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Old Jul 25, 2005, 2:04 PM   #1
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Newbie wonders from which of Olympus 5500 approx. 6 choices I should usefor basic 4x6 family album shots---SHQ, SHQ/HQ1SQ! etc, and thepixel resolution combination.
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Old Jul 25, 2005, 2:33 PM   #2
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Shoot at the highets quality you can.

You'll get the best prints that way.

128mb card is pretty small.

You can get a 512mb or even a 1gb card for not too much dough.

- Terry
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 4:02 AM   #3
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Must agree with honorable Terry!
Shooting large gives you the most options -- especially for any cropping that you might want to do.
But, if you don't think you're going to want to do any cropping and want to get the most out of your existing memory card, I think that you should be trying for a size setting that comes close to giving you 1200 x 1600 pixels. This is arrived at by multiplying the print size you are after (4x6) by the resolution that you should be printing at to give the highest quality (300ppi). If you are using a good printer, you could probably use a resolution of 240ppi and not much see the difference from 300.
I invite rebuttals of this opinion, since it's late, and my brain could be getting a bit fuzzy!
Grant
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 8:59 AM   #4
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thank you for your reply. i'm going to experiment with 1200x1600 and see how it comes out.
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 9:01 AM   #5
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thanks for your reply. i'll try 1200x1600 and see how they come out.
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 9:08 AM   #6
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If you capture an image and open it later (as JPEG) in a image processing program like Photoshop or else you'll see that it was recorded with a resolution of 72dpi (dots per inch).

Now you can easily calculate for your own what image sizes fits your needs.

Example for my Oly C770 UZ: a 4 megapixel image is 2288x1712 dots, which translates to 31,78x23,78 inches with 72dpi (2288/72 and 1712/72). If you resize the 31,78 to 6 inches you get 31.78/6=5.3 times the resolution because the dots are now more squeezed together (to say so). Doing the math: 5.3*72=381dpi roughly.

So a 4mp image prints with 381dpi on 4x6 which is more than you need if you ask me. Comparison: A professional analog/chemical print will give you under BEST circumstances a bit more than 500dpi (I read about it in some journals).

My experience: depending on image (how much colors, object, ...) and image quality you need around 200dpi to have an ok image.

Soyou can print on A4 (21x29,7cm) with around 208dpi!!Ofc every bit out-of-focus, every noise due to high ISO and stuff will spoil the fun... but on a sunny day with lowest ISO (64 for me) and good light for the object and if you can manage not to have to much contrast (darkness/highlights especially) you get your chance

So that's for size.

As for image quality. That's mostly compression. I prefer a contrast-1 and sharpness-1 setting on my Oly C770. With that image compression in HQ mode is ok for me in most cases, each image eats 700..1100kb then. Depends on the subject if you will notice any big differences tbh.

As a rule of thumb "shoot at best quality" will give you the most out of it, especially if you want to crop the images, but for general shooting even a 2mp picture at medium JPEG compression will be good enough for a print when done well.

Important: You can't compensate a bad photography with high resolution and low JPEG compression.

If you get the chance and you are unsure - get to that place BEFORE and take some photos with different setups and compare. That's always better than doing maths

Hope that helps - and good luck!
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 10:22 AM   #7
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thanks for the advice
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 12:29 AM   #8
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I should have included this in my original reply, but, it was late!
If you really really want to squeeze that 128 mb card for all that it's worth, you can try shooting a series of test pix at different combinations of size and compression settings, print them out at 4x6 and see for yourself just how low you can go on size/quality before you start to see degradation of the image.
You should set up the camera on a tripod and shoot as many combinations as you want of a stationary subject displaying a good range of colors and contrasts under fairly constant lighting. This way, the major variables are going to be the size/quality settings you choose for each shot. It may be easier to keep a written log of your settings as you shoot rather than copying the EXIF information later.
Print them all out at 4x6 on the same paper that you generally use for "keepers" and write the settings for the pic on the back of the print. This way, you can shuffle them up and judge each image on its own merits rather than be influenced by knowing the settings of each pic as you look at it.
This is going to sound heretical to a lot of purists, but hey, it's what looks good to you that really matters. And you might be surprized at just how small a file size you can shoot to make an acceptable quality print!
If this sounds like a lot of hassle, you only have to do it once and then you will know what combination of settings gives you the results you want.
The only drawback to shooting at the lowest possible settings for acceptable 4x6 prints is if you suddenly want to print a pic larger than 4x6. Then you're stuck with using interpolation to give you more size and all the artifacts that didn't show up in the 4x6's might well become troublesome at the new size!
Life is too seldom simple....
Grant
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