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Old Aug 16, 2004, 2:39 PM   #1
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I have been reading the reviews of the Nikon Coolpix 8700 and the Canon ProShot 1, which are both 8 megapixel cameras. At the end of the reviews, there is a section that allows comparison between photos taken with both cameras. The file sizes for the Canon photos are 50%-100% larger than those of the Nikon photos of the same subject. Could anyone please explain the difference to me? Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 16, 2004, 5:26 PM   #2
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Although there can be other reasons why file sizes are different, the reason in this case is that the Canon photos are using it's "Superfine" JPEGMode, which is compressing the images less than Nikon's "Fine" JPEGMode.

The Nikon offers these modes when shooting in full resolution: TIFF HI, RAW, JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal, JPEG Basic.

The Canonoffers these modes when shooting in full resolution: RAW, JPEG SuperFine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal.

The Canon's JPEG Superfine Mode (the way Steve's review took the photos) has less compression than the Nikon's JPEG Fine Mode. So, the file sizes will be smaller from the Nikon.

The Nikon's JPEG Fine mode is using more compression compared to the Canon's Superfine mode, but less compression than the Canon's Fine mode (so it falls in between these two Canon modes).

Chances are, unless you're looking at a very largeprint with a magnifying glass, you're not going to seemuch difference between the Canon's Superfine Mode and the Nikon's Fine mode anyway.

Keep in mind that even though JPEG is not a lossless compression method, the actual images are much larger when expanded in memory by editors, print software, viewers, etc.

Nikon does offer a TIFF mode that has no compression at all, but still allows the camera to process the images. However, I'd recommend not using it (because the file sizes will be very large --around 23mb per image).

The best way to shoot if you want the most detail and flexibility is actually using RAW (which takes data directly from the CCD, unprocessed by the camera). This allows you to change settings like white balance, sharpness, etc., as if you never set them at all. This is because the data has not been processed by the camera. You then convert the RAW files to either JPEG or TIFF later, aftertuning the way the images are processedwithsoftware.

RAW files from the Nikon run around 12mb, and RAW files from the Canon run around 7.5mb. RAW files are proprietary to each manufacturer.

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Old Aug 16, 2004, 5:56 PM   #3
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Also, different cameras have different compression settings for each quality mode. My D100 usually creates Large/Fine jpg's that are a bit larger (in file size) than the Large/Fine jpg's from my friends 10D and D60, even though the resolution is lower (D100 = 3008x2000 vs 10D/D60 = 3072x2048 ). My Olympus E-10 had a SHQ mode that created files that were as large as the ones from current DSLR's, even though it was only a 3.7mp camera.
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