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cessna May 1, 2006 7:12 PM

I have a Sony F717 (5 megapixs)and just got a Sony R-1 (10 megapixs) and have some photos taken with a Nikon D-70 (6 megapixs). Using Photo Elements 3.0 when I read the meta data (exif?) the resolution for the F717 and R-1 is 72.00, but for the D-70 the resolution is 300.00! All three were set at their highest pixel rating and quality (fine). I would think that the R-1 with 10 mega pixels would have a higher resolution? I am a newbie to digicams and must be missing something here.


granthagen May 2, 2006 12:11 AM

Hey, Charlie, this one bugs a lot of people. It seems that cameras from different manufacturers open in editors at different resolutions. The resolution numbers are just EXIF data until you output the image to a printer.

If you look at the scale bordering the open image you will see that the images that open up at 72ppi have huge figures displayed. That's telling you that if that image was printed at 72ppi, the print would be gigantic. The scale numbers for the 300ppi images will be a lot smaller.

If you normally print at 300ppi, just go to Image>Image Size and change the resolution figure on the 72ppi images to 300ppi (make sure that the "Resample Image" box is not checked) and you will see the scale change to show what dimensions the image would print to at 300ppi. Same with 240ppi, or whatever resolution you like to send to your printer. The above instructions work with Photoshop, and I'm just assuming that this works the same way with Elements 3.

So, you have all the resolution that you paid for with each camera, it's just a matter of how the manufacturer sets the defaults. My Nikon opens at 300ppi and my uncle's Fuji opens at 72!


VTphotog May 2, 2006 9:06 AM

What you are seeing is mostly the camera or software maker's guess as to how the pictures will be used. 72ppi for viewing on monitor, as in web pages, or 300ppi for printing.

To further add confusion, when I take pictures in JPEG, the resolution shows as 72ppi, but when I shoot RAW, it varies depending on which RAW converter I use. Adobe assigns a value of 240ppi, Raw Shooter, 300ppi, and Dimage Viewer, 72ppi. All for the same picture.

As Grant says, it only affects print size, and you can change that as you desire when it is time to print anyway.


nelmr May 2, 2006 9:31 AM


cessna May 2, 2006 7:06 PM

Thank you all for your replies.

I am still not sure I understand all I think I know. In the section headerof camera data (exif) in the meta data it listed the resolution unit as inches for all three cameras. I also noticed that compressed bits per pixel was 2 for the F717, 4 for the D70 and 8 for the R1.

If I understand the information in nelmar's link, but use inches as the unit of measure than the R1 pictures are 54 x 36 inches!


Sintares May 2, 2006 8:55 PM

The ppi listing in the exif is irrelevant.

As the user you will determine the final ppi inthe program you print from (Photoshop, PSP etc), depending on what actual size you want the image to print at.

The only important thing is the number of pixels in the actual image, for the R1 at max its 3888 x 2592

The more pixels in the image the greater detail you have and the greater choices you have for printing decent images at larger sizes.

If you were to actually print your R1 image at 54x36inches your prints would only have a resolution of 72pixels in every inch and look fairly bad close up.

So you need to look at the total number of pixels and decide at what resolution to print depending on the usage, ie that 54x36 inch print wouldnot bear close inspection, but would probably look great on a wall from10 feet away, while a 15x10 inch image would be around 250 ppi and look excellent hand held and inspected closely.

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