Some Final Thoughts
A few final thoughts on getting things right the first time:
- Unless you’re running out of space on your memory card, always take photos at the highest resolution possible, even if it’s a large setting such as 8 or 12 megapixels. If you later decide to print your photo, using an 8 megapixel or higher resolution will make even 8x10” prints possible, without any loss of detail.
- Use you camera’s best JPG settings. I know it’s tempting to use lower settings to allow for more space on your storage media. However, cameras do not provide controls for fine tuning JPG settings, and once detail has been lost by using a lower-than-optimal setting, it can never be fully restored. When your photo is in your photo editor, you can use its JPG controls to properly reduce the image’s file size.
- Many image editors (including Corel Photo-Paint, Jasc Paint-Shop-Pro, Ulead PhotoImpact for Windows, and PhotoLine 32 for Windows and OS X) enable user control over sub-sampling, which can be of great benefit in reducing file size without losing quality. Ironically, the most expensive photo editor, Photoshop, does not allow users to control JPG sub-sampling.
4. Get to know your camera. I know it’s easy to always take photos with the Automatic setting, but learning about your camera’s aperture, shutter, and other settings can go a long way toward taking better pictures.
5. Avoid “digital” zoom whenever possible. Most consumer cameras enable both optical zoom (usually in the 3x to 12x range) and then digital zoom (often in the 40x or higher range). Optical zoom is by far the best zoom, since it zooms by adjusting the lens, which creates the truest zoom available. Although it may sound appealing, digital zoom uses your camera’s software to perform its work. As is true in many cases, hardware works much better than automated software for quality results.