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Old Nov 18, 2002, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Printing online and from CD

I've had my digital camera for 9 mos. and have quite a lot of images on my hard drive, but I've rarely printed any. I would really appreciate step by step advice on the work flow made in Elements prior to uploading the image files to an online site for printing (or burning to a CD for printing), to insure correct cropping and best resolution. I shoot in SHQ, download images to My Pictures, copy them to Shared Pictures, where I make all editing changes and save as a tiff. I've uploaded some to an online service for prints and they've chopped the head off in cropping. I now realize that I should use the crop tool before uploading, and I've got that down, except I'm not sure of the settings for resolution. The camera is a 2 MP Oly D510. So, for 4x6's, should I use 300 dpi res? Would it drop to 240, or remain at 300 for 5x7's? What for 8x10's? I'm losing pixels when I crop to 4x6 and am wondering how much that will affect image quality. I'm getting ready to print a whole slew of my daughter's wedding pics (200+ images), and want to get it right the first time. I don't have a photo quality printer, so I can't really play around with the settings and figure it out for myself. I've read many comments on this topic in the forums, but don't have enough knowledge to put it all into a work flow. I know that, before printing hundreds of images, I will have to upload a few and see how they come out. I thought I would pick your brains first, since you cover all the bases so well in your answers. This forum has been invaluable for me. Thanks for your help, folks. And thanks for the forum, Steve!
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 12:27 PM   #2
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Do you have your own cd burner? What software came with the burner if you have one?
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 3:42 PM   #3
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I'm doing some research on UK firms. Will post info after I get results. However, I found out that if they're using Fuji Frontier mini-labs they can print 6X4.5 - that means no crop for a 1:1.33 cam. If they get a PS edited shot they know from the header and don't auto correct. One firm offers ftp upload - nice!!, They claim 300dpi.

I've decided to see what they do with un-edited and cropped cam files first. The less JPEG saves the better! Think I'll leave them to do the downsample from 340dpi (3Mpix) to 300 as this will then only involve one process. Any help?
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 9:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Printing online and from CD

I am also very interested in this topic. I also have PS Elements and have yet to figure out how to get my picture to 4 x 6 instead of some strange size like 4.0 x 5.333 or 4.5 x 6.0. Does it even matter to send to an online printer?

I know how to burn to CD, I just need the steps in between downloading and burining or sending to an online printer, especially the sizing and resolution.

I took a CD to a kiosk at Walgreens to try it out but forgot to change the resolution from the default 72 pixels/inch and the prints were rather dark and dull. I'm assuming the resolution was part of the problem.
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 11:00 AM   #5
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Digital... Perhaps your monitor is not telling the truth? How were pics straight from the cam, without any editing?

I'll post some more information (drool!) when I'm at home. But I've found an obscure link thru the Fuji site and downloaded the colour files for the printers these places use. So in QImagePro, you can enter default colour files for cam, monitor and printer, to see roughly how their prints will come out. One UK firm even supplies a free monitor target on request!

Don't think your res. is the problem, they will re-scale to about 300dpi. More likely you added correction which was wrong (and they didn't alter your input file).

Doing your own print scaling could mean at least 2 JPEG saves and slight loss. Some packages let you enter the output print size directly, others want pixels in the re-size option. Say your input cam file is 2048x1536 - that's 1.3333:1. You want 6X4 - thats 1.5:1. So horizontal pixels will allways be 1.5 times vertical. So for a 6X4 your printer input file would be 2048 X 1365. That's a bit cropped off top and bottom, or all off top or bottom.

To accurately print this you would need 2048/6 ( or 1365/4) or 340 dots per inch. Most printers only do 300dpi. So your original image will now be down sampled to 1800 X 1200 for a 6X4 print. Get the idea??

I still feel it might be better to do as little as possible, since they may still have to re-sample, if your estimate is even a few pixels out from what their printer needs.
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 11:07 AM   #6
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Default Printing online and from CD

Phil, I have XP with Easy CD Creator 5 Basic. I believe that I have this part down: Pop in a blank CD-R and drag and drop the images down to the proper space and hit copy or something similar. If you have any caveats, please let me know. Voxmagna, what you say is interesting. It's apparent that each vendor's setup may handle the image files differently and experimentation is going to be necessary. Please let me know what you find out. I'm going to inquire what equipment setup 2 of the online services have that I'm considering: PhotoWorks and DotPhoto. I know that Snapfish.com didn't do well with uncropped images, although the image files that I sent were at 300 dpi and resolution and color in the prints was excellent. Digital Newbie, we're in the same boat, sounds like . Phil pointed me to photoworks.com and their $.19 prints on Kodak paper, which is the best I've seen yet, for when we get the process down.
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 11:21 AM   #7
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Voxmagna, thanks for the math on how they resample. That's exactly what Snapfish did with my image files. They cropped some off the top and bottom, when, ideally, all the cropping should have been done on the bottom, to prevent cutting off my daughter's head. The files were 1600x1200 jpeg's. You're saying that, if I crop them myself, and it's off by a few pixels, they will crop a bit more, possibly resulting in another jpeg save, and resultant loss of image quality, right?
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 1:31 PM   #8
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jmcdev1.. didn't know how much detail to give on the newbie question. If you're only cropping and rotating, this can be done lossless without affecting jpeg quality. I think PS does this. However, doing any other editing, including the downsampling to 300dpi, does incur JPEG re-saves. So from the sums I did, you know how many pixels to lose vertically and you can decide where to put the crop box in the image frame.

Yes you're all right about finding out what online services do with your images. My first questions to them, were about handling large files - 1Mb+. I'm guessing, but there are a lot of 1Mpix cam owners who will have much smaller output files, OK for a 28K modem.! Don't forget 40 or so files will be 50MB or so and won't travel efficiently as email attachments.

That's why I'm pleased to find a UK service who accepts zipped files via their ftp server!. What you don't want is a service who 'decide what output res. they think suits the size' this is a scam to cheat you out of 300dpi on 6x4's - to increase their thruput rate! I've found some res. test images, so I'll include them with my first order!
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 3:29 PM   #9
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I'm thinking of springing for 5x7's for the wedding pics. Would the resolution stay at 300 dpi in Photoshop Elements, or does it have to be reduced to 240? What about for 8x10's?
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 8:40 PM   #10
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Sorry, should have typed 300 ppi in that last post, rather than 300 dpi.
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