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Old Oct 25, 2003, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default Image size and file size

My camera has 7 settings for image recording quality:

Large1 (3072x2048) 3.1 MB
Large2 (3072x2048) 1.8 MB

Medium1 (2048x1360) 1.8 MB
Medium2 (2048x1360) 1.2MB

Small1 (1536x1024) 1.4MB
Small2 (1536x1024) 0.9MB

RAW+Medium1 (3072x2048) 7MB

When I view the images on my computer screen, it is virtually impossible to see any difference in the image quaility among the files.

Currently I have a limited amount of memory so I have been using the smallest setting in order to get more pictures in my small CF cards. The image results are very good, although I have not been printing pictures yet.

What is the difference then, in the images? What makes two 6.3 megapixel images or two 1.8MB files different?

What criterion should one use to decide what setting to select?
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Old Oct 25, 2003, 3:32 PM   #2
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The difference usually shows up in scenes with more detail. The higher the compression in a jpg, the more fine detail is lost. If that doesn't make sense (because you don't know how jpg compression works) feel free to ask, I can explain that.

It will also be clearer when you enlarge the file.

When you look at the file, are you looking at 100% zooms? If not, the difference will be less obvious.

It is also very possible that for what you do, there is next to no difference. If not, then don't worry about it. Just realize that if something happens which you'll want the finer detail then you have to change the camera setting. Since I never know which picture will be a "winner" and I'll want to blow up and print... I just always use the highest non-RAW setting.

Eric
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Old Oct 25, 2003, 6:26 PM   #3
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Nothing is for free. File size normally means data content. The bigger the file, the more information in the file. JPG is a very efficient file compression format, but it does throw away some of the data in the files you choose to compress.

TIFF files are big. They throw nothing away.

If you plan to print (8 X 10 or smaller) pictures, JPGs are fine. You haven't been able to see the difference in setting just viewing the screen, because your monitor just doesn't have the capability of displaying the detail you'll miss.

I always shoot at the highest resolution available with the lowest compression because I can always reduce them later. Camera memory is inexpensive and "stretching" it will mean that the great picture you want to print won't work out.

Try printing a few pictures before you decide which setting to use.

For the advanced users who read this... I shoot most of my pictures in RAW mode. I suspect this questioner isn't ready for discussion of RAW mode yet... :shock:
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Old Oct 25, 2003, 9:01 PM   #4
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Tiff files can be compressed and by doing so smaller than the raw file without loss of image quality/data. This is called lossless compression, just like a zip file/package. The raw format is another form of lossless compression (looking at the file size between uncompresed file format copies and the raw file itself).

There is nothing wrong with using low resolution maximum quality jpeg with your camera. I recommend using the small 1 setting with better jpeg quality. The difference may not be visible with current monitor or other display, but it would be sad to discover later that special momentos compete in quality with $100 trashcam because of temporary shortage of cfcard space.
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 8:51 AM   #5
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I agree.

Having spent over $1000 for the camera, lens, filter, hood, and backup battery, it just hurt to add another $300 for memory. Not having had any prior digital experience, I had not idea that 64MB of flash card memory would limit me so much. It's like going on a vacation with my analog SLR and one roll of film! I wouldn't think of ever doing that.

It's time to cough up more money.

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Originally Posted by Mathilde uP
The difference may not be visible with current monitor or other display, but it would be sad to discover later that special momentos compete in quality with $100 trashcam because of temporary shortage of cfcard space.
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 9:15 AM   #6
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Wpla, I know the problem, having a coool camera does come with special costs. Another thing to keep in mind is when you buy extra CF card, don't just buy cheapest deal. Your camera allows for 6 mega Pixels. Look around for a real fast card and maybe spend a bit more on this. The difference of spending a lot of money on a slow 512Mb card and spending a lot ++ money on a fast 512Mb card will explain itself with faster file writes. And yes it hurts your wallet :-(

Here is a link for some camera and CF card combinations;
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 9:43 AM   #7
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Thanks!

I read through the article. It didn't explain the differences between CF I and CF II cards. My camera accepts both. I think I will stay away from the IBM Microdrive for now. It seems to be more expensive and needs to be handled with more TLC.

I called around some local retailers and found a Lexar 512MB CF I Pro Series 40x WA card bundled with a card reader and an Image Rescue software CD for $199. My Canon Digital Rebel isn't WA enabled but that sounds like a good price to me anyway.

I'm off to the store before they tell me they were just kidding!

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Originally Posted by Mathilde uP
Here is a link for some camera and CF card combinations;
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 1:29 PM   #8
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For what I understood IBM microdrive was hot item years back when CF cards maximum size was 228 Mb and quite slow. Anybody something to say in defence for the microdrive?

Wpla, $199 for such fast card and card reader? You lucky bastard. (gjnkk hrpd kwhp ..sound of Mathilde eating her keyboard :-)
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 2:31 PM   #9
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Actually, the card reader is a Lexar JumpShot cable. The camera store dealer explained to me that it was essentially a proprietary card reader that only reads Lexar cards. Good enough for me!

Here's a link to their online store:
http://www.penncamera.com/store/view.cfm?id=4267

The card is on their site at the same price.

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Wpla, $199 for such fast card and card reader? You lucky bastard. (gjnkk hrpd kwhp ..sound of Mathilde eating her keyboard :-)
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 6:05 PM   #10
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I have that card (and a 1G WA Lexar as well.) It's a good card. A good combination of speed, life time warrenty and good support from Lexar. Hard to beat. It should work well in your Digital Rebel.

That price isn't amazing, though. You can get it from newegg.com (I'm not sure the reader comes with it) for $159. Either way, you can get a very good reader (USB2, not USB1 that comes with that CF card) for the extra $40 bucks you'll spend.

I don't know if the WA card is compatable with all readers. I have been told that the jumpshot reader is not compatable with non WA cards, but are WA cards compatable with other readers? I assume so, but I don't know. I just slowly go along with the jumpshot reader... one of these days I'll replace it, but not yet.

Eric

ps. It should be said that I paid what you did when I got mine, I purchase from a local store which I trade slighty higher prices for better service. In this case I was probably shouldn't have done it, but I did.
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