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Old Feb 20, 2004, 2:51 AM   #1
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Default Why doesn't the Z1 support standard photo print sizes?

Hi

I have been using digital cameras for a few years now. Having started with a Kodak DX3600 I just bought a Minolta Z1. The Kodak was a good point and click camera, and we could readily import and print 6*4 (and other standard size) photos with our printer. This made it convenient to print a photo and bang it into a frame or photo album.

Now, with the Minolta, we get higher resolution images and many other bells and whistles. However, we are shocked to discover that the camera's pixel resolution settings produce non-standard sized images that require cropping! The resoution choices are:

640*480
1280*960
1600*1200 - which gives 6*4.5 prints - not too convenient.
2048*1536

What we want is 1800*1200 or similar proportions. This enables you to scale directly to standard print sizes such as 6*4, 5*7 etc.
Why don't Minolta - a leading camera manufacturer - stick to the paper printing conventions - and international picture frame/ photo album sizes????

If you have to crop or distort (by non-proportionally scaling) images, then this is a major problem with digital cameras! Can someone shed some light on this issue???

Thanks
Peter
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Old Feb 20, 2004, 5:38 AM   #2
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Hi Peter.
All digital cameras, except for the most expensive, have a ratio of 4:3. It means 640x480 or higher.
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Old Feb 20, 2004, 11:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why doesn't the Z1 support standard photo print sizes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by proregan

What we want is 1800*1200 or similar proportions. This enables you to scale directly to standard print sizes such as 6*4, 5*7 etc.
Why don't Minolta - a leading camera manufacturer - stick to the paper printing conventions - and international picture frame/ photo album sizes????

If you have to crop or distort (by non-proportionally scaling) images, then this is a major problem with digital cameras! Can someone shed some light on this issue???

Thanks
Peter
Peter:

35mm Film uses a 3:2 Aspect Ratio (ratio of width to height). Your Kodak may have had this option.

The standard Aspect Ratio used by most Digital Cameras is 4:3. This works out better for print sizes other than 4x6" (only 4"x6" prints are 3:2 aspect ratio). Other sizes (5x7, 8x10, etc) are at a different ratio.

Here is a chart that shows frame Utilization for different print sizes (note that 3:2 is perfect for 4x6" prints, but not for other sizes):

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleed....htm#frameutil

The easiest way to get the best printed photos (using standard sizes) is to get a good cropping tool. Most image editing packages have some sort of cropping tool. Some allow cropping by Aspect Ratio (to allow a better fit for standard print sizes) -- some don't.

If you've bought any Epson Products in the past, Film Factory has a pretty good cropping tool (allows you to crop for both composition and aspect ratio under the Retouch, Trim menu -- moving a crop box around, and even resizing it, while maintaining the selected Aspect Ratio).

Another package with a good cropping tool is Compupic from Photodex (it even supports the "A" sizes).

Both have downloadable trial versions:

Compupic:
http://www.photodex.com/

Epson Film Factory:
http://www.epsonsoftware.com

There are also some free cropping tools out there.
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Old Feb 20, 2004, 12:25 PM   #4
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Hi Jim

Thanks for your brilliantly informative, non-technical reply. I never owned a SLR/ manual camera, so I wasn't aware of this issue until recently. Now that we know to expect some cropping, we will leave some extra space around the subject to keep our options open.

Thanks again

Peter
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