Maximizing print quality

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dklod, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

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    I have a nephews bday to attend this weekend. Ive been nominated to photograph as much as I can (which could prove difficult at times with a can in my hand). The question I have is in relation to the final process which will likely include 6x4 prints of the useful shots. Will my final results be better if I shoot at my maximum 14mp and resize or shoot at a lower mp in closer relation to what the final print size will be, or just print the 14mp image without resizing and let the printer software work out what needs to be done. I would imagine resizing is the worst option, but Im not sure which is why I pose the question.

    Cheers
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's always best to shoot at maximum size. Then you can crop, edit and resize before you have prints made.
     
  3. petercox

    petercox TPF Noob!

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    Yep, shoot the images at the highest size/quality setting (Large Fine JPEG, if you don't want to/can't shoot RAW).

    Then as Mike said, resize and crop in your photo editing software, then send them to the printer.

    If you're using a commercial printer, they ought to be able to handle the full-size images fine and will print them to whatever dimensions you specify. Be aware that certain standard paper sizes (8x10 for example) are a different shape to the photograph you took. So you'll need to either crop the image so it fits the paper, or print the full image with an empty border.

    Hope that helps.

    Peter
     
  4. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

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    Cheers guys. I'll be shooting RAW+ hoping that I dont need to process the RAWs but its my backup incase the conditions change suddenly and I dont change my settings (shade, cloud etc). THanks again

    DK
     
  5. petercox

    petercox TPF Noob!

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    I'd be inclined to shoot RAW by itself if you're any way comfortable with how to handle the files - which can be as simple as opening them up in the converter, saying 'looks good to me' and saving as JPEG.

    You'll get higher quality out of it if you do need to make edits, and you'll get more shots on your card if you're not adding a JPEG as well.

    Just a thought.

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Peter, RAW is the way to go...and should be your primary images, not your backup.
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Theres zero reason to print at a lower MP (print size) setting since EVERY post-processing software should have a recrop tool that can crop a picture for a specific print size without losing much detail (which is what you are doing by shooting at a lower file size). At 14MP you shouldn't have a problem dumping 200-300 files on a 4GIG card, assuming theres that much interesting stuff to shoot. 2GIG is fine too so long as you're not shooting 5 shots of the same thing.

    As for letting the printer handle it - god no.
     
  8. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    That's why I shoot RAW & fine JPEG. I really don't care for a lot of PP'ing if I can help it, so if I don't like the JPEG, then I will go back to the RAW and play with it. I always archive both, even if I liked the JPEG, just in case.
     
  9. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

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    Well I had an 8gig card go south on me on the day. Lucky I only live around the corner so I legged it back home to grab my 2 gig. I went back and forth between jpg and RAW+. I was lucky enough to have a friend that had a few recovery programs and he is having a go at that card today. This one probably one of the better ones that I have access to. Used a Pentax 50-135F2.8 lens all afternoon. No pp,just resized for the web. Wonder if I can clone out the arm floaty, its bugging me now.

    ISO 800, 1/180 f2.8

    [​IMG]
     

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