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File Size vs. Printed Photo Size

 
 
Richard Belthoff
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      03-19-2005
I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of photos
one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I
reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?

Thx.

-Rich
 
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rafe bustin
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      03-19-2005
On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 20:08:29 GMT, Richard Belthoff
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of photos
>one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I
>reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?



See the vast thread about "Big Megapixels."

Bottom line... yes, of course you can make you
file size smaller, but that limits your options
in the future.

*Why* do you want smaller files? More pictures
per memory card? OK, but cards are cheap.

It's up to you... that's why there are choices.
That instruction manual may explain some of
the tradeoffs, if they're not obvious.


rafe b.
http://www.terrapinphoto.com
 
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Bart van der Wolf
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      03-19-2005

"Richard Belthoff" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
message news:1F%_d.30599$(E-Mail Removed) om...
>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of
>photos one might want to print?


A general recommendation is to print at 300ppi or thereabouts.

>For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I reduce from, say, 2560
>to 1280, and not worry about it?


Following the general recommendation, 2560 allows to print 8.5 inches,
and 1280 allows 4.3 inches. Printing larger will result in visible
loss of sharpness, but some people tolerate that.

Bart

 
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Stephen Poley
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      03-20-2005
On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 22:00:44 +0100, "Bart van der Wolf"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>"Richard Belthoff" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
>message news:1F%_d.30599$(E-Mail Removed) om...
>>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of
>>photos one might want to print?

>
>A general recommendation is to print at 300ppi or thereabouts.


It's a commonly made recommendation. That doesn't mean one has to follow
it.

(As an aside: I find it comic that people discussing the latest and
greatest technology persist in using inches. It's like measuring the
cargo capacity of the Space Shuttle in bushels.)


>>For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I reduce from, say, 2560
>>to 1280, and not worry about it?

>
>Following the general recommendation, 2560 allows to print 8.5 inches,
>and 1280 allows 4.3 inches. Printing larger will result in visible
>loss of sharpness, but some people tolerate that.


I suggest you run a few tests and determine for yourself what you need.
I can't see the difference between 120 pixels per cm (300 pixels per
inch) and 100 without a magnifying glass. I suspect that if you took a
dozen photographs of a dozen different subjects and printed some after
resampling to 120 and some to 100, practically no-one could tell you
which was which on naked-eye inspection.

At 80 ppc you still have to look closely to see any unsharpness - you
can get very good prints at 80 ppc. Even 60 ppc is in my experience good
enough for large prints of most subjects (though pixellation is visible
if you have *very* high-contrast lines.)

So 1280 will give very good results on a 16cm photograph (approx 7
inches).

Having said that, I would recommend taking most photographs at maximum
resolution. It gives you room for cropping, for example. Once you've got
them on the computer you can decide to leave the best ones in original
form and trim down the so-so photos to a smaller size if you wish to
economise on disk space or make backing-up easier. (There are a few
people around here with money coming out of their ears who say you
should just go off and buy a few more hard disks, but that isn't
practical for everyone.)

As for TIFF/JPG, I'd suggest that medium-compression JPG is likely to be
good enough for almost all purposes. You might need finest JPG if you
are cropping very heavily (i.e. printing a small area out of the photo)
or are doing a lot of post-processing. I wouldn't bother with TIFF at
all unless and until you know precisely why you need it.

--
Stephen Poley
 
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Bob Williams
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      03-20-2005


Richard Belthoff wrote:
> I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
> options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
> Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of photos
> one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I
> reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?
>
> Thx.
>
> -Rich


You paid extra bucks to get 5MP. Why not use all those MP?
You may THINK you won't print larger than 5 x 7 but as you gain
experience you will be making more and more 8 x 100s
The only reason to shoot smaller is to conserve memory card space.
That was a valid concern a few years back when a 1GB card cost $300.
But today you can find a 1GB card for $75. Get one and don't look back.
Shoot at highest resolution and lowest compression.
That is what you paid for .....use it.
Bob Williams

 
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Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
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      03-21-2005
>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of photos
>one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I
>reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?


As a general rule, you want 300dpi in a final print. (400dpi looks
better, but beyond that you don't get much improvement. A 200dpi
print doesn't look all that bad, either). So for a 5x7, you want
1500x2100, or about 3.1Mpix. With JPEG encoding, you can get the file
size down, but you're really better off using compressed TIFF. Some
pictures look fine after they've been JPEG encoded; some look
terrible.

-Joel

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Free 35mm lens/digicam reviews: http://www.exc.com/photography
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
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Stephen Poley
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      03-21-2005
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 03:14:40 GMT, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Dr. Joel M. Hoffman)
wrote:

>>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of photos
>>one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7, can I
>>reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?

>
>As a general rule, you want 300dpi in a final print. (400dpi looks
>better, but beyond that you don't get much improvement.



I don't believe that you (or anyone else) can tell the difference
between a 300 dpi print and a 400 dpi print.

--
Stephen Poley
 
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Scott W
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      03-21-2005

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
> >I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo

size
> >options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to

fine.
> >Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of

photos
> >one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed 5x7,

can I
> >reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?

>
> As a general rule, you want 300dpi in a final print. (400dpi looks
> better, but beyond that you don't get much improvement. A 200dpi
> print doesn't look all that bad, either). So for a 5x7, you want
> 1500x2100, or about 3.1Mpix. With JPEG encoding, you can get the

file
> size down, but you're really better off using compressed TIFF. Some
> pictures look fine after they've been JPEG encoded; some look
> terrible.
>
> -Joel

A printer like the Fuji Frontier only prints at 300 dpi so there is not
point in having the photo at higher dpi. I can only see the difference
between 300 and 400 dpi because I am very nearsighted, so for me
looking at a print without my glasses is like using a pretty strong
magnifying glass, most people would never see the difference.

On a different point Joel has this thing against jpeg files that goes
against everybody else's experiences, they should not be a problem as
long as the compression is not too high.

I am still waiting for a tiff photo that Joel has that he believes
can't be turned into a good jpeg, I will be glad to post the jpeg as
well as the tiff files for all to see.

Scott

 
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Bubbabob
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      03-21-2005
Stephen Poley <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 03:14:40 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (Dr. Joel M. Hoffman)
> wrote:
>
>>>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>>>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>>>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of
>>>photos one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed
>>>5x7, can I reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?

>>
>>As a general rule, you want 300dpi in a final print. (400dpi looks
>>better, but beyond that you don't get much improvement.

>
>
> I don't believe that you (or anyone else) can tell the difference
> between a 300 dpi print and a 400 dpi print.
>


If you have fine vertical lines or parallel diagonal lines, you'll see
the difference. You need to pick a print resolution that has a
relationship to the actual pitch of the nozzles. For all Epson and Canon
printers it's 360 ppi. 720 works but there's not much point in it. Other
values will cause moires.
 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      03-21-2005
Bubbabob wrote:
> Stephen Poley <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 03:14:40 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (Dr. Joel M. Hoffman)
>>wrote:
>>
>>
>>>>I finally bought the Lumix FZ20k. It includes a variety of photo size
>>>>options, from TIF to JPG, from 2560 to 640, from find to now to fine.
>>>>Are there general recommendations about file size vs. the type of
>>>>photos one might want to print? For example, if I will never exceed
>>>>5x7, can I reduce from, say, 2560 to 1280, and not worry about it?
>>>
>>>As a general rule, you want 300dpi in a final print. (400dpi looks
>>>better, but beyond that you don't get much improvement.

>>
>>
>>I don't believe that you (or anyone else) can tell the difference
>>between a 300 dpi print and a 400 dpi print.
>>

>
>
> If you have fine vertical lines or parallel diagonal lines, you'll see
> the difference. You need to pick a print resolution that has a
> relationship to the actual pitch of the nozzles. For all Epson and Canon
> printers it's 360 ppi. 720 works but there's not much point in it. Other
> values will cause moires.


The human eye has incredible resolution. Most current
printer are limited to good quality, but the printer is the
limit, not the eye. See:

Notes on the Resolution and Other Details of the Human Eye
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...esolution.html

Here is a test where people can tell the difference between
300 and 600 ppi prints:
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/printer-ppi

Save your images at maximum resolution, highest quality (if jpeg)
to preseve the detail for the future when technology to print
them gets better.

Roger
 
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