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Pixels, Pixels, Pixels


Pixels, Pixels, Pixels

A loyal reader writes (and I respond in between the lines):

Hi Miguel,

Thanks for the digi camera stuff. I thinks its great. Here's a question I have and could never answer.
My camera lets me take pictures in the following sizes;
320 x 200
640 x 480
800 x 600
1024 x 768
1200 x 1800

According to my limited knowledge on this subject. This is the size of the picture, the bigger the picture or pixels the better the detail.

Yes in the sense that you can print a picture with more resolution at a larger size and not lose the details.  That is, if you try to print a 640x480 digital picture on 8x10 paper, each pixel (dot )has to be bigger to fill up the page (easily shown by dividing the number of pixels per line by the inches per line, thus an 8x10 print of a 480x640 file will produce 60 pixels per inch on the short side and 64 pixels per inch on the long side).  But if you print the same picture in 1200 x 1800 resolution, each pixel is tiny (a 1200 x 1600 file produces 150 pixels per inch on the short side and 160 pixels per inch on the wide side) and thus shows details much, much better.  Likewise, when you print the same picture at a smaller size like 4x6, the inch per pixel count goes much higher.  If you think about it, 13 inch TVs have sharper details than 19inch TVs and both have sharper details than 27 inch TVs because of this same principle.  All TV analog signals have 480 lines of resolution.  That doesn't change according to the size of the TV screen (until you start discussing HDTV).  So, a smaller screen fits more lines of resolution per inch...but you might have to squint to see the sharper detail.  Note that the resolution we're discussing, 1200X1800 is a a 2 megapixel camera.  The pixels per inch are much higher for cameras with 3+ megapixels.

The problem is when I take too big a picture it takes a very long time to load and then I have to crop bit back to an acceptable size like a 4x6 in photo when I take them to Walreens who's price is $0.29 per 4x6 Eckerds is $0.32 and best price so far I've found was Walmart at $0.22.

Next week I'll discuss your options for printing out pictures (as you cna imagine, my advice will be to use online printing services).

So should we take large photos and crop or smaller ones? maybe you can answer in an upcoming TOTD.

The answer should now be obvious...but as H.L. Mencken said, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.....Keep putting up with the slow load time.  If you take smaller pictures, you will lose the details.

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