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Old Jan 12, 2004, 2:18 AM   #1
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Default What is a good Resolution vs file size?

Hi all
I have bought a Olympus C-5060 with a 128MB CF.
The camera can take pictures in RAW,TIFF,SHQ,HQ,SQ1 and SQ2.
With high or low compression.
I will print my pictures in 10x15 and A4 and an odd A3
My question is:
Which resolution and compression is best to use vs file size?
I've already ruled out RAW and TIFF.
SHQ = 2592x1944 low compression gives 3.8MB (33 pics)
HQ = 2592x1944 high compression gives 1.3MB (99 pics)
or SQ1 2288X1712 low compression gives 2.6MB (49 pics)

Or do you recommend another resolution/compression?
What do I lose when I use high compression? Is it only professionals that can spot the differance or will I see the difference when I print or show it on a TV?

Appreciate an answer thats more than just the "use max".
I don't have the money to buy a lot of memory.
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 8:25 AM   #2
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Anytime you compress file size, you lower image quality. The problems occur when you compress the file, then try to print out at larger sizes.

My suggestion to you would be to take pictures at each of your settings of an identical object that has lots of detail. Then print out each picture at the maximum print size that you would normally print and compare the results. Then make your decision based on whatever tradeoff works for you.

Personally, I would always shoot at the highest quality and save that as my master copy. Prints, email, and copies can then be reduced as needed for the job.
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 9:09 AM   #3
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I usually opt for a little more resolution with a little less compression. The untrained eye won't necessarily see the difference and it allows more cropping without a bad looking image. I do try to use the lowest compression JPEG that my camera allows though. RAW and TIFF sizes are huge - unless you are shooting professional - I (just my opinion) don't believe they are necessary. Not only do they take more space on your card - but also when archiving.

Seriously - I realize you probably don't have the money to buy more memory after a newly purchased camera but if you think about the fact that you are recording your history (whether it is family, travel, etc.) it is a worthwhile investment. I would serioulsy try to upgrade to a 512MB card so you could shoot everything in the SHQ mode without running out of space.
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 9:11 AM   #4
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I'd be choosing between 2.6 and 3.8 Mb and leave the Tiffs for the very special shots with detail you take with a tripod - to make sure your res. is not chucked away by some camera shake. To answer your question correctly you'd have to know how 'critical' the scene composition was and the final print size, to make a decision before shooting. With considerable experience looking at scenes and shots you can get close to working this out - BUT if you get it wrong and end up with some annoying artefacts, you can't always go back and re-shoot. The exception is if you only ever want shots for web publishing or email and will never do prints. In which case a 1-2Mpix cam will give smaller files by default.

So for a Mb, I'd go for 3.8. Why buy a 4 Star car and put 2 star gas in it? VOX
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 4:49 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for the reply's.
I will keep to the SQH (3.8MB) and see if I can get over some more money. Planning on buying a Vosonic VP2060 and take a 20GB harddrive that I have lying around. That will give me all the storage I need I think.
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 6:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I'd... leave the Tiffs for the very special shots with detail you take with a tripod - to make sure your res. is not chucked away by some camera shake. ...
Good point about the tripod.

Why would you prefer TIFFs to RAW? I have the impression (My old camera doesn't have a realistic RAW option) that RAW offers all kinds of options after the shot, e.g., white balance, sharpening, some additional exposure latitude, ...

Or is all that talk about RAW just a bucket of overaged clam juice?
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 7:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Or is all that talk about RAW just a bucket of overaged clam juice?
Advantages of RAW

Greater exposure latitude, allowing you to maintain detail in both the shadows and the highlights and salvage more images that are underexposed

Adjusting white balance after the fact without degrading image quality

Improvement in image quality over fine JPG

Disadvantages of RAW

Increased file size, reducing the number of images on the flash card and requiring larger harddrive for storage

Decoding software necessary

Requires more time in processing
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 5:21 AM   #8
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BillDrew.....No preference implied, my 602 only shoots TIFF, so do a lot of other cameras with an uncompressed option. If my camera offered RAW, I'd use it for all the reasons stated provided the camera could send it to the card fast enough to be usable - and I do like the first/last 5 shot and continuous shooting modes (That's one big buffer memory it would need!). Regards VOX.
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 7:56 AM   #9
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Usable RAW seems to be like usable TIFF, as you say depending on the camera. Also, although Sandisk now do high speed 1GB memory cards I wonder how many cameras can keep up with them ? They claim a 9MB per second write speed....
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 4:12 AM   #10
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Checklg, my experience has been that it's the camera always lagging the claimed pcmcia card transfer speeds. The only benefit I can see if you'd bought the camera before faster CF arrived (i.e not necessarily designed to optimise with it) is to find the price/speed break point with a particular manufacturers card, where movie might work continuously for longer.

I've found with my S602 that if you're prepared to change your cards cluster size on big cards by doing an external format, then that can bring the most speed gain. But newer cams might be different. VOX
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