So, since I'm the amateur who just bought a 10 mp camera (Canon EOS XTi), any tips on the best size to reformat them at for uploading to a computer, yet still have good enough quality for an 8 X 10 if I wanted? Just tried my first batch and they took FOREVER to get onto my computer and then up on an online site...
I also got the XTi, and i used to do film SLR before.
in my opinion, i would say, keep it as the L fine format (highest JPEG setting)
it just give you more information in case you need to edit or crop before printing.
if you got a good lens, and some special picture, i would even take RAW. but try to constrain myself so i won't over-do it.
if it took forever to get into your computer, you might need a newer USB port (a true USB 2.0) one, and a new card reader. on average, it took me about 5 mins to copy the full 2G card i often use.
On the other hand, if you are uploading to an online site for others to view, i would suggest scale it down first before upload.
I took the other route, which is I setup my own photo site with my home server, so it only take me few mins to transfer from upstair to basement.
(Most ISP doesn't like you to have servers running tho. so check before you do that!)
For printing, copy it to a CD or bring the card to the kiosk to print, you wont' print the whole card usually, so do you homework, cherry pick the one you want before you go to the print shop.
That's my 2 cents.
Apologies to fellow photographers and others 'in the know', but I feel compelled to offer an explanation of why 10MP are not necessarily better than 6MP in that shiny new compact camera you're thinking of buying.
Manufacturers need to give us reasons to buy new cameras, so they come up with bigger, more impressive-sounding numbers.
What they don't tell you however, is that the size of the sensor that those 10MP are squeezed onto is the same as the previous-generation, which 'only' had 6MP on it.
Each 'pixel' is a sensor. It is sensitive to light. But it is also sensitive to electrical interference from the pixel next to it. And the closer that pixel is, the more interference, and the more 'noise' there can be.
It is an established fact that a 10MP image can actually be of worse quality than a 6MP one. Blasphemous, but true.
The human eye is not sensitive enough to distinguish the difference between a 6MP image or a 10MP one, printed out at around A4, or maybe even higher.
That is VERY true. the resolving power (a.k.a Angular resolution) is actually limited by the optics, and more importantly their size of opening. At certain ratio (see the wiki page), the sensor and the neighbouring sensor will see the EXACT same thing, and therefore it won't make a different anymore.
to work out the exact number, you really need all the information from the focal length of EACH lens element, size of the sensor, pitch of the pixel, maximum fstop, and what kind of (average) wavelength (color) you are looking at. which i say is too much work!
for a compact camera, I would say 6MP and 10MP doesn't make a different. because they generally have "not as good" quality optics (compare to SLR lens), and smaller diameters, as well as smaller sensor.
as for printing, usually when you take it to a standard print shop, they can print up to 300dpi. a 8x10inch picture will maximum have 2400x3000 pixels, so it is equivalent to a 7.2MP pictures.
again, that's just my 2 cents.
[ Edit: Edited on May 10, 2007, at 8:51 AM by kirk1978 ]