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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:10 AM   #1
EDD
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Here is a concept I've been wrestling with... a delemaif you will. Let me explain.

We've all seen those other resolutions settings in our camers starting at the highest capable of your camera right down to 640x480. Are these other resolutions still using 100% of the CCD? If so is that degrading the quality of the final image?

If I get a BIGmp camera (8, 10 whatever), shoot at highest quality resolution, fine setting and download my 10mb or whateverfile to my PC then resize it to 1600x1200, do I have abetter quality imagethan if I just would have set the camera resolution to 1600x1200 in the first place?

What is supposed to happen? What would really happen?

Based on the above what's the better approach? I surely dont need all those MP's and I don't like the large file size disadvantages.

My thoughts ( I have just enough technical savey to be dagerous) and criteria is this:

1. I want good quality pictures but I'll never print beyond 8x10.

2. I want agood quaility camera that's easy to use. (Prosumer I think) that takes movies that can providelittle to lownoise in the movie results.

3. I want ultra compact so I can carry this camera in my pocket all the time 24/7 (btw I have the Casio Exilim S100 now for what it's worth and love it... well mostly)

4. I want a fast lense 2.8 or better (my S100 has a slow lense) since I take lots of lndoor movies.

5. I hate large file sizes since I need to post to the web often (stills and movies)

Given the above data, can I appoach this problem by seeking out some of the higher MP models and planning on using the lower resolution settings and still get good results? I'd use maybe 1600x1200 for pics and 320x240x(15)30fps movies.

Camera manufacturers don't seem to be supporting the lower mp camers (3mp for example) with high quality hardware/features etc... The consumer seems to be forced to go with higher than required MP to get the quality and features they are looking for.

I've got a 3mp camera now (Exilim S100) which I enjoy extreamly due to the compact size but I'd like toupgrade to abetter image quality camera having better low light capabilities and/or have better noise reduction features built in, perhapes due to a faster lense.

I like the S500 but I don't like the reviews I've readregarding picture quality. I'm trying to determine if using this camera (S500) at lower resolutions will provide me with reduced noise images and/or high quality lower resolution images?

Sorry for the long post. I hope all of this at least makes some sense as to what goes on in this strange mind of mine sometimes. :?




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Old Aug 17, 2005, 2:35 PM   #2
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I think you are right in thinking that high quality now comes with high megapixels. Of course that is also reflected in the price - when a manufacturer "cheaps out" on megapixes, it is also likely to do the same with any other "quality" issue like the lens.

Since about the only way to get high quality is to pay a high price, you are going to be looking at high megapixel cameras. Since most/all of them allow you to set the megapixel size, just use a setting that suits you needs.

Downsizing does cut the noise by "averaging" adjacent pixels. You should compare the effect when the downsizing is done in camera vs. a couple of editing techniques.

IMHO shooting at the best quality possible is the way to go unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. With the price of memory, hard drives, and CD/DVD -R, a large file size doesn't strike me as being a good reason. Obviously you disagree.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 5:04 AM   #3
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The only thing I have against large file sizes is that they can take ages to preview on your ocmputer. Also, they're a right pain if you want to put them on a website, and means u have to continually resize them down. But thats the main problems I can think of. Does kind of put me off a bit
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 6:24 AM   #4
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The advantage I see to the high MP is that once I have the file I can crop a small piece of it into a picture that still is large enough to print.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:31 AM   #5
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You say the disadvantage of large file sizes is that it takes too long to preview on your computer. I think you may need a newer faster computer, or the software you are using to preview is not very good.

On my 1Ghz laptop, the JPG's from my 14MP camera come up in a fraction of a second. I use ACDsee version 3.1.

You can also do batch resizing and renaming with ACDsee. Other image viewing/editing programs will also batch resize and pull up the full size photos quickly.

I use v3.1 because it is leaner and faster than the newer versions which are packed with features I just don't need or want.

Declan
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:56 AM   #6
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I agree with amazingthailand - though with my old 875Mhz P3 IrfanView (freeware - http://www.irfanview.com ) does a pretty good job of quick response and batch downsizing. The more expensive photo editors tend to be slow - likely because the offer so many options that the software trips over itself doing simple stuff.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 9:38 AM   #7
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I second IrfanView. It's batch resizing/file conversion is very good. Best of all, its free! However, if you do like the program and use it a lot, then please donate to help encourage future updates.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 11:49 AM   #8
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EDD wrote:
Quote:
If I get a BIGmp camera (8, 10 whatever), shoot at highest quality resolution, fine setting and download my 10mb or whateverfile to my PC then resize it to 1600x1200, do I have abetter quality imagethan if I just would have set the camera resolution to 1600x1200 in the first place?

.............

1. I want good quality pictures but I'll never print beyond 8x10.


My personnal practice is put the camera at lower resolution right away if I am sure I don't need more in the circumstances. I do this occasionnaly for not important pics. My argument is that if you know for sure you don't need more, why take more?

Another advantage in my case is this speed up the on camera saving time, so quickerresponding time; also my cameraoperateat 7 fps at less than full resolution.

for 8x10, a setting at 3,4 Mpixels will do. I did print at 8x10 from 2Mpix picsand the resultis very acceptable for me ( is this subjective ? :G)
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:26 PM   #9
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KCan wrote:
Quote:
My personnal practice is put the camera at lower resolution right away if I am sure I don't need more in the circumstances. I do this occasionnaly for not important pics. My argument is that if you know for sure you don't need more, why take more?
Quote:
I agree -but I don't knowmuch of anything for sure so go for max just in case.
Quote:
Another advantage in my case is this speed up the on camera saving time, so quickerresponding time; also my cameraoperateat 7 fps at less than full resolution. ...
Agree again - save time and faster fps are good reasons to shoot at lower resolution. Not important for landscapes, but is important in some situations.

I will still contend that large file size aloneis not a good reason to shoot at lower resolution.
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Old Aug 19, 2005, 7:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys. Yes file size alone is not a good reason by it selfto use lower resolution settings but once you consider all the reasons combined, each of which by itself is not agood enough reason,I myselfwill chooselower resolutions.

I don't need all those extra Mp's but I'm willing to buy a camera with them just the same. So I'm still stuck with trying to understand the technical issues now involved with this approach.

The manufacturers don't give you a choice of CCD for a given camera you like. They do however give youa choice of lower resolutions to use. Your stuck with what ever size CCD comes with it and I'm sure also that most buyers will get more Mps than theyreally ever will need.

For some purists/pros, you can't get enough Mps and features. I understand that too!For the rest of us we don't need the big CCDs but are forced to have to buy them just the same.

:idea:If you have a big CCD (big in terms of Mp) and you don't use it by choice, then what is the impact of doing so?

The lense still sends light to the total area of the CCD regardless of the resolution setting :!:

The big CCD hashigh resolution capabilitiesbutnow your askingit to interpolate the results during DSP to give you a lower resolution (image size)jpg.So what's going on here now?

Am I sacrificing image quality? Remember image quality in this case is not proportional to image size which is a common mind set. I've willingly chosen alower resolution but I don't want lower image quality in doing so.

All camera reviewer's test the max setting only and then they look for noise, fringing, distortion etc. I guess I'm wondering if this same camera has the same image quality (better or worse) at the lower resolutions? This isa key point for me. Even after waiting for a review to come out I'm not going to have this question answered by the reviewer. This I'm sure of.

So... Stuff like... If you have x amount of noise in a given shot under given circumstances at full resolution, does that same noise issue carry over to all the other resolution settings of that same camera under those same conditions?

Here I go again.... another long post. Sorry:sad:


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