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Discussion Starter #1
In light of recent photo submissions for the CelicaSupra.com calendar, there have been a lot of discussions about how to take digital photos, how to properly manipulate them and why some photos look better when printed than others. Taking a good photo is a bit more involved than just aiming & shooting. Making a photo look good in print actually does require proper technique, lighting, environment...etc.

If you're interested in digital photography, or wish to submit photos of your Supra for future calendars ... please take the time to read this thread. There's a lot of good info here - feel free to contribute your own ideas & suggestions!


Thanks!
-The Admin Team 8)

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Flyin' Hawaiian said:
weight of the calendar inside the envelope will be 4.6 ounces, so Mike will be figuring the weight of each calendar at 5 ounces. He's been working out of town, but I'm sure he will calculate postage for each of you out of the country as soon as he's home and caught up on some needed rest.

As for resolution of pictures, its a hard call to make. I'm having issues right now with 2 images that were "borderline" and are not coming out clean enough for me to okay the print job. What looks good on a computer's monitor is not necessarily what the print shop will print, so colors have to be adjusted for the "print world", and if the image has even the slightest haziness or graininess, it is amplified by the screening process.

I too liked a few other photos that I wished were of higher resolution, but had to say no because it would not have been clean enough for the calendar. What would you like to see in a calendar that you've paid $30.00 for? A blurry or pixelated picture of a cool car, or a clean picture of a decent-looking car? This is a hard call to some, but for me I had to pick the better resolution image.

What's even worse is the fact that even though there were some 4 megapixel images taken, the settings were incorrect, so it gave the picture a less than desirable effect of either graininess, or blurred, or what's worse, a discolored effect.

Even for me, with a Nikon D70 that does 6.2 megapixels, I've had some really cool shots ruined because I did not have the ISO set correct for the shot, and ended up with really bad graininess. This isn't the problem of the camera, but with the user behind it! I now take several shots in a few different settings to make sure that I get one that will work.

I'm sorry that some of you feel a picture should have been in the calendar while others maybe shouldn't have, but given the time and material I had to work with, this was as good as I was able to give to you. Hopefully next year will allow us much more time to request higher res pictures of those shots Mike and the "committee" like. Now back to dealing with the printer's issues and getting this calendar printed!
Chris
Chris my camera does not seem to have many settings to change. I have a fujifilm finepix 50i which will take photos up tp 4.3 million pixels. The only settings that I can find are for the flash and the size of picture i.e how many pixels I use. It is basicly point it at something and press the button, so I don't know how I can ever really improve my pictures for the next calendar.
 

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supramad77 said:
Chris my camera does not seem to have many settings to change. I have a fujifilm finepix 50i which will take photos up tp 4.3 million pixels. The only settings that I can find are for the flash and the size of picture i.e how many pixels I use. It is basicly point it at something and press the button, so I don't know how I can ever really improve my pictures for the next calendar.
For printing purposes, the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to resize your photo after you download it from your camera. A lot of people make this mistake (and I'm not saying you did) and they assume that just because their photo looks fantastic on their monitor, it will also look equally impressive in print - as Chris noted before.

When I want to print anything from my camera, I download the raw image - check it out in Photoshop and correct anything I don't like. Usually, color balance is fine but a little retouching is needed. Other than that, I save the adjusted files (full size) to a CD and take them to the photo printing place.

The biggest thing I can stress about digital photography (and I'm not an expert, but I read a lot) is this: Don't mistake resolution settings for the Web as being the same as Print resolution. They are two completely different animals. Once you size something down to 800x600 or 1024x768 pixels, you've completely eliminated the ability to print an 8" x 10" photo from it. The available pixels are not adequate to blow up into a print without it looking pixellated, blotchy and just plain bad.
 

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Mega Pixels
What size photo quality pictures you can print.

1 Mega Pixel = 5" x 7"
2 Mega Pixel = 8" x 10"
3 Mega Pixel = 11" x 14"
Do you see a pattern here?

If you resize a picture to a larger size it will not be photo quality anymore.

Compression
When saving an image after it is modified you should save the image in a proper format. There are a lot of formats, here are some common examples.

Lossy compression
jpeg, gif. These use lossy compression every time you save the image. File size of the image will go down, but so will quality.

Non compression
tiff, bmp. These use non compression every time you save the image. File size of the image should stay the same and so should quality.

How to do it.
1. Pick the mega pixel settings according to the final printed image size. Bigger is always better because down sizing has less negative effects than upsizing.
2. Use the image as it comes from the camera whether it be tiff or a jpeg.
3. If you have to edit the image, edit it and save as a tiff or a bmp. That way the quality won't degrade from what it was when taken by the camera. Saving as jpeg with no compression or smoothing works also.


If you look at July 2004 you will notice that the cars license plate has no numbers. I Took the image at 3.2 mega pixels, edited it with Photoshop and then saved the image as a bmp.

I hope this helps.

Next lesson creating animated gifs, not that I created my avatar or sig. But I did one of my car 8)

 

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A bit more information for you guys.

A typical monitor displays at 72dpi. A 1600x1200 image may be 19" diagonal on monitor A but only 15" diagonal on monitor B.

A home printer can print that 72dpi image...

A professional printer will print at 300dpi+.

That 1600x1200 image (2.1MP btw) will print a nice 8x10 on your home printer... but will be just 5.3" x 4" if sent to a printer - mind you I am talking a press and not a digital photo lab. Of course that image will look even better at 600dpi (2.65" x 2").

I was a bit surprised when I first read the resolution requirements for this calendar. At the 8.5x11 (actually 8.75x11.25 for the full bleed) a printer would typically need an image 2625x3375 (or something between 6 and 8MP).

Now... there are new digital photo labs that can take your image and print differently. I took a 1600x1200 image and printed it at 11" wide and it looked GREAT! Remember... that is half the resolution that the press would need to print the same size. They use lasers to put your image onto the photo paper and then develop the picture as if it was processed using film.

Always shoot bigger than you think you will need. Photoshop and other image programs do a GREAT job of resizing an image smaller. But... you cannot just invent data if you want to make an image bigger.

I know I missed something in this... and my definitions may not be 100% accurate... but this is what I've come to know and love though my dealings with printing for Supras Invade Las Vegas (both press and digital photo labs).

Keith Hart
 

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In the case of the 4.3MP digital camera. Be sure to set your camera to use ALL of the pixels it can. You will cut down the number of pictures you can take on a memory card - and it may take longer to write the image to the memory card - but you will be able to print those images much larger.

As for compression in your camera... if you know you want to print a picture for the calendar... try shooting raw or as an uncompressed TIFF. I would suggest perfecting the picture settings at a compressed level... and then switch to TIFF when you get the picture to look how you want it.

On my camera if I shoot the highest resolution, I wind up with a 35MB image. On my 512MB cards this would mean I could only get 14 images. I do step down to the first level of compression and 6.1 or whatever MP and I am still able to print a 16x20" print - if I send it to the digital photo lab (2.5MB files) - and they say I should be able to print a 20x30 print from the same file. If I were to send that same image to a printing press I would only be able to get about an 8x10.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys. I kinda understood some of it. Sounds like I need to get photographic lessions. I may have to read my instruction book more carefully. I do hate to read the manuals that come with these things.
 

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If you do shoot at larger image sizes... PLEASE do us all a favor and resize them down to fit a typical screen (1024x768). I can't count the number of times I've wanted to smash someones nice digital camera into their forehead because they took a 4.3MP picture and then just uploaded it and linked it into one of these forums. COME ON MAN! Even at 1600x1200 I can't view the entire picture. What a waste of time, storage space, download time, etc.

:)
 

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It looks like the 50i has a very small lens. In low light stuations like your fog picture the small lens just does not capture enough light and the picture will turn out grainy or even badly pixelated as the Image Sensor (CCD) does not have enough information to create a clear image.
People always tend to buy cameras by megapixel becuase thats how the manufacturers choose to market them. That is not the best way to pick a camera really, you have to look at the whole camera not just the megapixel rating. You can often get a better picture from a lower megapixel camera with a better lens and better onboard imaging software. You will notice that you can buy consumer level digital cameras up to 12 megapixels but the pro's only use 6 megapixels on a digital SLR with a really nice lens.
I am actually a big fan of the Fuji Digital cameras I have had 3 so far, I currently own a Fuji S5000.
Another tip I can offer is to turn off the digital zoom if your camera has it, digital zoom will hurt the image quality qite a bit. Also try to take pictures at the native resolution of your CCD with the lowest compression setting possible, memory cards are cheap now so buy a few big ones if you need more space to do this.
The 50i has only a 2.4 megapixel CCD (1600x1200) and can interpolate up to 4 megapixel using Fuji's Super CCD technology. The super CCD does a great job of creating great images at its native resolution however its not so good at creating larger images. If you want to learn more about Super CCD there are some nice animated demos on Fuji's website, my S5000 has a super CCD also and I do think it does improve image quality.

Here are the specs for the 50i http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Fujifilm/fuji_50i.asp
 

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I used to have an Olympus C2000Z 2.1MP camera. This thing took GREAT pics no matter what. A friend of mine used to laugh when I would take the camera out and shoot in the wierdest lighting conditions. He would say there was no way the picture would come out. He ate his words on MANY occasions.

I have since upgraded to the Fuji S2 camera. The difference in the images is immediately apparent. I gave pictures from my old Olympus to an artist to draw the cars for the SILV shirts. After I got the Fuji I gave him images from the new camera and he could tell just by looking at the pics that I had gotten a new camera.

Hmmm... maybe someone should put together a small FAQ on digital cameras. I'm sure we have some great information that could be shared amongst the readers of CelicaSupra.com
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok guys I have taken some of the pictures of my saved disk and uploaded them to my pbase account.
Threre are six pictures in all on page two. They are all saved as bmp files and took a heap of time to upload. I can now see the difference between the file sizes.
The orginal pictures were about 380 kb and these are about 5.5 MB.
Can one of you guys tell me if these would have good enough for the calendar now. If they are it's a pity I did not know enough about computers to have saved them this way the first time.
 

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KeithH said:
I used to have an Olympus C2000Z 2.1MP camera. This thing took GREAT pics no matter what. A friend of mine used to laugh when I would take the camera out and shoot in the wierdest lighting conditions. He would say there was no way the picture would come out. He ate his words on MANY occasions.
I have to agree - I have a C3000Z (3.3MP)...I'm looking for a digital SLR because I want the versatility of a collection of lenses...but the Olympus takes great pictures and I will keep it as my point-and-shoot digi camera for quite a while. I have a photo in the 2003 calendar which came out just fine despite being a 3.3MP photo that was saved as a 90% .jpg.

Here's one from the Vegas trip that was shot at night at 2048x1536 with this camera (resized down a bit and also saved as a 90% .jpg):

http://www.malibyte.net/gallery/Vegas2004/SILV2004_Misc_0011?full=0

Alan Goodsite has a one of the next models up in the Olympus food chain (I believe it's a 5MP model) which holds two memory cards and has a bunch of slick features that my 3000 doesn't. If you can find one of those used, in good shape, grab it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
SupraWes said:
It looks like the 50i has a very small lens. In low light stuations like your fog picture the small lens just does not capture enough light and the picture will turn out grainy or even badly pixelated as the Image Sensor (CCD) does not have enough information to create a clear image.
It is a small camera which is why i liked as you can fit it in your pocket. The fog picture was taken last November very early about half 7 in the morning. It was the 1st day I had my new wheels fitted. It was very dark still at that time of the morning and so foggy I could hardly see where I was going. I am surprised I got any sort of image at all.
 

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I'm getting ready to buy myself an Xmas present within the next few days. I've narrowed my choices down to these two:

Canon PowerShot Pro1
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonpro1

or

Canon EOS 300D Rebel
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos300d

Cool Wes, I see I'm not the only one who has been looking at www.dpreview.com - Chris Wick told me about the site recently. I've been using an Olympus C-3030 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc3030z for a long time now. I think it's time for an upgrade, plus I can use it for work too so it's not just a new toy. I'm trying to stay in the $700 or so range, and either one of these cameras will suit my needs just fine.
 
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