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Old Jan 21, 2006, 2:53 AM   #1
Ham
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I'm thinking about buying a new digital camera. The one I have in mind is pocket sized (a must)with 7 MP and a 3X optical zoom. Normally my pix are just seen on a computer or 4 X 6 prints but there have been times that I wanted toenlarge something to a greater degree. I haveseveral questions.

If I shoot everything at 7MP can I reduce the file size easily, on the computer, of those shots I do not need more than 2 or 3 MPs. Will they be as good as those shot with my present 2 MP Nikon? Would this reduction process be done on a batch or will it have to be done on each pix? I do not use any sophisticated software, just cheap or free stuff.

If I set the camera for 2 or 3 MPs for most shots, will I have the same results as a 2 or 3 MP camera shooting at max resolution?

Ham


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Old Jan 21, 2006, 3:33 AM   #2
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If you can resize your images, the quality will be better than it would be at the full 7mp. Photoshop would really be the most suitable program for resizing photos and keeping the full detail. Paint Shop Pro is also a decent program.

From my experience, a 7mp camera does not perform as well at 2mp as a 2mp camera would. You're really better off resizing the photo yourself in one of the mentioned programs.

A few suggestions for a compact 7mp camera- Casio Exilim Z120, Canon Powershot IXUS S55. You can check these two out and see which model you prefer.
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 4:03 AM   #3
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just shoot everything in the highest res you can. You can always resize the picture on the computer if you need to. The only draw back with taking high res picture is the space that it takes up on the computer and/or the memory card.

Unless you have an old computer with a small hard drive, there is nothing wrong with leaving the picture in 7mp or whatever your camera is at. If for some reason you want to resize that picture you can just use windows paint program to resize the picture. Im not sure how good the quality is but I dont think you will notice any difference in quality unless if you really study the difference between the window's program and a program that you paid for. That is what I use when I need to post a picture online. The program is FREE, QUICK and SIMPLE.

Just right click on the image, go to Edit. Press "Ctrl + W" and a window should pop up for you to resize the image. On my Fuji S5200 5mp camera, I typically shrink it by 30% when I want to post an image on the message board. Now just save the image under a different name so you wont change the orginal size of the picture and the copy is the smaller size one. Now you can upload the picture and email it or post it online without slowdown.

Doing it this way, you can only do it one at a time, not as a batch.
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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I agree, shoot at the highest resolution and least compression unless you have a reason to do otherwise. Wanting a smaller image for the web/email is not a reason - as others have noted, you can always downsize later. Memory is cheap enough so that should not often be a reason to shoot at less than maximum quality.

Your pictures with a new digicam are likely to be better, but only in part due to the pixel increase. More pixelsare almost always better, but often not enough better to make up for other features, e.g., lag time, size, battery use, dynamic range, manualsettings, ... So don't dissmissa 5-6 MP cameras if has everything you want when a 7MP doesn't.

I would suggest getting Irfanview (freeware) - it's downsizing is at least as good as PhotoShop's and will do it inbatch if you want.
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 5:47 PM   #5
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I also agree to shoot everything at 7Mp and best quality. If you get a great photo you want on your wall it will be the best your camera can do.

Once you have sorted through them you can resize anything you know you won't need high resolution for. I use Photoshop for all of my image editing, but it can't compete with the freeware Irfanview for things like sorting and simple bulk operations. Irfanview defaults to resizing with the Lanczos filter, which is about equal to Photoshop's bicubic and superior to any simple resize operations that Paint or Windows will do for you. You can also increase the size of the thumbnails to make sorting and decisions easier.

The answer to whether images shot at 2 or 3Mp on a 7Mp camera will look as good as images shot on an older camera capable of only that size is difficult to answer as it depends on a lot of things. For the older camera, the quality of the lens and size and quality of the sensor make a difference. For the newer 7Mp camera it is affected also by the compression qualities allowed. Some cameras have four quality settings, which is different from size. Often cameras with "super fine" or "super high quality" as best quality will shoot at that quality only at maximum resolution. As you decrease in image size the compression quality available also decreases. It is almost certain that cameras with that type of file system will give poorer quality 2Mp pictures from a 7Mp camera than most 2Mp cameras set at highest quality.

These are the size/quality settings available on the pocket sized Olympus Stylus 800. SHQ is super high quality, HQ is high quality and SQ1 and SQ2 are standard quality. Quality has to do with how much the JPG files are compressed and is not the same as the size:
3264 x 2448 (SHQ)
3264 x 2448 (HQ)
2560 x 1920 (SQ1)
2272 x 1704 (SQ1)
2048 x 1536 (SQ1)
1600 x 1200 (SQ2)
1280 x 960 (SQ2)
1024 x 768 (SQ2)
640 x 480 (SQ2)

My pocket camera has size independent of compression quality, but I think that is not as common as having compression quality decrease with size. I have a Casio Z750 which I am very happy with, but I wanted full manual controls and an optical viewfinder. Your requirements might be different and there are many good cameras to choose from.

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Old Jan 21, 2006, 10:48 PM   #6
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I want to thank all of you for the answers to my questions. You have been very helpful. Now all I have to do is rethink my decision to buy a Sony DSC-W7. It was a toss-up between the Canon A620 and the Sony. I leaned toward the Sony because of its size and quick response time. Small is my number one priority. I hauled around big,heavy 35mm and 6x6 cameras for years and have gotten lazy. I would say that small and great photo quality are equal priorities, but someone would holler, "Ham, you're an oxymoron moron."

Again, thank you very much,

Ham
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 1:04 AM   #7
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I thought you meant "pocket-sized" pocket-sized. The A620 is not a camera I would call pocket-sized. But other than that, it is one of the best value compacts around.
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 2:46 PM   #8
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i totally agree about the A620 not being very pocketable, unless you're into oversized, hiphop pants. the A620 will NOT fit in you normal fit jeans' pockets, i've tried.
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 4:28 PM   #9
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I did mean "pocket sized." I figured a light jscket with big pockets would do the job. But, you two are right, a shirt or pants pocket sized job is better. Thanks for the comments.

Hiphop pants might be the answer though.

Hiphop pants are for me

I'll wear 'em low and you will see

My underwear, don't stop and stare

It's so easyfor all to see

Hiphops a thing, not for me.
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