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Old Feb 5, 2009, 5:47 AM   #1
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I just bought a Canon G10 because my work takes me to beautiful parts of the Rocky Mountains. Obviously, I think, for my personal photos I want to take pictures with the highest pixels and highest compression. For work, however, I need to be able to use Photoshop Elements to compress the work photos down into the 250k size range.

Do I turn down the pixel count or the compression? Is there a single setting that I will be happy with for both work and personal?

Thanks in advance!
Kevin
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 7:12 AM   #2
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First, for the best quality, you want the highest pixels but the lowest compression. (Large/Super Fine)

Second, there are lots of ways to reduce the file size, Photoshop Elements is only one.

Third, the fastest and simplestway to reduce the file size is to reduce the resolution ('Resize' the image) down to a standard size (say 800x600). If that doesn't get the file size down to 250K (which is unlikely), then increase the compression .
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 8:22 AM   #3
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TCav,

Thank you for the help. You are correct. I have my settings right now at highest pixel count and Superfine. My mistake on the wording.

If I understand you correctly the pixel count is when taking the picture, it grabs the most pixels, but in processing, the algorithm then compresses those pixels that were just captured.

In order to maintain the best quality in the smallest file size, I am trying to understand whether to decrease pixel count first or increase the compression rate first.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 8:39 AM   #4
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Whenever an image is stored in a JPEG file, it is compressed. The compression used is not lossless, therefore, some detail will be lost, even before it leaves your camera. The compression settings (Superfine, Fine, Normal) determine the amount of detail that will be lost, and how much smaller the JPEG file will be.

(BTW, to preserve all the detail that the camera captured, you can save the file as RAW instead of JPEG, though the image will require post processing before you can do anything else (like print.))

As you decrease the pixel count, detail will be lost, just as it will be when you compress it. But compressing an image while preserving the pixel count will result in a rather washed out image.

I recommend that you reduce the pixel count first (down to a standard size, like 800X600), and if that doesn't get the file size down to 250K, then increase the compression.
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 8:58 AM   #5
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So I am reducing the pixel count when I take the picture? In the G10 at the low end the choices are 1600x1200 or 640 x 480. Or can I reduce the pixel count in post-production in Photoshop?

I appreciate your patience in answering rudimentary questions.
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 9:51 AM   #6
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khowell wrote:
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So I am reducing the pixel count when I take the picture?
No. That's not what I said. I said that the process of compressing an image when storing itin a JPEG file reduces the detail of the image. Compression reduces detail, not resolution ("pixel count").

Take the photo at Large/Superfine.

khowell wrote:
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Or can I reduce the pixel count in post-production in Photoshop?
Yes. That's the only place you should do it.
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Old Feb 6, 2009, 9:20 AM   #7
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khowell wrote:
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... For work, however, I need to be able to use Photoshop Elements to compress the work photos down into the 250k size range. ...
Answering the question, "Why do you have to downsize/compress for work?", is likely to tell you what you have to do. If it is for web photos, likely you will want to reduce the size to something like 640x480 and I hope that you will compress them enough to make them much smaller than 250k.

If it is to save storage space, you should tell them to buy a few terabytes more just for photos and save them at the highest resolution/lowest compression.
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 1:20 PM   #8
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I'll definitely go along with Bill on this. The first thing you need to do is assess the reason for downsizing. If it is to reduce time spent sending via email, and your business needs require the most detail in the picures,(I'm thinking something like real estate shots, which will need to be printed)then use compression rather than downsizing. As Tcav says, this will likely result in a washed out image, but it is easier to restore color saturation and contrast, than it is detail.

brian
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 8:06 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your help! Brian, you are correct about the need for the small size of the photos. It is my client's email limitations. The client never prints out the photos and they really don't care about quality. I really wanted to leave my camera at the highest quality settings with the lowest compression so when I snapped a personal photo I did not have to change the settings.

Through the group's help I have discovered more settings in Photoshop Elements. I now appreciate how much file size control I have while sitting at the computer. Clearly working on the size issue in post-production is the answer.

Thank you again for your help.

Kevin
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 9:48 PM   #10
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If you have only one client, find out what screen size and viewing software is used. Then match the pixel size to that. No need for it to be any larger since they don't print. If you have several clients, you will have to guess on the size but something like 1200x1000 would be my guess - other folks can offer their guess.

Once you have the photo sized, use the save for web to get the compression. Look at the samples at 200% to find the max compression you can stand. If it looks OK at 200%, it should look great at 100% - the way your client will see it. (I am assuming a recent PS Elements works about the same as the old v6.0 full PhotoShop I use)

That should result in an image not much over 100K.

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