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Thread: image quality ?

  1. #1
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
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    image quality ?

    Ok, got these choices on my image quality settings

    SHQ 3072x2304
    HQ 3072x2304
    SQ1 2048x1536
    SQ2 640x480
    16:9 1920x1080

    can someone explain these to me? I realize the higher the resolution the better the shot, but if all I'm going to do is print snap shots and post to the web which should I choose?

    I'm using a 256 mg card.

    thanks,
    jason
    Jason Kaplitz
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  2. #2
    SNC1923
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    Bigger IS Better

    It's a great question, Jason. I hope several others will chime in here.

    The numbers refer to the size of the image measured in pixels. Click here for a comprehensive discussion of image size.

    I vote for shooting the largest, highest quality image at all times. The image quality is better, even when printing small or viewing on a screen. In addition, you never know when you are going to create art or capture that once-in-a-lifetime image.

    Apparently SHQ is "super high quality" and HQ, well, you can see. Perhaps it's less compression? The difference will be negligible, but real nonetheless. Probably most apparent in small details like highlights.

    Your 256mb card is too small. Invest in a larger one--or two. I recently bought a 4gb card (Sandisk Extreme III) for $50. Memory is cheap when compared to storage quantity and image quality.

  3. #3
    Rally Rat torags's Avatar
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    The bigger the file size the longer it takes the cam to process the image (especially in jpg).

    If you're shooting fast moving subjects it will slow you burst rate.

    I agree with Tom on the larger disk necessity

  4. #4
    SNC1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by torags View Post
    The bigger the file size the longer it takes the cam to process the image (especially in jpg).

    If you're shooting fast moving subjects it will slow you burst rate.

    I agree with Tom on the larger disk necessity
    That's a really good point. If you can (and should) shoot in TIFF or RAW (little or no compression) that slows down noticeably.

    I can shoot 6.5 frames per second in RAW with my DSLR, but I can only shoot one every two seconds with my compact. A lot has to do with the processor--one of the many reasons that some cameras are so danged expensive.

  5. #5
    rocketman
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    There is also a difference in speed of the memory cards ability to load images. The newer cards are available in faster loading speeds. Most likely due to increased density of the circuitry, but don't quote me on that.

    Bottom line is there are a number of factor involving image capture speeds, but I too agree larger images sizes are better and with memory costs being what they are, get at least a one or two gig card.

    RM

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Take a shot of a static scene in each mode. Print them and decide what works best for you.
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  7. #7
    www.MotoEuro.org ADSINGER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsjay View Post
    Ok, got these choices on my image quality settings

    SHQ 3072x2304
    HQ 3072x2304
    SQ1 2048x1536
    SQ2 640x480
    16:9 1920x1080

    can someone explain these to me? I realize the higher the resolution the better the shot, but if all I'm going to do is print snap shots and post to the web which should I choose?

    I'm using a 256 mg card.

    thanks,
    jason
    As others have said these refer to the number of pixels used to capture an image. This translates into larger files with better detail (resolution). Memory cards are very cheap, so the general recommendation is to always shoot in the largest mode available. This gives you the optimal image your camera can take. Thus you can make large large scale prints for example.

    If after you've taken the shot you decide you only want it for screen use or email you can easily downsize to a lower and appropriate quality. Remember you can't increase the resolution afterward but you can always reduce it.

    Finally, your camera probably creates a basic 16x12 ratio image. This is standard for most compacts. You have the option of 16x9 images, the ratio used in HD TV screens and many newer monitors.

    I would suggest you re-read your camera's manual to familiarize yourself not only with image size and compression but also other functions that can help you make better pictures. There are many, many sites on the web with lots of good advice as well. One I tend to return to frequetly is:

    www.dpreview.com

    The forums on this site are a wealth of information and there some tutorials as well, plus the best equipment reviews on the 'net.

    Have fun.

    alan.

  8. #8
    Rally Rat torags's Avatar
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    I don't believe the pixel density/inch (resolution) is impacted by the size of the image.

    That may be another setting on your cam (fine?)

  9. #9
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I don't see the point of taking pictures in anything but the highest resolution your camera supports. You may not need the larger sizes now, but you might wish you had them ten years from now.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  10. #10
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I don't see the point of taking pictures in anything but the highest resolution your camera supports. You may not need the larger sizes now, but you might wish you had them ten years from now.
    Ah yes, why didn't I learn this lesson before taking 2,000+ pictures this summer. I kick myself a million times, I saved out pictures at 680 to post online, and failed to save the larger shot, which was not even the highest res.
    Get your camera now and set it to the highest resolution. If you don't have at least 1G of memory, go spend the $20 bucks.

    I guess I'll just have to go back and get some of those shots again.
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  11. #11
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    I guess I'll just have to go back and get some of those shots again.
    When it comes to printing, low rez images look much worse than they do on a nice backlit computer screen.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  12. #12
    Muneio
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    Maybe this will help:

    SHQ 3072x2304 will print at aprox. 8" X 10"

    HQ 3072x2304 will print at aprox. 8" X 10" (slightly more compression then SHQ may or may not be noticeable @ 8X10 but probably not at snap shot sizes like 4x6)

    SQ1 2048x1536 will print at aprox. 5" X 7"

    SQ2 640x480 will print at aprox. 1.5" X 2" Only good for the web ie. viewing on your computer where it may fill a good portion of your monitor depending on the monitors size and resolution the average monitor displays at 800X600 although thats quickly changing.

    16:9 1920x1080 will print at aprox. 6.5" X 4"

    All print sizes are without any cropping

    The only disadvantage to shooting at the highest resolution is memory (which is relatively cheap). With that said, if it's highly unlikely you will ever enlarge a pic to 8X10 as in you have never done so before. And really all you want is snap shots I would shoot at HQ save some space on your card as well as your hard drive and still have the option of printing larger if that one award winning shot just happens to come along.

    IMHO
    Bill

  13. #13
    SNC1923
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    You know, another point to consider. . . .

    I think one of the reasons that the Photo Phorum exists is to guide people to taking better pictures with an eye toward publishing some in the ON magazine.

    If you ever want a photo published in a mainstream magazine, you'll need very high resolution and they generally prefer a RAW image. Many compact cameras don't shoot in RAW, so in this case HQ jpeg is best. I recently bought a compact camera, one of the sole reasons for which was that it did shoot in RAW.

    For years I shot everything on highest-quality jpeg, but now shoot everything--everything--in RAW. This affords me not only the largest, HQ image, but the maximum latitude in post-processing.

    I recently attended a lecture given by two of our hometown newspaper photographers. They shoot everything on HQ jpeg. They are forbidden to manipulate the images to any great degree, they have to get through the editing quickly, and they need the ability to shoot dozens of shots in a period of seconds. In addition, newsprint is grainy to begin with.

    But for me, it's RAW all the way, baby.

  14. #14
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    You know, another point to consider. . . .

    I think one of the reasons that the Photo Phorum exists is to guide people to taking better pictures with an eye toward publishing some in the ON magazine.

    If you ever want a photo published in a mainstream magazine, you'll need very high resolution and they generally prefer a RAW image. Many compact cameras don't shoot in RAW, so in this case HQ jpeg is best. I recently bought a compact camera, one of the sole reasons for which was that it did shoot in RAW.

    For years I shot everything on highest-quality jpeg, but now shoot everything--everything--in RAW. This affords me not only the largest, HQ image, but the maximum latitude in post-processing.

    I recently attended a lecture given by two of our hometown newspaper photographers. They shoot everything on HQ jpeg. They are forbidden to manipulate the images to any great degree, they have to get through the editing quickly, and they need the ability to shoot dozens of shots in a period of seconds. In addition, newsprint is grainy to begin with.

    But for me, it's RAW all the way, baby.


    And this takes us back to the speed of your memory card. Low compression (high quality) files - and especially RAW files - are large and take much longer to save. There are a number of sites you can Google up with real world speed tests of different memory cards. At the least, check the manufactures web site for their performance claims. Each camera has max transfer speed, so you'll want a card at least that fast.
    Greg Feeler
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  15. #15
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muneio View Post
    Maybe this will help:

    SHQ 3072x2304 will print at aprox. 8" X 10"

    HQ 3072x2304 will print at aprox. 8" X 10" (slightly more compression then SHQ may or may not be noticeable @ 8X10 but probably not at snap shot sizes like 4x6)

    SQ1 2048x1536 will print at aprox. 5" X 7"

    SQ2 640x480 will print at aprox. 1.5" X 2" Only good for the web ie. viewing on your computer where it may fill a good portion of your monitor depending on the monitors size and resolution the average monitor displays at 800X600 although thats quickly changing.

    16:9 1920x1080 will print at aprox. 6.5" X 4"

    All print sizes are without any cropping

    The only disadvantage to shooting at the highest resolution is memory (which is relatively cheap). With that said, if it's highly unlikely you will ever enlarge a pic to 8X10 as in you have never done so before. And really all you want is snap shots I would shoot at HQ save some space on your card as well as your hard drive and still have the option of printing larger if that one award winning shot just happens to come along.

    IMHO
    Bill

    Note too thou that final print size is also a function of image and print DPI, I believe most commercial houses default to 300 DPI. You can go lower, in part it depends on viewing distance, the greater the distance the lower effective DPI needed to maintain an "acceptable image".

    I've printed some nice shots at 150 DPI at a 13x19 image size that I know will be displayed such that minimum viewing distance will be 2 or more feet and it looks very good and crisp.

    In the end thou I think it can be safe to say go for the biggest imge size/resolution you can where possible.

    RM

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