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Picture resolution??? - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I am very confused. I have several jpegs taken with my digital camera. When I open it with the (minimal) microsoft photo editor, and choose File->properties it says they are 300 ppi pictures. But, when I open them in Photoshop Elements, it says they are 72 ppi pictures. I do notice they are different sizes in inches (the photo editor says 4.x by 3.x inches and Elements says 17.xx by 11.xx inches (I don't remember what the exact numbers were after the decimal points)). The reason this is confusing me (some of you may remember my post the other day) ...

  1. #1

    Default Picture resolution???

    I am very confused. I have several jpegs taken with my digital camera.
    When I open it with the (minimal) microsoft photo editor, and choose
    File->properties it says they are 300 ppi pictures. But, when I open
    them in Photoshop Elements, it says they are 72 ppi pictures. I do
    notice they are different sizes in inches (the photo editor says 4.x by
    3.x inches and Elements says 17.xx by 11.xx inches (I don't remember
    what the exact numbers were after the decimal points)).

    The reason this is confusing me (some of you may remember my post the
    other day) is that the very same jpeg I opened with Elements said
    something like 213.xx ppi just the oher day, now says 72 ppi.

    Have I done something in Elments that now opens all my pictures at 72
    ppi? I really want them to open at 300 ppi.

    I hope I've made myself clear. I am a Computer Science major and have
    minor in math. Maybe I need a math explanation of how resolution relates
    to image size or something.

    Thanks for any help.

    Sorry to be such a bother about something so simple.

    -Trish


    Tricia_Roush@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    I have two digital cameras. One is a 2 MP, and the other is a 5 MP. Both of these cameras download pictures that are 72 DPI. The only difference is that the 5 MP pictures are much larger. Now, I know there have been a lot of discussions about upsizing, etc., and I'm not wanting to start another big argument about the subject. What I do, and it works consistently for me, is I just crop the picture and specify the size and the resolution that I want, and then I print it. I have been very satisfied with my prints. No, I am not blind, and I have been quite critical of the work that I do.
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Trish, I sometimes think that the Photoshop people built the program with
    inches and ppi just to drive us crazy!

    Seriously, your image really doesn't open at a certain resolution; it opens
    at certain pixel dimensions that are based on how it's saved in your camera.
    If you have a 3 megapixel camera, your images will be something like 2000
    pixels by 1500 pixels - those are your pixel dimensions in the top of the
    Image<Resize<Image Size box. The doent size is merely a calculated set
    of numbers; it says, for instance that if you were to print the image whose
    pixels dimensions were 2000 by 1500 as a 10 inch by 7.5 inch picture (with
    resample unchecked), the resolution going to your printer would be 200 ppi
    (that's 2000 pixels divided by 10 inches or 1500 pixels by 7.5 inches); if
    you changed the dimensions to 5 inches by 3.75 inches, the resolution would
    jump to 400 ppi. You can also substitute a ppi value; if you put in 300
    ppi, the doent size will change to 6.67 inches by 5 inches. In every
    case, the pixel dimensions of the image remain the same: 2000x1500 (so long
    as resample is unchecked). The initial set of values thrown in there by the
    program, be it 72 ppi or 300 ppi or, in the case of one of my cameras, 180
    ppi, is just a starting point for that calculation of the relationship
    between print dimensions and resolution.

    Please come back with more questions!

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Jim, your approach is solid, especially for the 5 megapixel camera. The
    images from that camera start with so many pixels that even if you crop and
    then resample (which is what happens if you specify a resolution in the crop
    tool), you're probably doing very little resampling and it may be
    downsampling rather than upsampling - nothing wrong with that. If you were
    to take one of the images from the 2 MP camera, crop it significantly then
    upsample it to 300 ppi in one step, you might notice a softening of the
    printed image; but unless you're trying to print an 8x10 or larger, the
    effect might not be all that noticeable. As you say, it's giving you what
    you want and it's very straightforward; no good reason to change.


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Ahhh... another excellent explanation! I'll have to make sure I keep
    that resample button unchecked :-) (Although, I am sure there are
    reasons why I should check it, occassionally, but I'm not sure why yet.)

    Yeah, I have a 3 megapixel camera... But I take most of my images at 1
    meg so I can get more on the small card that came with the camera. I
    will eventally buy a bigger XD card, but in the mean time I make a small
    sacrifice - pun intended!

    So, my pictures come out at 1280 x 960. So, if PSE says it's doing 72
    ppi, then it's going to come out 17.7(w) x 13.33(h) INCHES... but, if I
    bump it up to 300ppi, then it's 4.2 x 3.2. (I left the ruler grid on to
    see the size changing when I was playing with this.)

    So, when I upload my pictures to WALMART (cringe) for development and I
    ask for a 5 x 7 sized print, they are actually doing about 180 ppi on
    the printing? Hmmm. Would they look better if I started taking 2 or 3
    megapixel pictures? I forget, but I think they have a 1 meg limit on
    uploads. I just picked up my last package of prints and they look
    pretty good, so I'm not sure if it makes any difference.

    So, why to we size things width X height in PSE but when I say a 5 x 7,
    I'm saying height X width - at least I take most of my pics
    horizontally, not vertically. Or am I confused again...

    I will definitely save off this great explanation as well.

    Thanks Chuck!


    Tricia_Roush@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Trish, your background in computer science and math makes you a quick study!

    Yes, by all means, save everything at the highest pixel dimensions your
    camera will allow; 180 ppi for the 5x7 is okay, but on the low end of what
    would be a good printing resolution. What if you took a picture at 1 meg
    and then realized it was the picture of the century and you wanted an 8x10
    of it, only to be disappointed with how it looked....? Look for a good
    price on XD cards and buy one - or two - then take all the pix at 3 MP.

    Re the size convention, it seems like we always talk with the lower
    dimension first, regardless of whether it's width or height. A 5 x 7 in
    horizontal mode isn't called a 7 x 5 - except perhaps in the Picture
    Package..?

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Alright, one more question... My camera is a Fuji FinePix 3800. They have a chart that shows the setting, recorded number of pixels and the image data size:

    Mode Recorded Pixels Image Data Size
    3M-F 2048x1536 1300KB (approx)
    3M-N 2048x1536 590KB (approx)

    The manual says "Select 3M-F for better quality and 3M-N for more shots. Normally the 3M-N setting provides sufficiently high quality for printing."

    If they are the same "recorded pixels" how come one is bigger than the other? What more info can they put in the image to make it over twice as big? I haven't tried 3M-F (I'm guessing F stands for "fine" and N stands for "normal") to see what happens, but I guess I could do that. The manual says the images are all recorded as JPEGs.

    Thanks,
    Trish
    Tricia_Roush@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Tricia,

    It is a matter of JPG compression.

    Your sensor is a 3 Mpxl device - the difference between Fine and Normal file
    output is how much the camera is allowed to squash the image. Because JPG
    does not preserve the image 100% when "re-inflated", you will have more
    fidelity when using lower compression.

    I know it's tempting to adjust your camera to maximize the number of images
    your memory can store... but you will be sacrificing image quality when you
    do so.

    You could take some test images of the same subject in both modes and
    compare them so that you know what the difference is. Then you'll make an
    informed decision as to how to set your camera, based on your image quality
    needs.

    Byron


    Byron_Gale@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Trish, what Byron said....

    Go with 3M-F ....and more memory cards.

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Whenever I decide to have my pictures printed by a photo lab I have a procedure that some may consider to be wrong, but I have had a lot of success with it. I actually do all of the sizing and color correcting before I send the images to the lab. Then I tell them not to crop at all. That way, I am able to get the pictures framed the way I want them framed. I crop the pictures to the size that I want, and then I save them at 300 PPI, and the results have been excellent. Of course I have only done up to 8x10s so far. I usually print at home if I only have a few prints to do. But if I have a significant number to print I will take them to a photo lab because it is cheaper that way.
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Picture resolution???

    Jim, you are right the way you do it.
    But take care: don't apply any sharpening to the images you have printed by a third party. Usually they apply a kind of rather agressive sharpening too and your image would suffer from it severely.

    Leen
    Leen_Koper@adobeforums.com Guest

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