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Old Oct 22, 2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default image choice by size

I'm wondering how others decide which of multiple photos to work on. I was told years ago, if I take multiple images of the same shot to use the one with the largest number of MB. I will often retake an image as I've had so many times I thought it was good and then got home and realized I must have moved and it's blurry. Of course, this is one of the pitfalls of digital from the other thread. Taking as many shots as you want and not just focusing on what you're doing. Something I need to get better at.

Supposedly the one with the largest MB has the most detail in it ????? Any truth to this? I would imagine there's something to it since my photos range anywhere from 7MB to 20+MB.

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Old Oct 22, 2010, 3:12 AM   #2
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Default largest number of Mb?

Sounds like choosing quantity over quality!

I have a fairly easy method of selecting - first I ignore all the out of focus or badly exposed shots; that usually takes care of most of them

Then I look for the "right" composition, then hope that what's left is good enough for some PP.

As for blurry images - I have a theory that it's not me that moved but the flower/tree/building/landscape/etc
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Old Oct 22, 2010, 5:17 AM   #3
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I agree with Keith. I choose the best shor out of the camera as far as how it looks to me. I do believe that the bigger file has captured more image info such as amount of color and detail and contrast etc. Usually this in most affected by the exposure. ie too bright too dark or real close to right. But the rub is this. You can have a bigger file that has captured more image info but still be a trulty crappy picture! Out of focus , motion blur, poor composition etc. But on the other hand a smaller file with "less" image info can be a truly remarkable image!! So my advice would be go with your gut and mostly ignore critics who base their criticism on the theoretical limits of a given camera. What matters in an image is how it looks to you , the artist.
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Old Oct 22, 2010, 8:46 AM   #4
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In theory more MB means more detail, but that is only in theory. Many variations of tone and colour will make for large files while images with large areas of one colour will typically be smaller however this has little to do with the sharpness or the composition so it is meaningless unless all other factors are equal (which they seldom are).
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Old Oct 22, 2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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If you have enough resolution (big enough mb) you can always scale down to hide any blurriness at it will compress the fat blurry lines down to sharp, thin ones. All the detail is going to still be in the image when you shrink it down so you would think you will always want to shoot in large sizes. However, I must admit I hate taking shots just to find out that it is ruined, so I too am one who will take 3-10 shots( depending on importance) of each subject matter if Im not using a tripod. (Ive been shooting with IST lately so no IS) I also hate to HAVE TO shrink down the image just to save it, as it really binds your hands later. This is probably IMO the best part of having high MB, but in regards to the image size of similar shots:

I notice usually the one with higher dynamic range is larger in size, not necessarily sharpness. So this is all relative. If you were to shoot a shot completely in focus but it was a darker scene or had high contrast it would appear to be lower file size (in my experience) than the nearly same, out of focus, underexposed image (because the blacks would not be pure black and expose grain in the shades, same for highlights, it takes more data to produce tons of noisy dots than it does a flat band of black.
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Old Oct 22, 2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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I do a some scanning of very large b&w sheets (line drawings). It's amazing the difference in file size and quality between scanning a drawing on bond paper and one on mylar. The scanner often picks up the background texture of the paper, converting it to tiny black spots, while there's no texture to the smooth mylar. On the other hand, as was pointed out above, areas of solid color take up less bites. I've had incidents where lightening the exposure setting to get a cleaner image has ended up with a larger file size - it's broken up the lines into smaller, finer pieces and so there's more information and less compression. Very weird.

I often do a series of pictures on a subject. I choose the one that I like best. If two are almost identical and I can't make up my mind, I flip a coin or just choose one. If the two shots are equally good then it doesn't matter which I one I choose.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 4:14 PM   #7
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thats a strange way of looking at quality.
You are correct with the idea that more detail gets a bigger filesize,
but more noise does the exactly the same.
So it's not a good way of selecting.

For me it starts with what of the shots has the best focus, then what is happening around the subject, isn't there anything drawing attention away from the subject.
If I then have some left I'll take a look at the histograms and check the one that is best exposed.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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Hi Patty,

When looking at an image browser, at thumbnails with file sizes displayed, I'll usually pick the largest file sizes to view in detail first, given that there are a large number of frames that are very similar. I get this a lot when shooting birds -- I may take quite a few shots of the same bird in the same setting, trying to get the best pose. The largest file size might be the most detailed, but it's obviously not necessarily the "best" shot, as there's no possible relationship between the "decisive moment" and file size, but it gives me a methodology to follow in viewing the images.

I started doing this a long time ago with the 2MP FZ1, and it was a very good way to pick out the sharpest shots, but as resolution increased dramatically, this seemed to become a less useful measure. I'd still say that if you have 5 very similar shots, one of the 2 largest files will be the most detailed. The shots have to be very similar -- in composition, ISO, and exposure.

As I said, I only use this to save some time in prioritizing the order that I'll view the images -- I look at them all at full size eventually -- file size has no bearing on the final decision to use or just archive any image.

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I won't depend on this so much any more then. I can't even remember where I heard it. I think in one of my PSE classes a few years ago.

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