Difference between Fine and Normal?

fatsheep

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My camera has two 7 MP modes: Fine and Normal. Fine is around 3 mbs while normal is around 1.5 mbs. They look exactly the same. I set up my tripod and took two identical pictures and I can't tell the difference between them even when I'm looking for differences. One looks a tad lighter and MAYBE the grain is a little different but I wouldn't pick one over the other.

I'm going to start using Normal for now on to save space on my card (why use twice as much space when you can't tell the difference?). Is it possible there will be situations where Fine and Normal will be strikingly different in quality? What exactly is the difference between these "qualities"?
 

Happy Hour

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well the pictures are not going to look any different on your lcd. If your just printing 4 x 6 prints it doesn't make a difference which one you use but if you want a 8 x 10 then you should use the fine(which is the highest megapixels your camera shoots at) I personally always shoot at max, you never know when you get that perfect pic that would look great on your wall!
 

nicfargo

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Fine will be noticable if you plan to print larger pictures...also if you get into some heavy editing normal might be lacking a little.
 
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fatsheep

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well the pictures are not going to look any different on your lcd. If your just printing 4 x 6 prints it doesn't make a difference which one you use but if you want a 8 x 10 then you should use the fine(which is the highest megapixels your camera shoots at) I personally always shoot at max, you never know when you get that perfect pic that would look great on your wall!

1. I'm comparing these images on the computer at 1:1 in separate image windows, not on my LCD screen (although they looked identical there as well). I go to the same area on both images and flip back and forth and I can't really tell any difference in quality.
2. Normal and Fine are both 7 MP settings on my camera.

nicfargo said:
Fine will be noticable if you plan to print larger pictures...also if you get into some heavy editing normal might be lacking a little.
So fine quality will allow me to manipulate the image more with favorable results?
 

sabbath999

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If you absolutely cannot tell the difference between the two at 1:1 on your monitor, then choose normal and don't worry about it.

Fine quality will only allow you to manipulate images better if their are differences in compression artifacts. If you can't see them when viewing at 1:1 then they are not enough to worry about.
 

Sideburns

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Fine means less compression loss to the jpeg format.
the more you compress a file, the blockier the color changes are, and the uglier the details are.
 

mrodgers

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Fine means less compression loss to the jpeg format.
the more you compress a file, the blockier the color changes are, and the uglier the details are.
That said, if you are already shooting in JPEG and using a larger compression with the camera (that's what you are doing with the "normal" setting, thus why the file sizes are smaller), don't forget that with any post processing, if you resave the photo after the process, you will be once again, compressing it. Better to have the least amount of compression, when the camera saves to the memory card, and when you save a 2nd time after processing on the computer.
 

Val

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If you absolutely cannot tell the difference between the two at 1:1 on your monitor, then choose normal and don't worry about it.

+1

On my Nikon there is no perceivable difference between fine and normal. I shoot normal all the time!
 

Mav

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mrodgers

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But........ If you don't see a difference between Fine and Normal, thus shoot in Normal, if you do anything to post processing and save that Normal, you will have essentially sub-Normal compression and you just might see a difference then. If you shoot Fine, then process, you will be saving after the process similar to Normal, thus you won't see a difference if you don't see the difference between Fine and Normal straight off the camera.

The less compression you have, the better quality in the image you have. Every time you save a JPEG, you compress more and lose more quality. You might not see the difference in the first compression, but you will in subsequent compressions.

I shoot Fine and always have since my first digital camera (which was 640x480, thus the quality wasn't there to begin with, hehe). It is one of the reasons that many who have the capability to shoot in RAW do so. So they have the absolute best quality coming off the camera no matter what the file size.
 

Sideburns

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But........ If you don't see a difference between Fine and Normal, thus shoot in Normal, if you do anything to post processing and save that Normal, you will have essentially sub-Normal compression and you just might see a difference then. If you shoot Fine, then process, you will be saving after the process similar to Normal, thus you won't see a difference if you don't see the difference between Fine and Normal straight off the camera.

The less compression you have, the better quality in the image you have. Every time you save a JPEG, you compress more and lose more quality. You might not see the difference in the first compression, but you will in subsequent compressions.

I shoot Fine and always have since my first digital camera (which was 640x480, thus the quality wasn't there to begin with, hehe). It is one of the reasons that many who have the capability to shoot in RAW do so. So they have the absolute best quality coming off the camera no matter what the file size.

I don't think you really understand how it works.
When you compress something, you are working on that file specifically...any changes you made...are not going to hurt the quality of the jpeg, unless you save it at a lower quality than it already is.
If you don't compress it more, then you don't have to worry.

I do like RAW, but I just don't mind the size...if somebody does..large jpeg is fine..I mean...if you can take more than 600 pics without emptying the card...you shoot a LOT of pictures.
 

Val

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Lol... Resave file 10 times with a reasonable compression (say 10/12) and see if will spot any difference before/after.
 
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fatsheep

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Lol... Resave file 10 times with a reasonable compression (say 10/12) and see if will spot any difference before/after.

I'm not sure what you mean by 10/12 for a compression setting... However, in GIMP, I opened up a decent size jpeg photo and saved it about 13 times at 100% quality. I can't tell any difference at all. I've never been able to see any degrading in quality from editing JPEGs.

Some people say everytime you save the jpeg, the quality decreases. Others say the opposite. I'm not sure what to believe. All I know is I can't notice a difference.
 

nossie

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I don't think you really understand how it works.

LOL@Sideburns I think you should read the post from mrodgers again. Seems to me he understands it perfectly.



JPEG is a lossy format, meaning when you save an image as jpeg it will discard information from the file to make it smaller. Normal and Fine are 2 different strengths of compression on this camera, both discard information from the file but one is discarding more information than the other.

If you're a fella that just prints to 4x6 inch snaps then it's nothing for you to worry about but then this would be a strange forum for you to be in if that was as far as your interest goes.

My recommendation to you is to always shoot in Fine (with this camera) for 2 reasons; #1 if you want to blow up the shot to a larger/ poster size then it'll look better. #2 if you want to crop a photo to get a picture within the picture then you will still have enough information for the shot to still look well when printed. (effectively blowing up a portion of the image)

Don't worry too much about on screen comparisons because your screen is probably displaying only about 72dpi compared to an average hard copy print of 300dpi, so on screen it'll be about 4 times bigger and might appear adequate.
 

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