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Old May 25, 2004, 11:04 PM   #1
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ok so here's my question...i'm a relatively new digital camera user and i've NEVER printed out a picture from my digital camera. my camera has 2 separate options to change the format of a picture: 1)change the pixels (1600x1200, 2304x1728, etc) and 2)change the quality level (good, better, best)...the largest pixel option (2304x1728) says that it is suitable for printing on 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" paper. all i want to do is print out on regular old, 35mm-size prints. so my question is this: if i keep the image quality on "best" but adjust the pixel size to something lower, say 1600 x 1200, will the print on the "regular" size paper be as good as if it were set to 2304x1728 with "best" quality? whew...if you're still with me thanks for listening :?

p.s. by "regular" prints i mean something in the 4"x6" range
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Old May 26, 2004, 12:58 AM   #2
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For 4x6" prints the 1600x1200 Fine quality will do you perfectly. Happy snapping!


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Old May 26, 2004, 9:09 AM   #3
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I agree with Steve, but keep in mind that even if you only make 4x6" prints, you will often "enlarge" them more than that by cropping. If you shoot at the maximum resolution, that will give the the most flexibility in using your shots.

The other issue is the amount of JPEG compression. Do some experimenting with your photo editor compressing an image by differing amounts. Compress to the point that the JPEG artifacts become obvious on your screen - it will be usefull to be able to quickly recognize that effect when you prepare shots for the web if nothing else.

The simplest answer to your question is to always shoot at the highest resolution and lowest compression (largest file size JPEGs) unless you have a really good reason to do otherwise. If you find that you have to shoot at some other setting very often - get more memory.
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Old May 26, 2004, 11:24 AM   #4
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Bill..i am not sure what you mean by cropping. In my mind, I am not really going to edit the picture after I have taken it. I realize that this is one of the beauties of digital photography, but won't the problem of taking the best looking picture be resolved by looking at it on the LCD screen and retaking the picture if necessary? I guess what I'm asking is if "cropping" means editing your picture with your editing software. I'm new at this...
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Old May 26, 2004, 12:30 PM   #5
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Most optical viewfinders show only 80-85% of the image in the viewfinder. Even with my cameras with electronic viewfinders that show the whole scene I often find I don't frame the shot closely enough and a little cropping makes the picture look better. Cropping is a fast and easy method of getting much better looking pictures.

When you have pictures printed at 4 X 6 the processing machine has to crop some off the top and bottom because your camera uses a 4:3 ratio and the prints will be in a 3:2 ratio. You often get a better picture cropping to 3:2 yourself.

This is a nice little freeware that lets you crop to standard print sizes yourself:
http://graphicssoft.about.com/gi/dyn...2FJPEGCrops%2F You would get much nicer looking prints if you cropped them yourself.

Often your zoom isn't strong enough to get just what you want in your image and cropping becomes necessary to get a good shot. I took this at the full 12X zoom my camera was capable of and it still wasn't good because the osprey wouldn't let me get close enough. Cropping improved the picture IMO and I couldn't have done that if I had shot the picture at a lower resolution than the camera was capable of. I could come up with better examples for normal shooting but I happen to already have these online.

Original:



Cropped:


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