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Old Oct 31, 2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Sufficient IQ for web viewing?

I don't print photos. I'm camera shopping and don't want to buy quality that will never be noticed because photos will only be viewed on computer screens. Until I dropped my 4mp 2005 Lumix (unknown model) several months ago and replaced it with my 2mp craptacular cell cam I was content with IQ when web viewing or scaling to fit my 1280 x 720 computer screen.

I've narrowed my choices to three very different non-interchangeable lens cameras with prices ranging from $150 to $400. I can make a case for each based on features other than IQ. Yes, I know there are other issues when selecting a camera. I think I understand those, so I'm only asking about IQ at this point.

imaging-resource.com has test images shot with many different cameras. When viewing the images scaled to fit in a browser, I can see little difference between a p&s and a dslr.
For example, the test image from the EOS-1D Mk IV
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...00050_NR2D.HTM
and the Canon SD 1300 is:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...IShSLI0080.HTM

I expect there would be clear differences in such images between low and high IQ cameras in low light, at high ISO and fast shutter speeds.

I crop maybe 1 out of 20 saved images, which is probably the result of my habit of composing in the viewfinder while shooting slides back in the film era. Seems to me that if I made 1280 x 720 sized 100% crops then the differences between a low IQ image and a high IQ one would be obvious. But who shoots that way?

It's not clear to me how the following two things affects IQ during web viewing when comparing images from a low and high IQ cameras, assuming well lit, low to moderate ISO, slow or not moving subjects:
* cropping and reducing an image. I guess that the smaller part of the original image I use, the more the quality difference would be apparent between hi and lo IQ cameras.
* different file sizes. My understanding is that this is critical for printing, but not an issue for web viewing. Still, I don't know there would be IQ differences between shooting at a camera's maximum file size vs the file size larger but closest to 1280 x 720. This would be easy to determine if I had access to a camera with selectable file sizes, but I don't.
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Old Oct 31, 2010, 1:29 PM   #2
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Well let see. A EOS-1D Mk IV (body only, no lens) goes for about $5,000 (plus or minus pocket change). Lenses for this would run in the $1000+ range.

For a Canon SD 1300 you talking about $135.

6MP camera will be sufficient for anything on a computer monitor screen.

I would go see each one of the cameras to find which one I would like to use and carry around. Then check out their respective image quality - probably very similar and make my choice. Also, while I am out looking I would take an SD card, and take some pictures on it from each model. Take the SD card home and see which pictures I liked best.


Last edited by interested_observer; Oct 31, 2010 at 1:31 PM.
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Old Oct 31, 2010, 7:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
Well let see.
Just trying to increase you post count? You sure didn't address any thing I asked about.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 8:32 AM   #4
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This could help...it addresses the IQ between a $1500 camera, $400 camera, $300 camera, $250 camera...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...0mm-macro.html
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 5:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTZ470 View Post
This could help...it addresses the IQ between a $1500 camera, $400 camera, $300 camera, $250 camera...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...0mm-macro.html
The photos are too large to be seen in a browser window without scrolling. That's not what I consider web viewing.

I wonder if I could find test images, shot in a controlled environment by different quality cameras and sized to fit a browser window. Oh, that's right, I did - and included the urls in my original post.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 5:38 AM   #6
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Hi ItDontMeanAThing. You have a very strange posting manner. Aggressive. Confrontational. Unless that is your intention, you'll find it difficult to spark conversation on this forum using this technique.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 7:37 AM   #7
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I think you should read this article:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

And this is talking about MEDIUM-LARGE prints. Everything that applies there is doubly true for web viewing.
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Last edited by peripatetic; Nov 2, 2010 at 7:41 AM.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 10:18 AM   #8
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the thing is that most cameras shoot at almost 3 times the size you're looking for, so shrinking the pics will increase visual quality so that they look good at 1280x720 except for the worst cameras out there. cropping is different, and how good a cropped image looks depends on how large the cropped area is when you're done. if you're talking 100% crops, you're probably talking dslr if you plan to shoot in non-optimal lighting.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 11:07 AM   #9
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How long are you planning on keeping those images?

One thing to consider is that displays have continued to evolve over the years. A 640x480 resolution image may have "filled the screen" at one point. But, now it can look tiny on a modern display. ;-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compute...dard#Standards

Even my wife's 3 years old laptop (Dell Inspiron 1720, purchased in refurbished condition from Dell Outlet in 2007) has a higher resolution display than you're using now (you mentioned using a 1280 x 720 display in your first post).

So, if you want to share those images for years to come (or if your family wants to share them with others later in life), I'd keep the progress displays are making in mind (higher and higher resolution displays as time passes).

Personally, I always shoot at the highest resolution a camera supports. Then, create downsized images later using an editor for web viewing (making sure to keep the originals).

IOW, even though you think your images look fine at a given size now on a typical display, that may not be the case later down the road.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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Of course we should capture at the highest and best resolution possible with our equipment (unless there's an over-riding reason not to). Sooner or later, we'll have wall sized displays like we've seen in the movies. Won't it be spectacular to do a slide-show on that? And as display aspect ratios change, we need to alter our images if we want them to show properly. Aiming at the lowest possible is real short-term.
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