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Resolution Settings?

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I hope this is the correct forum for this question. I also need to

get one of those "Digital for Dummies" books fast!


On my camera (Oly C5050) I have 4 basic resolutions choices: Raw,

Tiff, SHQ, and HQ. Each of these, except Raw, have subchoices.


For example:


1. I now have it set at HQ 2560x1920. The other choices in the HQ

category are "3:2 2560x1696" and "Enlarge Size 3200x2400."


2. SHQ includes the exact same choices.


3. TIFF lists the following: "2560x1920," "3:2

2560x1696," "2288x1712," and "2048x1536." and lower down

to "640x480,"


4. Raw has no choices.


Of course, there is nothing in the instruction book which explains

the differences. I have no idea what all this means.


Anyone want to take a shot a explaining this to me simply, or point

me to some written material where I can learn the differences?


Most appreciated.

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These selections establish the saved size of the picture file.


RAW and TIFF are methods of saving without conducting any jpeg (a standard variable compression method) compression to the file. RAW is data straight from the sensor (RAW is usually unique to a particular camera/system and needs special software to process), TIFF is a format of that data (TIFF data is a standardized format and can be exported, etc.). HQ and SHQ probably stand for High Quality and Super High Quality This represents differing amounts of compression.


The resolutions NNNN x NNNN reflect the pixel choices, much like the pixel choices used on setting your monitor resolution. The 3x2 is a selection setting the aspect ratio, this ratio would give you a 4x6 inch or 8x12 picture without needing to crop. Depending on the eventual selected print size, some cropping may be needed, as with film depending on the original negative or slide film size. The enlarge size interpolates up (and whether that's reasonable in camera or later in post processing is perhaps questionable).


What this means is you can select a file size for economy - lowest resolutions and highest compressions or the highest quality, retaining as much of the recorded detail. This was probably a lot more relevant a few years ago when memory was significantly more expensive. Remember, if you don't save the detail, it won't be there later. OTOH, if you are going to working solely on screen and not doing printing except possibly very small prints, the small sizes display adequately and certainly don't load up a system. (For example, my daughter did a PowerPoint Program and saving full resolution/low compression pictures made it very large, slow to load and difficult to view off a CD, whereas saving low res pictures made it easily used at school on older, less powerful machines.)


I don't see a lot of value at using anything less than the highest non-interpolated resolutions and least compressed files (SHQ). RAW and TIFF files are quite large and unless you are looking for max results, probably more than you need for everyday shooting. Smaller files would be needed only if you were sure you wouldn't need full results.

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I just tried a shot at the SHQ 3200x2400 size and the resolution is awesome. The downside is that my xD 64 card, which hold 52 photos at the lower HQ 2560x1920 size, will only hold 13 photos at maximum resolution. I may try a serious photo at that resolution and see what I get in a print. Thanks again. It is all much more understandable now. I do wish the manufacturers would include a simple guide to these functions designed for the inexperienced...which is probably 90% of their market!
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Yeah, the smaller cards fill quickly at the best resolutions and low compressions. I've got 3 128 SmartMedia cards and have come close to maxing them out at a soccer game using burst modes. There just wasn't time to edit on the fly. Extra cards also reduce the concern that a card might fail (unlikely) or get damaged or lost.
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On the CD that came with your C5050 is a very detailed reference manual for the camera. Far more information is presented and in more detail than in the quick start guide or the basic manual. I transferred mine to my computer's hard drive as well as printed a copy and inserted it into a binder for reference.


One thing that I found useful was to take the C5050 and the manual and go through the manual page-by-page to learn about the camera's features. This is especially useful if you want to configure the "My Mode" functions. This will also help you with determining which features you may never want to use (or use infrequently).


Suggest buying a 256MB xD card or waiting until the end of July to buy a 512MB xD card. If you plan to shoot in RAW, TIFF, or SHQ then you'll want the added capacity.


Craig did a most excellent job running through the formats and file sizes. The main thing is decide what is the intended result of your images -- If you plan to print, then RAW or TIFF are the way to go. SHQ acquits itself quite well for 8x10 prints. SHQ is my default mode. If I want less resolution for say, EMAIL, I can easily change resolutions / shrink file sizes in Photoshop or Camedia Master. Note also that the time required by the C5050 to write the higher resolution formats to the memory card is much longer than for say HQ.


If you want to shoot in RAW mode, you'll need to use Camedia Master or the Photoshop plug-in available at the Olympus website (works with PS 7 or Elements). You will not be able to browse RAW files in Photoshop -- For that, you'll need Camedia Master.



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Todd; if you shoot detailed line art; old documents with dinky text; or very detailed objects with small features; or a group photo of several people; the RAW and TIFF modes will yield much better images; with little or no artifacts..........These modes take much more time to write the data to the card; and one gets only a few photos......The HQ and SHQ modes compress the images with jpeg compression; and make for many photos per card; and add to the artifacts............<BR><BR>Go shoot the same subject with a tripod; with TIFF and SHQ; and then examine them when enlarged on your screen.............Shoot several types of photos; people; a detailed microtype map; etc<BR><BR>For sports; my dinky obsolete 1.3 Megapixel Olympus is SLOW with TIFF mode; about 1/2 minute! the HQ and SHQ are the only practical ways with it..........for fast events.......Imagine having to wait 1/2 minute between shots with a film camera! Pro digitals have big buffers; which solve this delay problem abit.....Here the local paper uses the high quality jpeg for their sports photos; to avoid the delays...........<BR><BR>We made some 24x32" posters from 3.3 Megapixel Olympus 3030's; in from both TIFF and SHQ modes......It takes the average viewer awhile to spot the "better" mode.....One must hunt for fine details; and then compare the two; to spot the difference...
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To get good results on our printers you need about 200 PPI.


Based on 200 ppi, 2560 x 1920 will give you a print size with good quality of 12.5" x 9.5". (2560/200=~12.5)


I printed an image at a variety of resolutions to determine the optimum resolution on our printers. You can do the same testing on with your printer. This will help you to decide the best resolution for your imaging needs.

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This may be off-topic a bit, but just in case..


NOTE: If you shoot in SHQ mode for the speed (compared to TIFF and RAW write times), save the resulting "original" JPGs in "TIFF" format once you've transferred them to your PC editing software before doing ANY manipulations. That will preserve a copy of each in pristine form so that you can then start on your "working" copies without generating the continual losses you'd experience if working the JPGs. SHQ is a great combination of both worlds (speed and res), but is a lossy JPG format. Be aware that a typical 2MB JPG will become about a 12MB TIFF on your hard drive in the conversion.

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I have been without a computer since the 4th so I could not respond. I was having it upgraded.


I am intrigued by the most resent suggestions. I am not into action or street photography. Most of what I do is landscape, city still-life (no people), and formal environmental outdoor portraits.


I am even envisioning using this camera with the off-camera flash and flip-bracket, for a very small family portrait business (a small retirement business)...I have some arm problems that makes this camera easy to carry and use.


Your suggestions on resolution are most appreciated! Todd

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