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My confusion is with resolution. I have done a lot of reading about it but I am still confused about the fundementals. What would the proper resolution be for a digital picture that I import directly from camera to PS?
Currently, its a 1200+/1600+px - doc sz 17/22 inch - 72 res. I have read on here to uncheck resample image for 8x10 but I don't understand what this does. Or why you do this..
Could someone explain resolution in very basic terms. I am just not getting it.
Also, I am in the market to buy a new camera so that I can take better quality pictures. Does anyone have any recommendations? Or pointers for what I should look for? Ideally, I want to keep it under $1000.00.
Thank you so very much for any advice or information.
First of all, resample changes the image data. It "guesses" what new pixels might be like, so turning it off just makes sure your data doesn't get altered.
Think of your image as a grid. Each square can only be one solid color, and is filled with that color. To have any differentiation between squares, the only thing they can change is the color they're filled with. This differentiation is what gives an image its detail, and the smaller the squares the more of them can fit into your image and the more detail it can represent.
Imagine you're looking at a black and white checkerboard. Up close the squares are obvious, but if you were to back away far enough eventually you wouldn't be able to see the individual black and white squares, and instead you'd see one larger gray square (the checkerboard itself).
Obviously, these squares are your pixels, and the important thing is how many of them there are to represent your image. However, since images vary in size, they're standardized by how many will fit in an inch. This way they can be discussed independently of what the image is. This is very useful, but also causes some confusion, since pixels are kind of abstract at first, but everyone knows what an inch is.
The answer to "how many pixels is good" is simply: more is better. However, it's useless if the pixels are artificially filled by resampling (see above). Having your camera or Photoshop "guess" to fill in pixels will do nothing to improve image detail, and can actually hurt it. That's not to say resampling doesn't have it's place, but just that it's not between the camera and Photoshop.
So, in your camera, don't fret about the "pixels per inch" part. The only thing that matters is how many total pixels are involved. In your case that's 1200 x 1600 pixels.
Resolution can be a confusing topic. I did some web research on your questions and came up with the following links that may be helpful:
Understanding Resolution - Nature photographers.net
Understanding Resolution -luminous-landscape.com
Understanding Resolution -Espresso Graphics.com
Understanding Resolution- Williams Photographic.com
Basically this is what they said:
Last edited by T Paul; 02-11-2004 at 02:40 PM.
Resolution is one of the most commonly misunderstood attributes of electronic images. Too much image resolution and your Web page loads slowly, too little and the quality of printed media suffers. The secret to determining proper resolution lies in the understanding of how it is measured and where the digital image will be used.
Set your camera for the highest resolution possible. Many cameras have settings such as "Standard," "Normal," "High Quality" or "Super High Quality." Check your manual to determine the specific resolutions these terms represent. Depending on your camera, the resolution settings could range from 72 ppi to 300 ppi. A 72 ppi image is fine for viewing on a computer monitor; 300 ppi is the generally the resolution required if an image is headed for the printing press.
~From the Web
What resolution you need for a digital picture depends on what you plan to do with it. You'll need a high resolution for printing, depending on the size and quality you need, but high resolution is less important for web images. Higher resolution can, however, make it easier to crop or reframe pictures without losing detail.
How much resolution you need is determined by the size of the images you'll be creating. If you're only going to make 4 inch snapshots of your images then you don't need a lot of resolution. But if you're taking pictures that you want to blow up significantly then you want as much resolution as you can get. You can change this number depending on how "grainy" you want your image to look. Most Web images are only 72ppi to keep file sizes small so they'll load quickly. For digital photos you want to output your images around 300ppi.
Resolution Affects Output
Most digital cameras allow you to change the resolution setting, so you can fit more or fewer images on your memory card. This can be a helpful feature if you only have one card or if you are on a trip and can’t transfer photos to your computer. But if you take a photo of a spectacular sunset, and you capture it on a lower resolution setting like 800x600, you may be unhappy with the result if you want a 5x7 or 8x10 print. That’s because the low resolution image lacks detail, and may also appear jagged.
Carrying additional memory cards and keeping the camera set on its highest resolution setting is a better solution. The higher the photograph’s resolution, the more plentiful printing and sharing options exist. With this in mind, the best bet is to shoot photos at the highest resolution your camera can capture. The resolution can easily be adjusted downward on your computer later to adjust for the various outputs such as email, web and various print sizes. However, there is a limit to how effectively photo resolution can be adjusted upward by a computer. This means, for example, you can always make a sharp, clear, small print from a high-resolution photo, but you can’t make a rich, detailed, large print from a low-resolution one.
Last edited by T Paul; 02-11-2004 at 11:58 AM.
~From the web....
Resampling Definition: The resample command is used to increase or decrease the size and/or resolution of a bitmap-based image. An image is upsampled to increase the resolution by adding new pixels. An image is downsampled to decrease the resolution by throwing out pixels.
Resampling an image usually results in a loss of image quality because pixels must either be interpolated or thrown out. The exception is when the resolution of an image is changed without modifying the pixel dimensions. For example, an image with pixel dimensions of 1200 by 1600 can be printed at a size of 4 x 5.3 inches at 300 dpi or at 8 x 10.6 inches 150 dpi. Reducing the resolution while increasing the print size does not result in image destruction, but it will result in a loss of print quality.
When the Resample Image box is checked, any changes you make to an image's width or height will not change the image's resolution, and as such, any changes you make to an image's resolution will not affect the image's width and height. Keep in mind, however, when you increase width and height, or resolution, you are adding pixels to your image. These pixels don't actually exist so Photoshop must create them. As such, you will succeed only in degrading the quality of your image.
If you want to increase an image's width and height, or resolution, then uncheck the Resample Image box. Now any changes you make to the image's width and height will change the image's resolution, and vice versa:
If you decrease resolution, the width and height will increase.
If Resample Image is checked when the image size is altered, resampling usually takes place, resulting in pixels being added or deleted.
Increasing the pixel dimensions (file size) results in the creation of brand new pixels based on existing tonal/colour values. Large increases in size, four times the current size and upwards, leads to dithering on the edges of images, obvious pixelation, lack of sharpness and loss of detail.
Reducing the pixel dimensions (file size) results in the removal of pixels. Extreme reductions have no detrimental visual effects, provided the resolution is appropriate for a given use.
Any resampling involves interpolation, a process of assigning colours to pixels. The method of interpolation can be altered to suit a particular image. Bicubic gives the best quality; Nearest Neighbour retains sharp edges within images and is appropriate for certain graphic subjects.
To set output resolution in Photoshop select Image > Image Size from the menu.
Now uncheck the Resample checkbox and set the document resolution to the desired setting. Many recommend 360 dpi for the best quality. You'll just have to experiment here to determine what quailty to want. For instance, sometimes 150 dpi is fine for inkjet prints, othertimes, you may want to go with a higher resolution like 300 dpi.
By setting the output resolution with the resample option disabled, the output size will automatically change to show you the largest possible output size at the resolution you’ve set, without any interpolation.
Now set the actual output size you want. Your image may allow you to produce an 8”x10” print without interpolation. If you only want your print to be 5”x7”, you’ll need to reduce the size of the image, throwing away pixels.
To do this, simply check the Resample checkbox again, and set the desired height or width. Be sure the Constrain Proportions checkbox is checked so that the image won’t be distorted. Then, when you adjust either the height or width, the other will be adjusted automatically to fit.
Once you have the document resolution and output size, simply click OK and the image will be resampled. Keep in mind that if you changed the size of the image, pixels will be added or removed by Photoshop.
While this can be done to a reasonably degree without losing too much quality, the quality will suffer to at least some degree. For that reason, I strongly recommend that you save the original image before resizing it. If you want to save the resized image, select File > Save As, and save it as a separate file.
Last edited by T Paul; 02-11-2004 at 02:43 PM.
~From the Web
The advantage of having a camera with a higher resolution is you have more pixels to work with. One answer comes when you think of a high-resolution picture as a combination of low-resolution pictures. In other words, having more pixels gives you more options for zooming, cropping, or framing the shot. That's important when getting prints made.
In general more resolution means better print quality. It also gives you an advantage if you need to crop the image. Cropping is when you only use part of the image for the final print. It also gives you an advantage when creating larger 5x7, 8x10, or bigger prints. The more you have to blow an image up the more any defects will start to jump out. Starting with a higher resolution image means there's less magnification necessary to get to a given print size. For example, if you have a five-megapixel (2560 x 1920) image, you can cut off up to 960 pixels off the sides and up to 720 pixels off the top or bottom to make a 2-megapixel picture. This lets you zoom in on the important part of the picture, or center it differently.
Thank you Catia, Doug Nelson and T Paul for the information and for taking the time to explain it for me!!
For now, I would like to focus on getting great 8x10s to print. I don't have a lot of money to throw around so getting the best picture at lowest price is what I need. You have given me a great second starting point for my research!!
Once again, I thank you all for taking the time to answer!
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