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03-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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using a lower megapixel setting

is there any advantage or disadvantage to using the lower megapixel settings than the highest one the camera is capable of, for instance using ten megapixels, instead of sixteen, so as to not having as large a file on the computer ? does one setting below the maximum have any other advantages?
thanks

03-05-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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No. Disk space is cheap. You can always save the file in a smaller size or lower resolution for specific uses later, but you can not go the other way.
03-06-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
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Using a lower pixel setting is not always the best means to save disk space. There have been a number of relevant threads in this Forum about file type settings, incl. for the K-7.

The general consensus among Pentaxians is:

* Save RAW if you want to have the best resolution and the ability to fully PP the photographs.

* If you use JPEG, use the maximum number of pixels (of the sensor) with some [*], [**] or [***] settings; you will save some same file space with minimum loss of image quality during the compression process.

* If you need you may consider RAW+ for some important shots.


The above consensus is linked with the JPEG compression method. When you change the numbe of pixels, the camera engine/processor needs to re-calculate the photographs aspect ratio, and some loss of image quality (IQ) may occur.

I myself tested a wide range of file type/size settings with the K-7. After some careful testing, my preferred default JPEG settings is 14 Mp [**]. In occasions, I use RAW+.

Hope that the comments will help.
03-06-2011, 12:54 AM   #4
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the only purpose I can think of to reduce the mega pixels is if you know the amount of memory card space is not enough with no option to off load your image files or obtain another card. In this case, low-res images may be better than no images. This could happen on a lengthy vacation. But it would be better to plan ahead and take more memory cards than you think you will need.

03-06-2011, 12:58 AM   #5
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that is interesting about the ' * ' settings, on my camera, the default is *** yet there is a **** setting for premium, but are you saying to use the default *** for a better result? thanks. i mainly shoot jpeg.
03-06-2011, 01:13 AM   #6
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I shot RAW so have set the megapixel to 2 and the setting to ****. Just about the only reason for the JPGS is because Pentax haven't seen fit to supply a Windows 7x64 codec for PEFs - the only ones I know of cost dosh.

But, if I was shooting JPG only, I'd have the megapixels set to the maximum. You can't add back lost detail, plus it gives a lot more headroom for cropping. And I have two 8GB memory cards, which is enough for 300 shots each. When I go on holiday I take the laptop so I can download if necessary.
03-06-2011, 03:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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As resident contrarian on this funny farm, I'll suggest something else.

Yes, for best image quality, shoot RAW. And if you must shoot JPG, then for 2nd-best quality, shoot with premium (least) compression and most megapickles. Yes, memory is cheap; memory cards are amazing bargains. Shall I tell of the days when floppy disks holding 92k of data cost US$5 each?

But there may be scenarios where maximum quality is irrelevant or impossible. On my K20D, CONTINUOUS shooting drops the quality level to ***, and BURST (21 fps) drops the frame size to 1.6mpx (1536x1024). Shooting for video, or for building animated GIFs, or photomatrices etc, doesn't require a 16mpx **** setting. Little eBay product shots (2000 pixels per side maximum) don't require highest quality -- I use a 5mpx P&S for those. Data-logging and other non-snapshot tasks may not call for highest quality. And if you're batch-processing a zillion frames, smaller frame-size means faster turnaround. That's important on slower computers.

Our cameras offer these different frame-size and JPG quality options because ONE SIZE FITS ALL isn't true. Not everybody needs nicely-finished JPGs -- that's why photo editors can save files in dozens of formats. Different tasks have different needs. So, we have all these settings to work and play with.

These forums are dominated by snapshooters trying to make better snapshots, with fresh levies of new recruits seeking basic help, and a smattering of pros and semi-pros pushing beyond (or embracing) the mundane. I suspect that those using this gear for more utilitarian purposes are too busy, or too well-trained, to bother chatting with us.

Here's an assignment, a learning experience: Fire up your favorite photo editor. (I'm a moldy dinosaur, still using PaintShopPro9, with PentaxPhotoLab3 for RAW development.) Pull out the editor's user manual and see how many formats it saves. Gargle for info on each format, to see what it's used for. Take some of your images, and save them in each format. For each format, note the I/O standards. Think of useful / creative ways to utilize each format. If nothing else, this will widen your worldview a bit. Have fun!
03-06-2011, 07:13 AM   #8
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thanks for the information, understand now basically what all of you are saying, i know shooting raw , too, is the best, but hate messing around with those programs, so i just take jpegs , at least for now.
thanks again.

03-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
hate messing around with those programs, so i just take jpegs.
There is very little difference between processing the 2 types of files. And if you are not touching up the jpgs anyway, then I think you are overlooking something.
03-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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is the pentax raw software any good then, for raw? and what am i missing?
03-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dh4412 Quote
is the pentax raw software any good then, for raw? and what am i missing?
I can't comment on current warez, what Pentax included with your K5. My K20D came with PentaxPhotoLab3 (PPL3), a SilkyPix-based RAW developer. I shoot only RAW on the K20D and I run everything through PPL3, then take it to PaintShopPro9 (PSP9) for editing.

A RAW file is a PILE of data. Any JPG settings on your camera are included in that data, and can be used as the defaults or basis for development. If you like what you see in an image, just SAVE it as JPG, or maybe TIF if you have need for further processing into other file formats. And if you're not satisfied with the image... read on.

What do you miss? Well, all the in-camera image options are yours to tweak during RAW development. I shoot in AWB, and the white balance is nearly always WRONG, so I adjust color temperature. I might not like the contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc -- adjust those. Oops, I over- or under-exposed, and/or I don't like the amount of shadow detail -- adjust those. Hmmm, what would the picture look like in B&W with various filtration? Adjust the B&W effects and save different versions. Without RAW development, all those adjustments would be difficult or worse. RAW development produces better pictures, that what you miss.

BUT WAIT, THAT'S CHEATING!!! No it ain't. The sensor captures photons and generates all that data. Pentax engineers can decide how to interpret that data to produce a picture... or you can decide for yourself. The data is there for you to do with whatever you want. The camera is YOUR tool, not vice-versa. Make it do what YOU want. Produce the pictures as YOU want them to look. Don't be used.

PS: I also run everything from all my digital cameras and scanners through PSP9 for final editing. That might include just straightening and cropping, and/or distortion / perspective correction, and/or tweaking color, contrast, dynamic range, sharpness, whatever. And any further shooping I may wish: artistic effects, posterization, mirroring -- a multitude of tools are available. Remember, that's all this stuff is, just a box of tools. Bend them to you will.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-06-2011 at 01:22 PM.
03-06-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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I often use the Eye-Fi cards. Transferring the RAW files can take a long time.
So I'll set up the camera to shoot RAW + 2MP or 6MP JPEG.
The EyeFi card is then instructed to send just the JPEG files.

I can shoot in RAW, yet still have very quick previews available on the laptop.

Above all else, it adds another bullet point to the sales data sheet. I cannot imagine many worthwhile reasons for the option.
03-06-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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i tried raw+ jpeg for a few shots tonight, and opened the raw files with pentax software, i guess it's not so bad, just have to learn how to use it better, and then to make things look good without over doing it, i guess. probably half my problem is i never used a dark room for developing film, maybe that would have helped?
thanks
03-06-2011, 04:53 PM   #14
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RAW is easier to process than JPEG, if and it's a very big "IF", you have the right software. This means either Lightroom or Aperture. With those 2 programs RAW is a breeze, in fact in aperture there are more auto corrections available for RAW files than JPEG to make your job even easier.
03-06-2011, 04:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
I often use the Eye-Fi cards. Transferring the RAW files can take a long time.
So I'll set up the camera to shoot RAW + 2MP or 6MP JPEG.
The EyeFi card is then instructed to send just the JPEG files.

I can shoot in RAW, yet still have very quick previews available on the laptop.

Above all else, it adds another bullet point to the sales data sheet. I cannot imagine many worthwhile reasons for the option.
Traveling with an old or cheap laptop is another reason for this method. My old laptop grinds to a halt when faced with a 14 Mp PEF file. When I'm traveling, I'm not editing, except for possibly discarding obviously bad shots. When I get home, the JPG files get deleted.
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