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Old Mar 19, 2004, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default cropping and resizing

Well obviously - I'm not understanding the whole, pixel - picture size - dpi issue.

I took some pictures with my new Panasonic FZ1- only 2 megapixel.

Using the free arcsoft software that came with the camera. I cropped them creating a new picture that was smaller than the original 1600x1200.

I tried to enlarge (re-size) so that they would be larger but still within the 1600x1200 for 4X6 print. If I chose the option to automatically resize to 1600x1200 - then the photos lost there proportions and were stretched.

I was hoping that they could be printed on 4X6 leaving white area since they were smaller than 1600X1200.

Took the card to Target - no go - they told me the image would be stretched to take up a whole 4X6.
Used the kiosk at Ritz - there was some confusion between the employees. The smaller photos were stretched. They told me they might be able to do it - but I couldn't use the automated process.

So I have two questions.
1) This doesn't seem like it should be a big deal. Am I not understanding the cropping process?
2) Since I enlarged the picture after cropping - do I lose quality?
For example after cropping the pixel count showed 900x900. I resized to 1200x1200. Thinking that I would be taking up as much of the 4X6 as possible without distorting the picture. But do I lose resolution by doing this.

This is my first digital camera. I've owned it about 3 weeks. I'm having a lot of fun and have taken more pictures in 3 weeks than I have in 3 years. But even though I thought I had a basic understanding of the pixels and resolution it's clear I missed the boat.

Thanks for your response in advance.
I have learned so much by reading this forum.
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 12:20 AM   #2
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Perhaps those solutions, Target and Ritz kiosks, could not process a square image. Maybe if you save the same image but filling the remaining 400x1200 area with white. Try copying the 1200x1200 image and then pasting it into a 1600x1200 blank image. In enlarging a 900x900 image area to 1200x1200 you do not lose detail, but you also do not gain any. Because you just can't come up with detail that wasn't there in the image to begin with. The program will take the pixels and average them with their neighbors to blend in the pixelated image. Hope that made sense
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 12:51 AM   #3
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Being a Ritz employee, and actually knowing what I am talking about, I can tell you how the machines work. They are set up to do certain sizes, ie 4X6, 6X8, 8X10, ect. When you bring any format picture in and have those machines print it, they will crop or strech the picture to match the proportions needed.
You can do one of two things.
1- create 'blank' space around the area you want printed to match it to the correct size.
2- send it to Ritz's outlab with instructions the pictures are abnormally sized, and you want them printed at 'native' resolution.
Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 9:30 AM   #4
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Aspect Ratio is the phrase you are looking for. If you want to print 4x6" prints, the ratio of the sides of your image must have the ratio of 4:6 (2:3). If you want a 5x7" print, the ratio must be 5:7. Give them anything else, they are likely to do something you don't want.

If you really want a square format print, your best bet is to use Gandalf065's first suggestion: pad out on edge so the aspect ratio matches their format. Much easier and more reliable than trying to explain to a busy counter clerk how you want some kind of custom printing. Could be cheaper as well.
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 2:33 PM   #5
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The answer to your second question is that you will lose some quality upsizing. How much you lose will depend on the filter you use. I have the ArcSoft on CD that came with my FZ10 but have no use for it and never installed it. So I donít know what filter it uses. Hopefully it uses Lanczos. If there are choices donít just do a simple resize as the quality loss is greater. The freeware Irfanview defaults to Lanczos so I would hope ArcSoft would have something equivalent. I have compared Lanczos and bicubic and donít see much difference. You can buy programs like Genuine Fractals that will resize a little better.

More advanced image editors let you constrain the crop to the proportions of a print. I have heard Wal-Mart will print 4.5 X 6 instead of 4 X 6. You would lose less from a standard 4:3 format like your camera uses with that.

If you really need a square crop you would probably do best putting the square shot in a 4.5 X 6 or 4 X 6 ratio file as Alberto suggests. There is a little free utility that will crop to standard print sizes you might find helpful for crops that arenít square. http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/XJ&sdn=gr...2FJPEGCrops%2F You can even enter custom sizes in case your local processor offers 4.5 X 6.
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