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Old Nov 4, 2004, 6:28 PM   #1
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Bear with me on this question.

My digital camera, like I assume almost every other one out there, has multiple pixel settings, in my case from 1 to 4.

Now I assume more pixels is always better but have any of you found that you can get a better picture with a lower pixel setting than the maximum on your camera?

I don't care about what images are good for webpages or printing, I'm only interested in overall quality.

If you want to take the best pictures possible with your camera, should you always use the highest pixel setting?

Dallas
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 6:41 PM   #2
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Most models have two settings you need to worry about. One is the resolution (in pixels), and the other is the JPEG Quality (amount of compression being applied).

I looked at your previous posts and see that you have a Fuji A340.

Your model combines Resolution and JPEG Quality, as follows:

4 Megapixels Fine, 4 Megapixels Normal, 2 Megapixels, 1 Megapixel.

It's not clear how much JPEG Compression is being applied in the 1 and 2 Megapixel Modes (as you don't have any choice of the compression used in these modes).

You should always get the best quality in your 4 Megapixel Fine Mode. Keep in mind that you can always downsize later if smallersizes are needed for onscreen viewing (although I'd always keep the full resolution originals -- never overwriting them). When printing, it doesn't hurt to send more resolution to the printer than is needed for the desired print size either.

I wouldn't shoot in a lower resolution mode, unless I knew that I'd never need to print them at larger sizes (and never is a very long time). ;-)

In a pinch, if I had to make a choice because I had limited memory space, and no spare memory card available, I'd go with the 4MP Normal Mode instead of Fine.
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 8:19 PM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 9:10 AM   #4
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Ok, just a question:

First of all, the focal length of the lenses is related to the sensor size, right? So, if when you use different resolution settings (I own a Lumix FZ10) the focal length stays the same... that should mean you're using the whole sensor for less megapixels in the lowest resolutions.

Now, they say that having toomanymegapixelsinasmallsensor is one of the reasons for noise. If the above is true, shouldn't you have less noise when using a lesser resolution?


Am I just very confused? Should I recheck howstuffworks.com? (And yes, I'm gonna make the test)



Thanks to those kind enough to try to enlighten me.
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 9:38 AM   #5
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José A. wrote:
Quote:
Ok, just a question:

First of all, the focal length of the lenses is related to the sensor size, right? So, if when you use different resolution settings (I own a Lumix FZ10) the focal length stays the same... that should mean you're using the whole sensor for less megapixels in the lowest resolutions.

Now, they say that having toomanymegapixelsinasmallsensor is one of the reasons for noise. If the above is true, shouldn't you have less noise when using a lesser resolution?


Am I just very confused? Should I recheck howstuffworks.com? (And yes, I'm gonna make the test)
The reason you have higher noise when manufacturers put more megapixels into the same size sensor is because the photosites for each pixel are smaller. As a result, when light hits them, they generate a weaker signal (requiring more amplification of the signal for equivalent sensitivity to light). This amplification also amplifies noise (like turning up the volume on a weak radio station, only you get image noise instead of static, hiss and hum).

If you use less of these photosites, this won't eliminate the problem (the size of the photosites is still the same).

Depending on how the manufacturer implements downsizing of images, they may be using a subset of the available pixels, or they may be interpolating so that the resulting pixel set is an average of values found in adjacent pixels (more likely).

But, you can do the same thing using software later if smaller viewing sizes are needed. When you view images using software that supports smaller viewing sizes, it's going to be averaging the values from adjacent pixels anyway. This does tend to make noise "blend in" more. Ditto for when printing at smaller sizes.

You're better off shooting in full resolution, and letting the viewing/printing software handle the downsizing part (if you even need downsizing for what you are doing).

I see no benefit to actually shooting in a lower resolution mode for noise reduction purposes. You are better off shooting in full resolution mode, then using software to reduce noise later if it's a problem (and good noise reduction software would use more sophisticated techniques to eliminate noise -- rather than simply downsizing an image).
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 12:43 PM   #6
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Hi

I always recommend that you use the highest megapixel setting for taking pics. You will never get a 2nd chance at a shot, so treasure that photo.


Best Regards,
Gary Hendricks
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