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Cutting Crew

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Hello All,

I've been asked to supply digital photographs of some recent work for a large magazine, they've asked that the digital photos be at least 300dpi for printing.

Can anyone advise the way to go? My camera, an Olympus 3020 has four resolution settings SQ HQ SHQ & Tiff. For the website I use 72dpi with the HQ setting.

Regards....Mike
 

wizer

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i would have thought TIFF would be the best.


Whatever is the highest setting basically. The higher DPI the better
 

RogerS

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WiZeR is spot on.

dpi and ppi are not the same thing but that's academic really in this instance. Just go for the highest resolution you can. They will be able to tweak it in Photoshop if they need to.

IMHO the lighting is more important.

Cheers
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Mike,
FWIW...

I have two digital cameras, a Fuji 602 Pro and a Nikon 4100. The Fuji is the one I use i my workshop, it will do 6 megapixels but I only ever run it on 3. Except in special circumstances I always use it on auto, and the picture come out just right. All the work-in-progress shots for my articles are taken like this.

The Nikon is a little pocket-sized one. I've only had it a month, bought it for hols (the Fuji is SLR-sized and a pain to carry) and it runs on 4 megapixels. HOWEVER, the Fuji running on 3 produces better pictures. Why? Well my guess is that it is the lens, the CCD, the operating system. Maybe all three. But certainly the resolution is not the only factor.

The person who could give you an in-depth technial answer is Pete Martin. He is passionate about photography, so be prepared for a long conversation! :D I don't know if he is still lurking on here, but you could try PMing him. I'm sure he won't mind being asked, and he certainly knows his stuff.

HTH
Steve
 

Keith Smith

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Hi Mike,

I have a Nikon D70 which I use for photographs for the magazine, it's a 6Mpixel and I have it on the highest setting. The image size is about 2-2.5MB per photo and I have just looked and this is working out at 300 pixels/inch.

Steve funnily enough I always use mine on manual so I can alter the depth of field, doesn't always work mind you.

The magazine has used a picture from this camera for a full page image and it is just about good enough.

I did ask about different formats and they seem to prefer jpg.

Roger is right, getting the lighting right is the biggest problem.

Hope this helps

Keith
 

Steve Maskery

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HI Keith
Yes, the time to use manual is when you need to tinker with the depth of field, but I find that for most shots it's not necessary.
As Roger says, lighting is very important, and most of us don't have studio lighting in our workshops, but I found that the quality of my photos incresed immeasurably when I went digital, cf, SLR. The camera does all the work and I just have to worry about composition.
Cheers
Steve
 

Mike-W

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Hi Mike
Well I guess I am in a good position to reply cos my job that pay's for me to enjoy woodworking is Chief Photographer on a military magazine.

We use digital photography for all our work.
Our camera's (Canons) has a chip giving 11.1 Megapixals- more than adequate for a double spread across two A4 pages. We upgraded a year ago from 5.2 Megapixal cameras which were fine for full A4 size in our high quality magazine.
Anyway back to the question: Tiff will give the highest quality but because the compression on saving the files are lossless they will be the biggest files and therefore take the longest time to email.
We save the camera raw file from the camera on a DVD as a Tiff, but for magazine production we always work with jpeg's.
My guess is the Olympus quality settings are:
SQ (Standard Quality)
HQ (High Quality) &
SHQ (Super High Quality)
This refers to the quality setting (or compression) that your camera saves the jpeg files is making of your images – the higher the quality the less pictures you can get on your card.
I would go for the HQ or SHQ settings, the closer to 1 Megabyte the saved jpeg images are the better.
The most important advice I give to people sending us digital photographs is:
fill the frame (get close) & don’t mess around with the image size.
It’s much better for someone with Photoshop to scale the photos to fit the page.
One last thing about jpegs worth remembering is that because it is a lossy compression format every time you open a picture make some changes and save it again you will lose more information, if you do this often enough you might find a noticeable lose in image quality – this is why we save the original raw files as Tiffs.
Hope this long answer helps!
Mike-W
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RogerS

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Mike

Mike-W's excellent response reminds me of something else to watch out for namely size of email attachments. He's absolutely right about TIFF files not compressing files and jpgs producing lossy but smaller files

Your Olympus does TIFF (my 4040 does - 2272x1704 or 2048 x 1536 or 1600 x 1200 etc)) but your email provider or ISP or recipient may have an upper limit on the size of attachments. You might need to check. There are little utility programs out there that will let you slice up a very large file into several smaller ones (without any loss). They do require a program installed at the other end to recombine them and depending on 'who' the recipient is, you may have a greater or lesser problem in getting them to allow this program to be installed.

Mike-W - FYI - Olympus quote different resolutions for SHQ, HQ etc and it looks as if they drop pixels (since the numbers seem to be divisible by 8) to achieve the lower rates (which is better than jpg compression, I guess...or maybe not
:wink: )

Roger
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi All,

If you disregard the file types and concentrate on the pixels, it should become (sort of) clearer.
Both tif and jpegs save as a resolution size, but as noted earlier, jpegs compress the information, so if continuously altered, will lose the information to some extent.
If we look at a 2.1megapixel camera as an example, at its best resolution it will save files at about 1800x1200pixels per inch, (1800x1200=2160000) and whether this is as a tiff or jpeg can be seen as irrelevant as both these dimensions are the same, whether tiff or jpeg, therefore, when working out how big it will print, it is the actual dimensions that count.
As a rule of thumb, (not quite correct, but certainly close enough for these purposes) if you assume 1 pixel is equal to 1 dot of ink, then dividing the picture resolution dimensions by the print resolution and you will have a print size, so 1800(ppi) divided by 300 (dpi) will give 6(inches) and likewise the 1200 dimension equates to 4 inches, so a file of 1800x1200 pixels per inch will print at roughly 6x4 inches at 300 dots per inch.
All you need to do is look at the file size and divide each by 300 to get the print size at 300 dpi (save the picture files to your computer, right click the file and read the info. It will give you the resolution info required)
So if a magazine asks for a picture that will print at 6x4inches at 300 dpi, you can work out how high the camera resolution should be set at.
As noted earlier, files should be sent 'as is' if they go through manipulation software such as Photoshop or Microsofts own PhotoEditor the files start to lose information.
To be honest, if you shoot at your highest Jpeg resolution you will be better off as magazines often crop pictures to remove irrelevant info, so an initially large file can be too small when cropped. Big pictures can be made smaller, but smaller ones pixelate when expanded!

I hope this makes some sort of sense!

Andy
 

RogerS

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Sorry Andy but I have to disagree with you.

Printer resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi) and this is not the same as image resolution measured in pixels per inch (ppi). Printer dots are a fixed size, pixels can vary in size.

Compression. There are two sorts - "lossy" and lossless. "Lossy" means that you throw away some of the data. Jpeg (or jpg) is an example of a "lossy" compression. With JPEG, the amount of compression is not fixed. On a good compression algorithm you can set the 'quality' threshold. A lower quality threshold will produce a smaller file but then the quality of the image may deteriorate. Artefacts that weren't in the original picture will start to be introduced. Fine detail may be lost.

Zip is an example of "lossless" compression.

TIFF (tagged Image File Format) does not compress the image in any way (but there will be some processing of the image to convert the output from the image sensor to TIFF).

Generally TIFF is the preferred way of sending pictures. You do need to make sure that the TIFF format from your camera is readable by your recipient as Mac and PC TIFF formats differ slightly.

I say 'generally' as there is one method of image capture and transmission which is as good as it gets and that is if you have a camera that saves the image as a RAW file. This is a file that is uncompressed and unprocessed. The problem is that there are no universally defined standards but as long as your recipient can read the RAW file from your camera then that's not a problem.

RAW files are analogous IMHO to a component (not composite!!) DVD player. Those DVD players are as good as it gets as well.

Roger
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Roger,

I agree that this isn't bang on, (as mentioned in my posting) I was just trying to give a sort of comparison for working out what magazines require in the way of picture sizes as we often get pics sent to us that have been saved from what looks fantastic on the screen at 72dpi, but in real terms is no more than a thumbnail when printed, so of no use to us.
The DPI/PPI reference was a very rough indication to give anyone sending pics a rough idea of working out print size.
As you say, the tiff/jpeg side of things do come into it when working the image, but a 1800x1200 ppi image is the will print the same size whether a jpeg or tiff, and it was this I was trying to clarify.

Andy
 
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