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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:12 PM   #1
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My FZ30 takes HUGE 8 megapixel pictures (my FZ20 took HUGE 5mp's) which I routinely reduceby many times in post processing. I read in another post about a member who routinely uses the 3 megapixel setting on his FZ20 because it uses so much less card space. (You can fit over 400 3 megapixel shots on a 512mb card)

So, ifone is reducing the size of every shot you take anyway as I do, then is there any reasonto usethe maximum available megapixels setting in the first place?

And, as the often discussed "noise" issue is said to be related to jamming too many megapixels onto too small a sensor, would shooting at a lower setting reduce the noise trouble?


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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:39 PM   #2
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I also reduce the maximum number of megapixels on my FZ5. The highest resolution is also 5 megapixels, but most of the time (95%) I take my pictures at 3 megapixels. For me this is still acceptable, even for printing at a maximum of 13x18cm.


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Old Mar 14, 2006, 5:28 PM   #3
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corcoj-

FWIW, with little exception, I usually shoot at the highest jpg setting on my FZ5. Keep in mind that setting the camera to the TIFF mode gives you a photo that has not been processed by the in-camera software for saturation, sharpness etc. along with a corresponding in-camera processed jpg copy (thus the larger TIFF file size with no compression).

It's a personal preference from experience and with currentcircumstances. The unprocessed TIFF will give you the most details to work with applying your own post processing after the fact. But, as you're aware, will mean that you'll need a lot more memory cards for the same amount of photos shot and, in some cases, can result in a bit slower cycling while the camera saves the files.

Go back and look at the matching jpg photo that was taken with the original TIFF photo. If the jpg with in-camera processing is of a quality that is OK for you, then set the camera to the highest jpg quality and get more from your memory per session. If the quality of the TIFF and any post processing of it gives you a much better result, TIFF is the way to go.

For the most part, with good lighting circumstances, I've found the HQ jpg is capable of pretty good quality. Poor lighting/circumstances, a TIFF with user processing is usually better at getting the details/noise addressed for a higher quality photo. Each session and circumstances will differ as will each person's preferences...
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 6:27 PM   #4
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corcoj wrote:
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So, ifone is reducing the size of every shot you take anyway as I do, then is there any reasonto usethe maximum available megapixels setting in the first place?

And, as the often discussed "noise" issue is said to be related to jamming too many megapixels onto too small a sensor, would shooting at a lower setting reduce the noise trouble?
If you're shooting strictly for the internet and nevercrop, a 2mp (1600x1200 pixel) resolution should be enough. If you find that you are cropping a goodly number of shots, you should go to a higher resolution so that the resulting cropped shot is still in the 1600x1200 pixelrange. For printing, the higher the resolution (ie, pixel density) the higher the quality of the print. In that case, the fz30's full 8mp picture size should be used. I havethe 5mpFZ5 and I use the highest resolution I can get (2560x1920 pixels) in case I want to print to the best quality possible.

Going to a lower setting will not result in less noise. The camera simply uses a smaller portion of the sensor. The pixel density on the sensor stays the same.
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 7:02 PM   #5
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It depends on your needs. If for you storage space and smaller image sizeare more important than high megapixels and quality, then stick with 3MP. It is plenty for screen shots and 4x6 prints, even decent quality letter sized prints. However, you are limited if you do post processing or cropping because the limited resolution is going to show up a lot more. If you find yourself just taking snapshots and not doing a lot of cropping or post processing, stick with 3MP. It does not improve the noise level, however, since you only reduce the portion of the sensor that is used and do not have a lower concentration of pixels across the sensor.

I personally shoot at 7MP (3:2 ratio) and the standard JPEG setting. I have not found a distinguishable quality difference between the standard and fine setting even in magnified crops, so it works for me. I have also been able to achieve editing results in standard jpeg mode comparable to RAW. But I would not want to go lower in Megapixels and use less than all of the CCD. It is a compromise between quality and economical file size that works for me. Each image is just about over 1 MP. If you want to keep file size low, from my experience, you are better off using 5MP standard than 3 MP fine, but I am sure I will get some flak for that.


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Old Mar 14, 2006, 7:56 PM   #6
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Those photos are your lifetime memories. You would probably do better to bite the bullet and get a decent sized memory card. 20 years from now 8Mp at that quality will probably be primitive. And you don't know where your interests will take you.

I almost always used ASA 100 film in SLR cameras. But I always had a pocket 35mm that was quite limited in aperture. So I normally followed the manufacturer's recommendations to use ASA 400 film in it so I could use it in more situations. I have come to regret that with a good film scanner and grainy film to scan. It takes a lot of work to get some of my memories printed at a decent size. I won't make the same mistake with digital. If I had a FZ30 I would shoot primarily in RAW. When I needed to go to JPG for burst or to squeeze more on a card for a vacation I wouldn't consider anything less than 8Mp and best quality.


[quote] Keep in mind that setting the camera to the TIFF mode gives you a photo that has not been processed by the in-camera software for saturation, sharpness etc.[quote]

I don't think that is true. TIFF is such an impractical file format that I never use it, but I think it is only RAW images that aren't processed.

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 8:34 PM   #7
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i always shoot at maximum resolution. if i don't need that much for posting on the web or sharing with friends, i can always reduce it. but if i shot a lower resolution, and later want to make a large print (i.e. 8x10 or larger), i cannot add pixels that aren't there (i can interpolate, but that's another matter). i'd rather have more resolution than i need than the other way around. i've made a number of perfectly wonderful 11x14 prints from my FZ20. with some interpolation, i've made a nice 16x20. you can't do that with a 3MP file.

flash memory is dirt cheap these days. if you aren't happy with how many shots you can fit on a 512MB card, don't give up image resolution you can't ever get back- get a 1 gig card instead. it ain't gonna break the bank. after all, if you only wanted 3MP files, whydidn't youjust buy an FZ3 in the first place, and save yourself a lot of money?
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 9:12 PM   #8
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I am with squirl on this one......maybe a used FZ1 would do the trick for you......it was a great camera.

Get a couple cards and maybe a digital wallet, and do not worry about the size.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 1:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Keep in mind that setting the camera to the TIFF mode gives you a photo that has not been processed by the in-camera software for saturation, sharpness etc.
Well, I don't know where this fairy tale comes from :blah:- or does this only apply to the FZ5?. In my FZ20 the TIFF file is definitely being postprocessed - a simple test row of two takes, onewith the pict.adj. set to low and the other set to highproves thatclearly.

http://johanbrouwer.fotopic.net


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Old Mar 15, 2006, 2:30 AM   #10
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Size is only relative to how you process your shots. No cropping, and no big pics for printing = thumbs up for smaller pics...less MP's.

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