Is medium better than large?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Clicky, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Clicky

    Clicky Guest

    I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately. Most
    of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've been taking
    them in large format, high quality, so that they can be cropped, with room
    enough left for quality printing.

    But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    digital reduction.

    Should I be shooing in medium format, or maybe even small? If I shoot in
    medium, then crop maybe 50% to reduce distractions, am I likely to still get
    enough quality for 8x10 prints?
     
    Clicky, Jan 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Clicky" <> wrote in
    news::

    > I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately.
    > Most of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've
    > been taking them in large format, high quality, so that they can be
    > cropped, with room enough left for quality printing.
    >
    > But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    > digital reduction.
    >
    > Should I be shooing in medium format, or maybe even small? If I shoot
    > in medium, then crop maybe 50% to reduce distractions, am I likely to
    > still get enough quality for 8x10 prints?
    >


    There is no reason why taking larger photos is worse.
    I assume you use the wrong interpolation method in
    your photo editor when downsizing.


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. Clicky

    Clicky Guest

    > There is no reason why taking larger photos is worse.
    > I assume you use the wrong interpolation method in
    > your photo editor when downsizing.


    Reducing a large digital image to a smaller one always involves removing
    some data, some picture elements. The larger the reduction, the more data
    removed, right? And so the worse the fidelity of the results?
    Interpolation just makes guesses about how to smooth over the data loss. Or
    do I misunderstand these things?
     
    Clicky, Jan 21, 2004
    #3
  4. Clicky

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Clicky wrote:

    > I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately. Most
    > of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've been taking
    > them in large format, high quality, so that they can be cropped, with room
    > enough left for quality printing.
    >
    > But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    > digital reduction.


    This shouldn't happen.. What software are you using and what steps
    are you taking to downsample the photos ??
     
    Jim Townsend, Jan 21, 2004
    #4
  5. Clicky

    Matt Guest

    "Clicky" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    Theoretically it should always be better to start with the largest
    picture and work backwards... at least that's what I've always been
    told. What methods are you using to downsize?
     
    Matt, Jan 21, 2004
    #5
  6. Clicky

    DJ Guest

    On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 12:38:19 -0500, "Clicky" <> wrote:

    >I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately. Most
    >of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've been taking
    >them in large format, high quality, so that they can be cropped, with room
    >enough left for quality printing.
    >
    >But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    >digital reduction.
    >
    >Should I be shooing in medium format, or maybe even small? If I shoot in
    >medium, then crop maybe 50% to reduce distractions, am I likely to still get
    >enough quality for 8x10 prints?
    >


    For web use I always shoot at best resolution then do the reduction in the
    camera. The reduction technique I use is to reduce in several stages, to abot
    80% each time, and re-sharpen at each step. I make sure to do the last reduction
    after the last sharpen i.e.

    reduce
    sharpen
    reduce
    sharpen
    ....
    Reduce

    2 or 3 steps before final size I may also lighten the picture a bit and tweak up
    the contrast.

    I do this not with PS but with Ulead PhotoImpact, which has a "reduce to
    percentage" control.

    I developed this after looking at newspaper websites, and wondering how they got
    such tiny pictures (maybe only 150 px) to look so clear in a 5-20K file.
     
    DJ, Jan 21, 2004
    #6
  7. Clicky

    Canopus Guest

    "Jim Townsend" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Clicky wrote:
    >
    > > I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately.

    Most
    > > of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've been

    taking
    > > them in large format, high quality, so that they can be cropped, with

    room
    > > enough left for quality printing.
    > >
    > > But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    > > digital reduction.

    >
    > This shouldn't happen.. What software are you using and what steps
    > are you taking to downsample the photos ??
    >
    >


    I'm afraid it is possible. Take, for instance (theoretically for
    convenience sake) a 1000 x 1000 pixel picture at 100ppi which would give a
    virtual size of 10 x 10 inches, resize it to 1 x 1 inch picture, now you
    have a small picture of 1 inch square with only 100 x 100 pixels. It is the
    same picture, but, look at all the pixel info that has disappeared. To make
    it smaller and retain detail you'd also have to increase the ppi or just
    increase the ppi in which case the picture becomes smaller, but, it tends to
    defeat the object as the file size stays the same.

    The question is what do you want it for, printing or web? If printing then
    no need to downsize, just crop to the correct ratio and print choosing "Fit
    to Paper Size" in your printer. If web then downsize it to the size you
    want and it should look OK on screen, but, if you print it from screen then
    you'll see the artifacts. A good tip for downsizing is to do it in small
    stages with a little sharpening between stages.

    Rob
     
    Canopus, Jan 21, 2004
    #7
  8. "Clicky" <> wrote in
    news::

    > Reducing a large digital image to a smaller one always involves removing
    > some data, some picture elements. The larger the reduction, the more
    > data removed, right? And so the worse the fidelity of the results?
    > Interpolation just makes guesses about how to smooth over the data loss.
    > Or do I misunderstand these things?
    >


    No - you are right.

    But - it should not be better to start with a small
    amount of data than downsizing to the same amount.


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 21, 2004
    #8
  9. Clicky

    Clicky Guest

    Think of it this way:

    Suppose you hired an artist to depict a face in mosaic tiles. Following
    your orders, the artist rendered the face 10 feet x 10 feet, and used
    100x100 colored tiles.

    Now you wish to fit that mosaic into 2 feet x 2 feet, an 80% reduction.
    You'd have to remove 80x80 tiles. The final mosaic would be unlikely to
    resemble the original face.

    Suppose instead that the artist rendered the original mosaic as 5 feet x 5
    feet, using 50x50 colored tiles. To resize that mosaic to 2 feet x 2 feet
    you'd only have to remove 30x30 tiles, a reduction of only 40%. The final
    mosaic will still not be as detailed as the original, but it will resemble
    the original more closely than the reduction made from the larger mosaic
    would, because a higher percentage of the original image would be preserved.

    Reducing digital images works in much the same way, except that reduction
    software adds interpolation to change the remaining "tiles," the pixels, to
    more smoothly blend together. But the more reduction you do to the image,
    the more data you loose, and the more of the remaining data that needs to be
    altered through interpolation.

    Worse, if you reduce in stages, sharpening in between, you introduce noise
    several times because each sharpening again alters the data from its
    original fidelity. Noise in digital images appears as splotches of colored
    pixels within dark areas, and is a noticeable side effect of image
    sharpening.

    Sharpening often ruins skin tones, and throws of color balance during
    printing, requiring yet more adjustment in color balancing, which introduces
    yet more noise.

    As for which software is used, that matters little when doing large-scale
    image reductions. Granted methods such as bicubic interpolation use more of
    the data than linear interpolation, but during large reductions the losses
    outweigh the advantages of using different interpolation heuristics.

    But thank you all for your answers anyway. Can anyone answer my question of
    whether medium format images from a DRebel will print acceptably at 8x10,
    with, say, 30% cropping?
     
    Clicky, Jan 21, 2004
    #9
  10. Clicky

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Canopus wrote:

    >
    > "Jim Townsend" <> wrote in message


    >> This shouldn't happen.. What software are you using and what steps
    >> are you taking to downsample the photos ??
    >>
    >>

    >
    > I'm afraid it is possible.


    Yes :) What I meant to say was.. "This shouldn't happen if you
    do it right".. That's why I asked what software he was using
    and what steps he was taking to downsample..



    > Take, for instance (theoretically for
    > convenience sake) a 1000 x 1000 pixel picture at 100ppi which would give a
    > virtual size of 10 x 10 inches, resize it to 1 x 1 inch picture, now you
    > have a small picture of 1 inch square with only 100 x 100 pixels. It is the
    > same picture, but, look at all the pixel info that has disappeared. To make
    > it smaller and retain detail you'd also have to increase the ppi or just
    > increase the ppi in which case the picture becomes smaller, but, it tends to
    > defeat the object as the file size stays the same.
    >
    > The question is what do you want it for, printing or web? If printing then
    > no need to downsize, just crop to the correct ratio and print choosing "Fit
    > to Paper Size" in your printer. If web then downsize it to the size you
    > want and it should look OK on screen, but, if you print it from screen then
    > you'll see the artifacts. A good tip for downsizing is to do it in small
    > stages with a little sharpening between stages.
    >
    > Rob
     
    Jim Townsend, Jan 21, 2004
    #10
  11. Clicky

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Clicky wrote:


    > As for which software is used, that matters little when doing large-scale
    > image reductions. Granted methods such as bicubic interpolation use more of
    > the data than linear interpolation, but during large reductions the losses
    > outweigh the advantages of using different interpolation heuristics.


    I regularly reduce my 3072x2048 images down to 640x427.. Yes, of course
    there is detail lost, (there has to be), but I have no problems with
    noticeable artifacting or any other unwanted products.

    If you are getting artifacts, then you should try a different method
    of downsampling.. The reason I asked which software you are using
    and what methods you were using was so someone with the same software
    might be able to point out a better way.. If you aren't interested,
    then we'll move on to your next question.

    > But thank you all for your answers anyway. Can anyone answer my question of
    > whether medium format images from a DRebel will print acceptably at 8x10,
    > with, say, 30% cropping?


    The generally accepted 'optimum' for printing is 300 Pixels per inch..
    The 'mid' size image of the DRebel comes out at 2048 x 1360 pixels.
    At that size, you can print 'best quality' at 6.82 inches x 4.53 inches.
    This is not quite 8" x 10".

    At 250 Pixels per inch, you can still get very acceptable results.. Of
    course what is acceptable depends on your viewpoint.. You can go lower,
    but quality drops off as you do.

    At 200 Pixels per inch, you can print at 10.24 inches x 6.8 inches.
    (Still not 8" x 10").. You'll have to crop the width from 2048 to
    1700 to get the right aspect ratio). This will net a 1700 x 1360
    image that will print an 10" x 8" at 170 Pixels per inch.

    That is the best you can do with a mid sized DReble image..

    (Of course you realize your camera firmware is using interpolation in
    doing the downsampling for you and converting the 3072 x 2048 image
    down to 2048 x 1360).

    There isn't much difference if this is done in camera or done later
    with editing software.. Under some circumstances, editing software
    can do a better job. All you are gaining by shooting smaller is the
    ability to put more shots on a given CF card.
     
    Jim Townsend, Jan 21, 2004
    #11
  12. Clicky

    greengrass Guest

    Canopus wrote:

    >
    > I'm afraid it is possible. Take, for instance (theoretically for
    > convenience sake) a 1000 x 1000 pixel picture at 100ppi which would give a
    > virtual size of 10 x 10 inches, resize it to 1 x 1 inch picture, now you
    > have a small picture of 1 inch square with only 100 x 100 pixels. It is the
    > same picture, but, look at all the pixel info that has disappeared. To make
    > it smaller and retain detail you'd also have to increase the ppi or just
    > increase the ppi in which case the picture becomes smaller, but, it tends to
    > defeat the object as the file size stays the same.
    >

    1000x1000 are absolute pixel numbers. ppi does not enter the equation
     
    greengrass, Jan 21, 2004
    #12
  13. Clicky

    NR Guest

    "Clicky" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > > There is no reason why taking larger photos is worse.
    > > I assume you use the wrong interpolation method in
    > > your photo editor when downsizing.

    > Reducing a large digital image to a smaller one always involves removing
    > some data, some picture elements.


    True.

    > The larger the reduction, the more data removed, right?


    True.

    >And so the worse the fidelity of the results?


    Compared to what?

    What you are actually asking is:
    Do I let the camera do the interpolation or should I do it in software?

    Do a comparison: tripod, take photos at different resolutions
    of the same subject. Then resize the larger ones to correspond with
    whatever size you prefer that came directly from the camera. Pick
    the one you like best.

    As stated by Roland K., make sure that you're using correct
    interpolation method in your software to minimize artifacts.

    - NR
     
    NR, Jan 22, 2004
    #13
  14. "Clicky" <> wrote in news:acmdnZVXRL2dZ5PdRVn-
    :

    > Suppose you hired an artist to depict a face in mosaic tiles. Following
    > your orders, the artist rendered the face 10 feet x 10 feet, and used
    > 100x100 colored tiles.
    >
    > ... snippet away ....


    I am sorry, but I am not understanding what you are aiming at.
    The original question I thought was plain and simple. I answered
    this question IMHO. Your replies hints at that you want to know
    or debate something else than what I thought the orignal question
    was. Sorry - I cannot help you.


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 22, 2004
    #14
  15. Clicky

    Guest

    Clicky <> wrote:
    > I've been photographing a lot of amateur bands with my DRebel lately. Most
    > of the band photos will be used on websites, I expect, but I've been taking
    > them in large format, high quality, so that they can be cropped, with room
    > enough left for quality printing.


    > But when I shrink them down to web size, artifacts appear from too much
    > digital reduction.


    > Should I be shooing in medium format, or maybe even small? If I shoot in
    > medium, then crop maybe 50% to reduce distractions, am I likely to still get
    > enough quality for 8x10 prints?


    How do you shrink the photos down? I use Photoshop 7's "save for web" feature
    and I don't get artifacts when I save high res photos for web pages that
    I shot with my Digital Rebel.
     
    , Jan 25, 2004
    #15
  16. Clicky

    Guest

    Clicky <> wrote:

    > Now you wish to fit that mosaic into 2 feet x 2 feet, an 80% reduction.
    > You'd have to remove 80x80 tiles. The final mosaic would be unlikely to
    > resemble the original face.


    Or you should shrink the individual tiles down to the appropriate size.
     
    , Jan 25, 2004
    #16
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