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Old Jun 28, 2004, 10:12 AM   #1
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Is it necessary to set compression to "superfine" vs "fine"? I set my camera's resolution to the highest res but leave my compression at "fine". I am able to get a lot more pic's on my compact falsh this way. I haven't detected any reduction in quality at "fine".
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 10:43 AM   #2
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Take a close look at the photos with extreme magnification. Enough magnification that you can clearly see 8x8 blocks of pixels. In particular, take a look at areas with high contrast, e.g., a branch against the sky.

The small differences do not matter much for most photos. Where I have seen the effect of slightly more compression rear its ugly head is doing some fine detail editing like changing the background. That involves finding edges which is much easier and less error prone if there are fewer artifacts. If you do not do that kind of editing, you probably can get away with a bit more compression. Keep in mind that you are losing some options by doing that.

Memory is cheap. IMHO you are much better off getting more memory instead of cutting resolution or increasing compression.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 10:45 AM   #3
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It depends on your intent. If you're looking to print larger prints, you'll definately want to use the maximum resolution. Compression results in loss of data, so if you want maximum resolution and image quality for prints, the less compression the better. If you're printing out 4X6 prints or sending images over email, you probably won't see much degradation with the settings you've chosen and, in that case, could even try lower resolutions to see the results.

Significant degradation will occur as you save, open, then resave jpg compressed images.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 12:21 PM   #4
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You didn't mention what camera you are referring to. On some cameras "superfine" make a TIFF file which with a 4MP camera yields a 12 MB file per image! I'd use the setting on your camera that makes a jpeg file with the least amount of compression, whatever the camera manufacturer may call it. For those of us who aren't professional photographers and have no need to print out really big images, TIFF files make little sense. They're way too big and most consumer cameras that make them take 30 to 40 seconds to save them to the memory card. You could miss a bunch of shots waiting for one to be complete!

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Old Jun 28, 2004, 12:29 PM   #5
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I prefer to always use the highest jpg resolution as possilbe. I do not what I will need to crop or what size I might want to print.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 6:21 PM   #6
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Thanks Bill. Your point about getting more memory makes since. I'll do it. Jim
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Old Jun 30, 2004, 1:03 AM   #7
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The "Fine" setting is the best compromise. Using the "Superfine", there is almost no data reduction during the quantization stage.
Note: The compression method is always the same. The quality setting determines the data reduction and with less data (actually data with lots of zeros) the final file size is smaller. Therefore the quality setting directly affects the file size and is commonly refered as compression setting.

Also keep in mind that even with the best quality setting (superfine) a color sub sampling is done! Pushing the data reduction to a minimum but throwing away 50% of color data is not a good combination.
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