dec 6, 2002, 5:30 PM   #10
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Wait! So is it better to take pics with 3 meg setting on "fine" or 2 meg setting on "superfine"? Thanks!
Better at 3MP at Fine because while you will notice a bit more JPG artifics in descrete areas in the image. The overall image will be sharper than at 2MP at SFine, especially if you enlarge beyond 4x6. It's the lesser of the two evils.

You will also notice that you will be able to take more shots at 3MP at FINE than at 2MP at SFINE. So allways shoot at the max resolution unless you know it's just for web stuff (ie. selling stuff on ebay, etc.) as you can better save on file space with your compression settings.

If you MUST, a tip would be to shoot at 3MP and FINE as your default and then swith up to SFINE for particularly important shots or shots you know you will enlarge (such as landscape panoramas that you will later crop). This is a fair way to economize.

But as I have four 128MB CF cards on me (split between my S230 and my Dimage 7), I always shoot at SFINE. And with memory prices falling by the week, this is the better way to go. Like batteries, ALWAYS have a spare CF card.
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