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Warning about digitalmax photos

 
 
Cadae
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      03-13-2006
Not all image compression is lossy e.g. GIF compression achieves great
reduction in image size, but is completely loss-less.
Most JPEG compression is lossy, but if you can control the JPEG encoding
parameters you can get compression without losing quality. Perhaps that's
what digitalmax are doing.

PC

"stuffthis" <stuff@stuffed> wrote in message news:4414f2a6$(E-Mail Removed)...
> The online digital photo processing lab call digitalmax are less than
> upfront about what they do in the processing of your photo's, they in fact
> compress your photo's so the file size is about 1/2 of the original size
> which of course results in a loss of quality but nowhere on their site
> does
> it tell you that they do this and if you ask them about it they will tell
> you that it makes no difference to the quality of the photo. There own
> webpage says the following - Do not compress your images
> We recommend that you do not resize or reduce the resolution of your
> images
> before sending them to be printed. Use the print wizard to print from
> those
> images directly produced from your digital camera. Many digital cameras
> come
> with photo editing software, or you may have purchased one of the popular
> photo editing programs for manipulating and enhancing your images.
> Unfortunately, you can unknowingly decrease the quality of your images.
> This
> is due to the software using JPEG (or JPG) format to save images. JPEG is
> known as a "lossy" compression because image quality degrades every time
> you
> re-save an image in this format. If you do repeated edits, your image may
> become useless for printing.
>
> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this for
> yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to upload the
> photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less than the original.
> Are
> they breaking some sort of law with this misleading practice?
>
> On the other hand the frogprints online developer seems to indicate quite
> clearly that they do not compress your photo's and they also give a
> thorough
> explanation of compression etc...
>
>



 
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Adam
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      03-13-2006
On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 01:14:29 +1300, Cadae wrote:

>Not all image compression is lossy e.g. GIF compression achieves great
>reduction in image size, but is completely loss-less.


Yes - but doesn't GIF only save 256 colours? Not much use for
photographic images.

>Most JPEG compression is lossy, but if you can control the JPEG encoding
>parameters you can get compression without losing quality. Perhaps that's
>what digitalmax are doing.
>
>PC


There's no way you can compress a JPG without *some* loss. The
question is - is is noticeable?

Adam.
 
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Kent Smith
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      03-13-2006

"stuffthis" <stuff@stuffed> wrote in message news:4414f2a6$(E-Mail Removed)...
> The online digital photo processing lab call digitalmax are less than
> upfront about what they do in the processing of your photo's, they in fact
> compress your photo's so the file size is about 1/2 of the original size
> which of course results in a loss of quality but nowhere on their site
> does
> it tell you that they do this and if you ask them about it they will tell
> you that it makes no difference to the quality of the photo. There own
> webpage says the following - Do not compress your images
> We recommend that you do not resize or reduce the resolution of your
> images
> before sending them to be printed. Use the print wizard to print from
> those
> images directly produced from your digital camera. Many digital cameras
> come
> with photo editing software, or you may have purchased one of the popular
> photo editing programs for manipulating and enhancing your images.
> Unfortunately, you can unknowingly decrease the quality of your images.
> This
> is due to the software using JPEG (or JPG) format to save images. JPEG is
> known as a "lossy" compression because image quality degrades every time
> you
> re-save an image in this format. If you do repeated edits, your image may
> become useless for printing.
>
> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this for
> yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to upload the
> photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less than the original.
> Are
> they breaking some sort of law with this misleading practice?
>
> On the other hand the frogprints online developer seems to indicate quite
> clearly that they do not compress your photo's and they also give a
> thorough
> explanation of compression etc...
>

They've just started doing this. I've always sent up my uncompressed
originals even for 6x4's and I always expect it to take a while. However, I
noticed when they uploaded recently, the size uploading was significantly
smaller and therefore way faster. I actually rang them concerned they might
not have got the whole file and they said they compress them now.

The compression also seems to be based on size as I had a couple of
enlargements done and I noticed they were bigger in size when they uploaded
than the 6x4's.

When I got the photos back they were fine - no complaints. As long as the
compression isn't greater that anything I can detect in my photos, I'm
happy.


-KENT


 
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stuffthis
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      03-13-2006

"Kent Smith" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dv4m19$ell$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "stuffthis" <stuff@stuffed> wrote in message

news:4414f2a6$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > The online digital photo processing lab call digitalmax are less than
> > upfront about what they do in the processing of your photo's, they in

fact
> > compress your photo's so the file size is about 1/2 of the original size
> > which of course results in a loss of quality but nowhere on their site
> > does
> > it tell you that they do this and if you ask them about it they will

tell
> > you that it makes no difference to the quality of the photo. There own
> > webpage says the following - Do not compress your images
> > We recommend that you do not resize or reduce the resolution of your
> > images
> > before sending them to be printed. Use the print wizard to print from
> > those
> > images directly produced from your digital camera. Many digital cameras
> > come
> > with photo editing software, or you may have purchased one of the

popular
> > photo editing programs for manipulating and enhancing your images.
> > Unfortunately, you can unknowingly decrease the quality of your images.
> > This
> > is due to the software using JPEG (or JPG) format to save images. JPEG

is
> > known as a "lossy" compression because image quality degrades every time
> > you
> > re-save an image in this format. If you do repeated edits, your image

may
> > become useless for printing.
> >
> > But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this for
> > yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to upload the
> > photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less than the original.
> > Are
> > they breaking some sort of law with this misleading practice?
> >
> > On the other hand the frogprints online developer seems to indicate

quite
> > clearly that they do not compress your photo's and they also give a
> > thorough
> > explanation of compression etc...
> >

> They've just started doing this. I've always sent up my uncompressed
> originals even for 6x4's and I always expect it to take a while. However,

I
> noticed when they uploaded recently, the size uploading was significantly
> smaller and therefore way faster. I actually rang them concerned they

might
> not have got the whole file and they said they compress them now.
>
> The compression also seems to be based on size as I had a couple of
> enlargements done and I noticed they were bigger in size when they

uploaded
> than the 6x4's.
>
> When I got the photos back they were fine - no complaints. As long as the
> compression isn't greater that anything I can detect in my photos, I'm
> happy.
>
>
> -KENT
>


It would be good if they gave customers the choice of a fast upload or no
compression. Whatever anyones subjective opinion might be on whether they
can notice the difference in quality the fact remains they should be
disclosing the fact that they are compressing.


 
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Nik Coughlin
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      03-14-2006
stuffthis wrote:
> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this
> for yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to
> upload the photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less than
> the original. Are they breaking some sort of law with this misleading
> practice?


That doesn't necessarily prove that they are re-compressing, is the
compression visibly noticeable, ie jpeg artifacts? Otherwise the file size
is probably smaller not because they are re-compressing your image, but
because they are stripping out the EXIF data, which can be quite big on some
files.


 
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stuffthis
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      03-14-2006

"Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:44161780$(E-Mail Removed)...
> stuffthis wrote:
> > But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this
> > for yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to
> > upload the photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less than
> > the original. Are they breaking some sort of law with this misleading
> > practice?

>
> That doesn't necessarily prove that they are re-compressing, is the
> compression visibly noticeable, ie jpeg artifacts? Otherwise the file

size
> is probably smaller not because they are re-compressing your image, but
> because they are stripping out the EXIF data, which can be quite big on

some
> files.
>


Well if that is the case it would be in their best interest to explain that
wouldn't it. They reduce your total file size by about 1/2, does this still
fit with your theory?


 
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Nik Coughlin
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      03-14-2006
stuffthis wrote:
> "Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:44161780$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> stuffthis wrote:
>>> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this
>>> for yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to
>>> upload the photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less
>>> than the original. Are they breaking some sort of law with this
>>> misleading practice?

>>
>> That doesn't necessarily prove that they are re-compressing, is the
>> compression visibly noticeable, ie jpeg artifacts? Otherwise the
>> file size is probably smaller not because they are re-compressing
>> your image, but because they are stripping out the EXIF data, which
>> can be quite big on some files.
>>

>
> Well if that is the case it would be in their best interest to
> explain that wouldn't it. They reduce your total file size by about
> 1/2, does this still fit with your theory?


Not even close, unless the photos were quite low res or highly compressed
already. I did a couple of tests and removing EXIF data knocked about 50k
off a 450k file -- however the size of the EXIF data will vary with
different cameras and also depending on whether you have picture organisers
like Picasa adding metadata to them (just as an example, for all I know
Picasa keeps its own database and doesn't make use of EXIF, I have no idea).
But yeah, in that case sounds like they are re-compressing.


 
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stuffthis
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      03-14-2006

"Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:441621b4$(E-Mail Removed)...
> stuffthis wrote:
> > "Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:44161780$(E-Mail Removed)...
> >> stuffthis wrote:
> >>> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove this
> >>> for yourself by using their photo upload software, when you go to
> >>> upload the photo's you will see that the file size is a lot less
> >>> than the original. Are they breaking some sort of law with this
> >>> misleading practice?
> >>
> >> That doesn't necessarily prove that they are re-compressing, is the
> >> compression visibly noticeable, ie jpeg artifacts? Otherwise the
> >> file size is probably smaller not because they are re-compressing
> >> your image, but because they are stripping out the EXIF data, which
> >> can be quite big on some files.
> >>

> >
> > Well if that is the case it would be in their best interest to
> > explain that wouldn't it. They reduce your total file size by about
> > 1/2, does this still fit with your theory?

>
> Not even close, unless the photos were quite low res or highly compressed
> already. I did a couple of tests and removing EXIF data knocked about 50k
> off a 450k file -- however the size of the EXIF data will vary with
> different cameras and also depending on whether you have picture

organisers
> like Picasa adding metadata to them (just as an example, for all I know
> Picasa keeps its own database and doesn't make use of EXIF, I have no

idea).
> But yeah, in that case sounds like they are re-compressing.
>


The photos were straight from my 3.2 megapixel canon a75 camera, resolution
was set to highest and compression to lowest, the camera outputs jpeg images
so compressing them again as digitalmax do is bad.


 
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Nik Coughlin
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      03-14-2006
stuffthis wrote:
> "Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:441621b4$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> stuffthis wrote:
>>> "Nik Coughlin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>> news:44161780$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>> stuffthis wrote:
>>>>> But yet digitalmax compress your photo's for you. You can prove
>>>>> this for yourself by using their photo upload software, when you
>>>>> go to upload the photo's you will see that the file size is a lot
>>>>> less than the original. Are they breaking some sort of law with
>>>>> this misleading practice?
>>>>
>>>> That doesn't necessarily prove that they are re-compressing, is the
>>>> compression visibly noticeable, ie jpeg artifacts? Otherwise the
>>>> file size is probably smaller not because they are re-compressing
>>>> your image, but because they are stripping out the EXIF data, which
>>>> can be quite big on some files.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Well if that is the case it would be in their best interest to
>>> explain that wouldn't it. They reduce your total file size by about
>>> 1/2, does this still fit with your theory?

>>
>> Not even close, unless the photos were quite low res or highly
>> compressed already. I did a couple of tests and removing EXIF data
>> knocked about 50k off a 450k file -- however the size of the EXIF
>> data will vary with different cameras and also depending on whether
>> you have picture organisers like Picasa adding metadata to them
>> (just as an example, for all I know Picasa keeps its own database
>> and doesn't make use of EXIF, I have no idea). But yeah, in that
>> case sounds like they are re-compressing.
>>

>
> The photos were straight from my 3.2 megapixel canon a75 camera,
> resolution was set to highest and compression to lowest, the camera
> outputs jpeg images so compressing them again as digitalmax do is bad.


I'd go along with that. I was thinking, it may be that the software is
smart enough to use a level of compression that, while being higher than the
original, is still low enough to be completely unnoticable at the targeted
print size. Even that is problematic because some photos don't compress
anywhere near as nicely as others, so even if they got away with it most of
the time some photos (maybe only a small minority) would almost certainly
look worse.


 
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Nik Coughlin
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      03-14-2006
Nik Coughlin wrote:
> stuffthis wrote:
>> The photos were straight from my 3.2 megapixel canon a75 camera,
>> resolution was set to highest and compression to lowest, the camera
>> outputs jpeg images so compressing them again as digitalmax do is
>> bad.


Strange, I just uploaded a 3.2 megapixel, max resolution, lowest compression
image from my Pentax 330, it was 1.53mb on my disk, and is showing up in my
photo gallery as being 1.6mb, which is bigger (though more likely they are
rounding the file size displayed). I used the upload function on the
website, maybe it is a problem with their downloadable application rather
than something they are doing deliberately?


 
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