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Old Dec 23, 2002, 9:11 PM   #1
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Default Resolution: I did some testing

Iím not a professional photographer, just hobbyist. I own a Nikon 4500. My first digital camera was a Nikon 950. My printer is a HP 5550. My computer monitors are set at 1024x768. Most of the pictures I take I do not print. Most of the pictures I print are 4x6, less are 5x7, and a few at 8x10.
I took some shots at 1024x768 on a tripod, auto shutter release, and the same shots 2272x1704, same light and all at ďfineĒ(to minimize jpg noise). Some were close ups some landscapes. I printed them at 4x6 and 8x10. I have showed them to many people and all agree they all look greatÖ and they canít tell them apart!! Only if I crop out a small portion of them and print it at larger sizes do I see any difference.
I think the newer high resolution cameras are great but I canít see shooting at these high levels for every day shots. The prints Iím getting at 1024x768 look great on paper (at any size my printer can print) and on the screen. They take less time shoot (shot to shot), less memory in the camera, less time to download from the camera and less space on the hard drive. Only when Iím taking a very special shot do I shoot at 2272x1704 and thats mostly to avoid jpg.
I think most people buying digital cameras to take their family and vacation pictures should consider this and maybe do some testing of their own.

Ps. To the newbie: Never edit your jpg pictures and then save them as a jpg. Every time you do you loose a little quality. Save them as tiff. Or just make your edits and print without saving. (If space is a concern).
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 6:10 AM   #2
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hzxlvf
Very good analysis. Many in this forum have stated that a 2mp camera will provide good quality pics for printing at 5X7 and below. However, I still recommend that one shoots at HQ or SHQ because you never know when you may want that one photo printed at a larger size. I can shoot 130 pics at HQ (2,272 x 1,704 ). I recommend saving all your orignal pics in a seperate folder and then save the touch up photos to a new folder. Great input
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 9:41 AM   #3
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The only concern is whether you'll know a great shot before you press the shutter release... some of my best pix didn't seem that way before I took them and some of what I thought were going to be great were duds...

With the cost of memory and disk space where it is now, I just shoot everything in the Canon RAW format, taking duplicates then throw away most of the exposures later. It's a lot easier to go back than it is try to enhance a great shot later.

You touched on another issue, that of cropping. Some pictures scream to be cropped.

Your original point was well taken...

Merry Christmas
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 1:24 PM   #4
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Yes, you've done all the right things, and started by saying 6X4 is your objective for print quality. You probably know that on-line photo print res. is 300dpi, and I suggest for everyday use, pics like this will be hard to beat. That's probably more realistic than saying 20"X16" - which cam etc!

However, I will touch on the interesting feature of the Fuji 602 cam to offer up to 1600ASA at lower res. by combining pixels. I'm not a res. freak, like many who look for their first cam. But I do know that sometimes there are pics which you couldn't get, if this speed/res. trade off wasn't an option. And PS, many are also aware of the lossless JPEG crop and rotate routines which are available.
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 1:33 PM   #5
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Great point. Finally i hear the same comments from others!!!
A while ago, when i said in a post that my 3 mp camera could print 18"X34" prints that you can not tell if they are film or not, i heard a lot of replies as to why i cannot do that. In the end, i did enter a photo competition with them, and no one else seem to notice either. I think a lot of people are too uptight about the latest and greatest and believe in too much of the marketing. There is a lot of math behind the digital science ( ppi, dpi etc) but the result is stil a visual document, and the eyes are the judge.
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 1:44 PM   #6
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What most people forget, is that there is a comfortable distance to view large prints. O.K for HD you can get closer and there definitely is a WOW factor. But most of us are conditioned by poster size and rarely stick our noses a few inches away, just to count pixels!
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 1:45 PM   #7
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Careful though. Printing out on the epson here. Maybe cause I'm picky 2 megapixels looks great at 4x6 but at 5x7 we can start to barely see pixelation at 8x10 we can see it more.
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 1:49 PM   #8
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The reason is probably the Epson is using resolution enhancement and the more data in the pic to begin with, the better the job it does. But I think the starting point of the post was to define the print size most required, and not spend more on resolution for larger prints rarely needed. I think that was the point.

I would agree that 2Mpix is a marginal area. But 3Mpix, moving to 5 or 6 needs more convincing for these print sizes.
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 3:46 PM   #9
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Glad to see all the responses. I would guess the ďdebateĒ will rage on. I wish there was a way to show my results online. 1024x768 is only 1 MP but Iím telling you they look great at even 8x10. I have no experience with other printers other then an hp-720 which also gave great results. If youíre seeing pixilation at 5x7 or even at 8x10 I would consider a different printer. Iím not an HP salesperson but I think these prints could sell a few.
I bought it (HP-5550) at Costco for $140.00 and Iím very happy with it. Itís a two cartridge printer and uses a four color cartridge for ďRet IVĒ photo printing. I get great results with just the standard Ret III cartridge. The four color does seem to give truer to life color but I see no difference as far as detail (at any resolution). Mind you Iím not looking at these prints with a magnifying class.
Now, lossless jpg cropping ? I know about lossless rotate but cropping too? Where? I use mostly uLead PhotoImpact 7. Did I miss something somewhere?
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 4:07 PM   #10
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You can post pics at www.pbase.com. The site will allow you to post photos for free.
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