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10-19-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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Will LOWER megapixels help my situation? (IE 6.1Mpx D100 or Ist D)

I sell on Craigslist. Its my living. Thousands of items 24/7. LOVE my job!!!

So heres my situation. I have a Pentax K-x, many (15? 20?) Pentax lenses, dozens of point & shoot cameras, etc etc etc. I have a serious pet peeve. Whether i buy or sell, I demand amazing pics. I want to see the item. I want to see all the parts of the item. I want the composition correct. I want the lighting correct.
Heres the issue. Craigslist photo servers are miserable. They shrink an awesome picture into their horrible resolution settings and you're left with no advantage over the noobs using a cellphone. In the past we used HTML & a photobucket etc acct, but they did away with html (though some have managed to get it back in somehow... still investigating that). I understand WHY they did away with html. I just hate that they did. It didn't stop the offenders who were abusing it.
So will a LOWER megapixel DSLR (such as a D100 or *Ist D) help my situation? Im thinking lower megapixels plus a really good DSLR could have an opposite effect and create a better looking picture. ESPECIALLY if the servers they use for photos are counting pixels. (Does that make sense?)
Any input?

10-19-2015, 09:05 AM   #2
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couldn't you just lower the .jpg setting on the camera from 'fine' to 'normal'?
10-19-2015, 09:07 AM   #3
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Reducing the resolution of a file will be as near as makes no difference to buying a lower MP camera. As for how much that would help with photo quality on Craigslist... Probably not much.
10-19-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
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You don't need a different camera, you can just change the resolution setting on the KX ..... So long as you're shooting JPEGs you can change the size setting, so make it something like 6mp or even 2mp should be ok. Also, the ' quality' setting will adjust the compression, so you can set a low quality which will reduce the file size, good for internet uploading.

10-19-2015, 09:18 AM   #5
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If they are doing a horrible job, then reduce them yourself to the size they use (they still may compress them further though). Another lower MP camera will not help, no.

You might be able to list as a "dealer" to get better/more photos, not sure about that. (Like the real estate people.) Basically you need to be able to point people to off-site images somehow without CL removing your listings. (i.e. "for better quality full-res images, see here: ....) Worst case scenario you could say that better images are available on demand, and then anyone that responds can be sent a link to album of images.
10-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #6
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Let me get this straight. Your problem is that photos on a craigslist ad are crummy. You can post up a photo with smaller pixel dimensions, but that will still be tiny or you can provide a link to better photos in a response e-mail. To make a photo with smaller pixel dimensions, use your favorite photo editor.

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10-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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It won't help. They'll probably be reducing the image size to some max. dimensions that will be much lower than 6mp and suitable for fast viewing on a monitor or smartphone etc.

You might want to look into their image size guidelines. Some services don't re-size images if they already meet their criteria (below a certain pixel count and kB size) so you can ensure these are met before uploading, but it depends on the service. I'm not sure about Craigslist.
10-19-2015, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Product photography is all about having proper lighting and a nice background. It sounds like a little bit of post-processing might help you scale the photos better for CL's new uploader. Can you post an example of a pic you were dissatisfied with?


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10-19-2015, 01:10 PM   #9
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OK, apologies. I think I may have misled everyone. I do not use my current Pentax K-X for Craigslist. I paid $600+ for it, and another $200 for the 18-250 lens that I keep on it. Ive babied it, and it looks like a 2015 model. While listing items Im moving all over the commercial property, crawling under larger items, standing on ladder to get huge lot photos, etc. I tend to be kinda careless with my camera while doing so. Until now Ive used cheap p&s cameras (Fuji, HP, Olympus, etc) that were cheap enough that if I "accidentally dropped it" it wouldnt matter much. Now, i might buy another K-x just for Craigslist (They are a LOT cheaper now than the $600 I paid for the newest colorful camera!!) but Im keepin my K-x for vacations & family stuff. I do take my K-X when I sell items like RVs & boats for people though. Two reasons 1) to look more professional, 2) Wider lens = better "inside the vehicle" pics. And yeah, I always instinctively select lower resolution. But thats what brings me to the post. Is it better to take pics with a low resolution camera on FINE or to dumb down the high resolution camera? And remember, regardless, craigslist is just gonna lower the resolution further. To be honest, I haven't been satisfied with ANY of my pics since they took away our photobucket access (via no HTML). Back then I used a Minolta Dimage Z series and it took amazing pics. Mind you, they wouldn't have won any awards here on this forum, but compared to 95% of the sellers, mine were phenomenal.

I do have a photo setup area with lighting & backdrops, so I use it when I can, but the items I sell vary greatly, & often they are larger outdoor items and furniture where it isn't easy to move them to a better area. Unload from van, snap pic on the grass. Load into warehouse.
So Im currently searching for a good CHEAP (Pentax) DSLR and I was figuring "what difference does more pixels make if they're just gonna shrink it further?
Besides, I have at least 15 lenses that I never use (Old Sears, Ricoh, Asahi Pentax, etc) that I wouldn't cry over if one got broke.
10-19-2015, 06:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
If they are doing a horrible job, then reduce them yourself to the size they use
That's what I would say too... I have made a couple of craigslist postings, and my photos have always turned out quite decently. Obviously, if they wouldn't compress them so much, they could look a little better, but if you resize them to the proper size before uploading, it will do away with a lot of the problems.

From a quick look at the site, it looks like the dimensions are 600x450. I would resize all my photos to 600x450 (obviously, keep the aspect ratio of your original photo, or you'll get skewed/stretched photos) As long as it's 600 pixels on the long side, you'll be OK.

If you're not sure how to resize photos, there's a thread on a photography forum that I participate in with a tutorial: Resize and Compression Tools for Photographers - Lenspiration
10-20-2015, 06:42 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThisHackerHatesGoogl Quote
Is it better to take pics with a low resolution camera on FINE or to dumb down the high resolution camera? And remember, regardless, craigslist is just gonna lower the resolution further. To be honest, I haven't been satisfied with ANY of my pics since they took away our photobucket access (via no HTML). Back then I used a Minolta Dimage Z series and it took amazing pics.
So again, have you tried resizing the photos yourself before uploading to Craigslist to see if it still messes with the photos? A simple free program like Faststone (or the simpler Faststone Resizer) can easily do this for you. However, I had a look at some listings on Craigslist, and it looks like they reduce stuff down to the corresponding Faststone settings: 600x450 pixels, Quality: 70, and Color Subsampling: High. Apart from being pretty small, the other settings are frankly fine given the intended use. I'd expect very little difference between shooting the camera at full res vs a lower mp setting and then feeding the image through software to resize to Craigslist sizes. But you can easily try it.

At this size, any Pentax DSLR is overkill for the task, even the old 6mp (assuming you're not massively cropping the images). You'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. Just for kicks, I've taken sample images from Imaging Resources and scaled them to these settings below. One is from a k10d (10mp) the other is from a 645z (51mp). Spot the differences that aren't from minor changes in lighting (and a few years worth of yellowing on that white circular thing, oops, you should be able to tell which is which now).

So get whichever camera suits your budget, at these web sizes composition, lighting, focus, etc. will all be the most important factors. Another kx would make sense as you know the camera. A new k50 is also fairly inexpensive, you could upgrade your 'vacation' camera and use the kx for your work.

If you had some examples of your Craigslist listings we could better determine what's going wrong with your current setup.
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10-20-2015, 06:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I'd expect very little difference between shooting the camera at full res vs a lower mp setting and then feeding the image through software to resize to Craigslist sizes. But you can easily try it.
Oh, what the heck, I've gone and done it for you. Images from here Pentax K10D Review: Full Review - Test Shots.

All are from the k10d, one began as 10mp "Fine" jpeg setting, one is 2.1mp "Fine" jpeg setting, one is 10mp "Economy" jpeg setting. All resized as above (in faststone - 600x450, quality 70, subsampling High). Not to say there are no differences, but there's not much to chose from for a quick web viewing of an image.
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10-20-2015, 09:51 PM   #13
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I checked out that 645Z you mentioned earlier, and I think i felt a little drool at the edges of my mouth. But for me $8500 would be another nice used Sprinter van.

---------- Post added 10-20-15 at 09:53 PM ----------

BTW, You guys are awesome! Obviously, Im not doing too bad as I am. My primary reason for the post was my new P&S (got from an auction) isn't what I had hoped. I have a host of old P&S cameras, most of which had some little annoyance that landed them a spot in the camera bin. (Plan to sell em all off soon) Mostly I just wanted something nicer. Most any P&S takes decent pics at that size, but when you're used to a DSLR as a passion, a P&S just isn't as much fun. Was also thinking Id have more creative expression with the DSLR, and could more easily control unpleasant backgrounds. Im seeing so many on fleabay under $150 that just choosing one has become a chore.
I did watch a D-50 and considered upgrading my K-X, just property taxes at the moment are making me delay. Ahh the joys of owning properties.
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