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01-31-2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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Bad habit or not?

I have a habit of zooming the view of the photos I take to see what the clarity is up close. As a result, I notice a marked decrease in the sharpness. Is this a bad habit for judging the image quality and sharpness? Thanks!

01-31-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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Zooming to 1:1 is a good habit. Zooming any closer is probably not productive unless you plan to crop.

If you are zooming to see if you can make large prints, remember that the viewing distance will play a critical role. You won't be viewing a 20x30 inch print from the same distance you view your monitor.
01-31-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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That habit is called pixel-peeping. People who fixate on the habit of always examining every image up close for the tiniest flaws are called various bad names :-)
01-31-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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If you're doing it on the camera's LCD screen, it may not be accurate. Most of the older models don't have enough detail. You can zoom in to 1:1 or beyond, but the result is not exactly what you'd see on a good computer monitor. You might try another shot with different settings, but don't delete something based on how it looks on the camera's LCD.

On your computer, what you're seeing varies depending on what program you're using and the file format. This is important if you shoot RAW. The RAW image includes a preview JPG constructed from the camera's JPG settings. Some programs use that for display. Again, it's not entirely accurate. Programs also have to do some processing to downsize or magnify an image, so using 1:1 gives you the least-processed magnification.

When you're talking about 12 million+ pixels, the individual ones aren't that important. So don't get too caught up in a 1:1 view. Print some images even if you don't think they're perfect, and see if the imperfections are still visible.

01-31-2011, 11:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentexan Quote
I have a habit of zooming the view of the photos I take to see what the clarity is up close. As a result, I notice a marked decrease in the sharpness. Is this a bad habit for judging the image quality and sharpness? Thanks!
When you say "zooming the view of the photos" do you mean when viewing the photos on your computer you zoom into 100% (or closer?)?. If so then I would say yes this is a bad habit for judging sharpness (unless your print larger than 12x16) because on 6x4, 8x10 or on a normal computer screen you do not view photos at or near 100%. If the photo looks sharp fitting on your computer screen then that is all you need.
02-01-2011, 03:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
That habit is called pixel-peeping. People who fixate on the habit of always examining every image up close for the tiniest flaws are called various bad names :-)
Pixel peeping is the worst symptom of sharpness worshipping...sharpnes is nice for some shots but some others look fine soft too (in fact in portrait photography some softness is good because that way you don't see all the skin imperfections...).
Stop zooming in your LCD and enjoy...my manual lenses have taught me that some shots are fine being soft or slightly out of focus (lots of shots, especially night ones come out out of focus so, you get used to the aesthetic and start to like them.).
02-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ajoe Quote
Zooming to 1:1 is a good habit. Zooming any closer is probably not productive unless you plan to crop.

If you are zooming to see if you can make large prints, remember that the viewing distance will play a critical role. You won't be viewing a 20x30 inch print from the same distance you view your monitor.
LOL - I haven't heard that term before, but I suspect thats what I am doing. THanks!
02-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
If you're doing it on the camera's LCD screen, it may not be accurate. Most of the older models don't have enough detail. You can zoom in to 1:1 or beyond, but the result is not exactly what you'd see on a good computer monitor. You might try another shot with different settings, but don't delete something based on how it looks on the camera's LCD.

On your computer, what you're seeing varies depending on what program you're using and the file format. This is important if you shoot RAW. The RAW image includes a preview JPG constructed from the camera's JPG settings. Some programs use that for display. Again, it's not entirely accurate. Programs also have to do some processing to downsize or magnify an image, so using 1:1 gives you the least-processed magnification.

When you're talking about 12 million+ pixels, the individual ones aren't that important. So don't get too caught up in a 1:1 view. Print some images even if you don't think they're perfect, and see if the imperfections are still visible.
Thanks! I do use the LCD for the quick review, but realize its' limitations. My tendency is to over analyze on the computer.

I do shoot RAW, but I tend to do the review once it's converted to JPG at the end. I wasn't aware of all the variations regarding the accuracy you mention, that really is good information that you can't learn from reading a book! Thanks so much for the insight

02-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KxBlaze Quote
When you say "zooming the view of the photos" do you mean when viewing the photos on your computer you zoom into 100% (or closer?)?. If so then I would say yes this is a bad habit for judging sharpness (unless your print larger than 12x16) because on 6x4, 8x10 or on a normal computer screen you do not view photos at or near 100%. If the photo looks sharp fitting on your computer screen then that is all you need.
Yes, not always to 100%, but larger than what is displayed. What you say really helps me feel better about my shots so far. I was getting discouraged with the image degradation I was seeing. Whew! Thanks!
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