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jpeg quality- compression ratio vs. megapixel size

Rob Sato , Apr 29, 2008; 07:53 a.m.

Knowing how each brand of digital camera varies from other brands and even within their own line: All things being equal, which would (tend to) produce a better image: A high megapixel setting with low/basic setting or a lower megapixel image with a high/fine setting. EG: 6 megapixel camera with a low/basic setting vs a 3 megapixel with a high/fine setting. (Within reason, no way a 1 megapixel setting with a fine will be able to challenge a 6 megapixel image at low...but within reason...)

Would they cross over at some point (same image quality level from both sides).


Patrick Lavoie , Apr 29, 2008; 08:07 a.m.

not sure why you ask, but a 6miilion pix save as high jpeg will of course give better and bigger result than a 13million pix save at is basic lowest setting.

They will certainly somewhere crossed as for the image pixel quality, but theres much more to a camera then pixel, full frame or not, good lens or not, high noise level, newer technologie etc...

And if you have the chance to have a 13milion pixel, why would you like it to give you the result of a 6million one? since i think the better youre camera, the best file you want from it?

anyway, hope i answer you question : )

Patrick Lavoie , Apr 29, 2008; 08:10 a.m.

Ah, i forgot. Also its depend of the final print size, because at a normal 4x6 size and at a normal distance, even a 1million camera good look good (to a certain degree). I remember when i have my frst nikon 900 & 950 (2 and 3miilion) that i could get very decent 4x6 and 8x10 from them, at there highest setting.

Steve Dunn , Apr 29, 2008; 11:11 a.m.

Which is more useful: an encyclopædia which has been made smaller by omitting half the articles, or an encyclopædia which has been made smaller by omitting half of the facts from each article?

If you want lots of fine detail (such as being able to see individual hairs and eyelashes in a portrait), there's no substitute for more megapixels. If you want the highest colour accuracy and freedom from artifacts, you want the highest JPEG quality setting.

The Wikipedia article on JPEG compression includes some sample series of images in which the same image has been compressed using various JPEG settings.

Manuel Barrera , Apr 29, 2008; 12:11 p.m.

The 1D with it's 4.17 mega pixels more then holds it's own with cameras with twice the megapixels, there is more to it then just the number of megapixels.

Alan Peed , Apr 29, 2008; 04:28 p.m.

If you have the owner manuals or tech spec sheets for the models in mind, you can easily refer to these, and locate the charts that specify the image pixel dimensions associated with each image size the camera supports. That would be a starting point for comparison.

However, image pixel dimensions is just one factor in the overall equation of image quality. Correct? You also have to consider things like the lens type and quality, noise reduction systems and their effectiveness, color tone accuracy, sharpness, and so fourth. Even third party items like screw-on filters can impact image quality.

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