Picture Resolution Questions

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  #1  
Old 12-22-11, 11:33 AM
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Picture Resolution Questions

I've owned two digital cameras for several years, and they're both in the 2-3 MP range. I generally have the pictures I've taken professionally printed onto the standard 4x6 inch photo paper or load the pics onto the internet.

I recently treated myself to a new 12 MP camera, which gives me several different options for selecting picture resolution. I can set the resolution to 12, 6, and 2 MP as well as a minimal 640 K setting. According to the instructions, the 2 MP setting is recommended for postcard size prints and the 640K setting is appropriate for pics sent through the internet.

If I don't intend to enlarge my pics to billboard size, is there any reason to use the 12 or 6 MP settings? It seems all these high MP resolution cameras are a marketing ploy, with very few people needing anything more than 2 MP for everyday use. When I bought my 2 MP camera years ago, the salesman at the photoshop showed me 8x12" enlargements he did from the same 2 MP camera, and they were great.

What do you guys customarily set your MP at? I'd rather not have to change the resolution setting for each pic.
 
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Old 12-22-11, 12:32 PM
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I don't actually own a camera, I only take pictures with my phone - I think it's in the 3.x megapixel range. I have had several pictures displayed on my 20" computer monitor and they look great.
 
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Old 12-23-11, 08:52 AM
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That's been my experience too, Mitch. 2-3 MP resolution seems to provide great results for the casual photos I take. The main reason I upgraded my camera is that my current Olympus and Fuji digital cameras all take the xD format card, and it seems like SD has become the industry standard, with xD cards becoming harder to find.
 
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Old 12-23-11, 09:05 AM
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With memory so cheap I see no reason to shoot at a lower resolution. One benefit shooting at high resolution provides is that you can heavily crop or enlarge sections of the photo and still be left with a usable number of pixels.
 
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Old 12-26-11, 05:35 AM
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Keep it at maximum resolution except for specific times when you don't need the resolution, such as for eBay or Facebook (1 mp for pictures that you know you will not crop and 2 mp for pictures that might need a little cropping).

If you ever have the urge to change the resolution for each shot, increase the resolution whenever desired. But if you think about decreasing the resolution for the next shot then leave it unchanged.

I just leave my camera on maximum resolution and do any needed resizing and cropping after transferring to my computer.
 
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Old 12-26-11, 06:21 AM
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I didn't think I had anything to add...but turns out I do.

My wife has taken up running and of course she wants me there to take shots at the start/finish. Well, it turns out it's much easier to take pictures of her running by keeping it on the highest resolution, but backing off on the zoom, then just cropping the shots at home on the PC before printing them.

I got so used to having to zoom in with a film camera to keep someone centered in the frame and avoid paying a Pro to enlarge and crop...that I just never adjusted to the digital age.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:38 PM
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I know you can supposedly resize the resolution through the camera's software program. I guess I'm trying to simplify things by not needing to downsize the resolution if I want to email someone a copy of a photo. I try to avoid using the camera's proprietory software if at all possible. I have three different camera brands, each with their own software, plus the Windows Vista photo software. I would rather not have to load each camera's software program on my computer if I can get around it (trying to save disk space). I guess I haven't figured out what the advantages of shooting pics at over 2 MP if that resolution is fine for the usual 4x6 prints and for emailing. What I need is a very basic digital photography class.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 04:04 PM
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The ability to work with all cameras, file formats and quickly do simply manipulations is why I like a 3rd party program like Lightroom. Unfortunately it's not free but programs like Picasa are free and work without care of the camera's brand.

One reason I hate taking photos in a low resolution for quick E-mailing is people often ask for a big version to use on their computer or to make into prints. But I can see your dilemma. Having to use a program to cut the resolution does add an extra step in the process.
 
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Old 12-29-11, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the help, guys! I'll do some experimenting with the resolution settings, and see what works best for me.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 06:10 AM
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I too would not want to take a picture in any less than the full resolution that the camera can produce.
Memory is so inexpensive I would not want to risk taking "the picture of a lifetime" in anything other than the highest resolution and quality.

I have found a very easy and quick program for resizing images.
It is very simple and has a minimal number choices you need to make.
To use it you open the program and browse for the picture you want to make smaller.
You can then either put the smaller picture in another folder or select the same folder that held the image.
If you save it to the same folder it will add the new size to the end of the file name. [ img4223.jpg(1200x480) ]
 
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