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05-19-2013, 04:54 AM   #1
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I'm confused about resolution

I am very confused about resolution. I just finished reading the review of the Pentax K to Q-mount Adapter. In the discussion of image quality, the "detail" (sharpness?) of the Q (12 mp) was compared with the Pentax K-5 (16.3 megapixels, APS-C.) Then the review presents images with links to "Q full-size link, K-5 full-size link." But from what I can see, neither is a full size link. A full size link for the Q would be about 3000 x 4000 pixels and a full size link for the K-5 would be about 3264 x 4928 pixels (referred to in Photoshop as 100%) Both could only be viewed in total by scrolling. The images shown for sharpness comparison in the review were only about 1000 pixels on the longest size, or at best about 1/4 the size of a full size Q or K-5 image. I find it impossible to really compare sharpness unless I have full size resolution. Very good examples of what I'm talking about can be seen using Image Resource's "Comparometer."

Digital Cameras, Digital Camera Reviews - The Imaging Resource!

They claim that: "This tool lets you compare reference images from digital cameras side-by-side. These images are JPEGs straight from the camera,"

Throughout this forum folks have posted very fine images. Really. They are beautiful and are generally far superior to what I could hope to create. However, often these images are posted to illustrate lens sharpness. At that point I am lost, for often these images are only about 1000 to 1500 pixels along their longest side. I find myself wanting swatches of the images blown up to full resolution. I often seen this referred to in many forums as a "100% crop."

This forum is probably the largest, most professional forum that I have ever experienced, so It's obvious that I am missing something; perhaps a keypress that I don't know about that will take me to that magic 100%. Please advise. I really do want to become more knowledgeable.

05-19-2013, 05:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by oldsalt19 Quote
At that point I am lost, for often these images are only about 1000 to 1500 pixels along their longest side. I find myself wanting swatches of the images blown up to full resolution. I often seen this referred to in many forums as a "100% crop."
A 100% crop is full size, blown up to full resolution, but its only part of the image. This is done because a full image can be 5-10MB in size. So what you see is 1:1 size of the photo, but only a part of the photo, not the whole frame.
But I think there are a couple websites that allow image comparison. This forum also has a sample photo search tool, but I'm not sure if it has the Q and 100% photos. With the Q, you shouldn't expect DSLR quality, because it is such a tiny camera with a small sensor. Pixel peeping the Q might leave you unimpressed, but actual viewers will never pixel peep, they will only see a print out at a distance or a small jpeg photo. Its main advantage is how incredibly compact it is and that you can carry it with you anywhere.
05-19-2013, 05:12 AM   #3
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There are often size limitations imposed by the web medium that your posting to, for example on this forum for jpeg it's 1280 x 800.

Rather than the full image sizes that you can view in the likes of Lightroom or Photoshop.

Does that help? or have I missed the plot... it wouldn't be the first time.
05-19-2013, 05:43 AM   #4
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It is a bit confusing.... the first thing you learn discussing resolution is, very few people can actually provide images to backup their claims about image sharpness. There's a lot of speculation based on various theories, but little that would allow you to determine what you might need yourself. Resolution is one of those quagmires that if you get lost in it, will swallow you up and never let you go. If you stay with hit long enough you do get some general impressions though. The biggest thing you have to realize is that if you monior is capable to 92 pixels per inch...at 92 pixels per inch a K-5 image is 53 inches wide. My own exploration suggests that buy the time you're reduced the image to 3000 pixels wide, you can't tell the difference between a K-5 and a D800 image. Resolution is lost when the image is reduced in size.

So really resolution matters only is you are doing extremely large size prints or if you have a monitor that is more than 3000 pixels wide. However, monitors that are 4000 pixels wide are already in the pipe line, and for future use, it probably makes sense to get as much resolution as you can afford. One of Canada's most knwon photographers was supported for years by one image. It was old over 20 times to different corporations for tidy sums of money. IN all he made over 120,000 from the one, single image. If you're ever hope to take an image like that, you're going to want to to be in a resolution that will keep if useful as far into the future as possible. it's a gamble.

IN the resolution game, you can gamble that you are going to get a few images like that and realize they'll probably be relevant longer taken at a higher resolution, or you can gamble that you'll never take an image like that and shoot for what you need now. Either way, you're going to be really happy or really sad, depending on whether or not you get "that image". And you may not know if you made the right decision until you're done.

05-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by oldsalt19 Quote
Throughout this forum folks have posted very fine images. Really. They are beautiful and are generally far superior to what I could hope to create. However, often these images are posted to illustrate lens sharpness. At that point I am lost, for often these images are only about 1000 to 1500 pixels along their longest side. I find myself wanting swatches of the images blown up to full resolution.
This is also one of my pet hates.

Some people are touchy (paranoid ?) about posting full size images on the net as they feel that these are more likely to be 'stolen'. Instead they prefer to post oversharpened, low resolution, pictures usually with something like 'A Donkey by Jim Snapper Photography' in large letters across the shot and a fancy frame around it. Pretty useless, if you want to pixel-peep to compare lenses etc.

Myself, I don't care, and all of my shots, good and bad, end up on Flickr with the original size available to anyone.
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