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Poor results on Computer Monitor

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Chris23, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Chris23

    Chris23
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    Like so many others I am looking to buy my first digital camera and have come accross a problem that I haven't seen discussed.

    I have asked my local retailers but they know less than me generally - & that ain't much!!!

    Most of my viewing will be on monitors or TV yet I want to be able to crop & print etc if I wish to do so.

    Having downloaded test images from several web sites I have come accross a problem. Generally the images that look best on my computer monitor are taken with 3 or 4mp cameras despite the monitor resolution only being set at 1064x768. Cameras of more than 4mp often suffer from jagged edges, patterning on bricks/ roof tiles, noise etc and generally lack detail. Images below 3 mp may well just suffer from cheaper lenses etc used on the cameras but lack detail in shadow and just don't look as good.

    This demonstrates to me that more pixels isn't the answer to better viewing so what do I need to buy? I don't want to buy a 5mp camera & find that I suffer from the problems above.

    This isn't my choice but for my information if I set the camera to a lower resolution will this avoid the problems with high MP count cameras?

    If I post edit a copy of the image to a lower resolution will this do the same thing & let me both keep the flexibility of the detailed image if I want it later and view the image without nasties? Is there software that does this?

    Is there a better answer?

    For viewing at 1064x768 is the ideal image that size? 0.8mp.
     
  2. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I read an article on some 8mp cameras and the said they was not much better than 5 mp cameras. The trouble seemed to be that the senors are a lot smaller. This cased what was called picture noise.
    Just making an educated guess but setting a high mp camera to a lower resolution would not cure the problem as the fault would still be there ie small sensors.

    MP is not the bee hole and end all for picture sharpness a good lens is an other factor.
    I can still display my 4mp pictures cropped in half and displayed on a 19inch monitor without any great loss in sharpness.
     
  3. mr jones

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    i know this is simplistic but when you view the image (in internet explorer i assyme) it shrinks the image to fit the viewable area which (as IE isnt very good) makes the pictures look terrible, if you hold the mouse over the image for a few seconds a square icon appears in the bottom right hand corner which if clicked makes the image back to its original size....
    this might be your problem.


    and the reasoning behind a 8mp camera bieng not much better than a 5mp one.... welcome to the law of diminishing returns!
     
  4. seany

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    cmos sensors are bigger then ccd's, some ccds are bigger then other ccd's and better quality. Cropping and viewing on screen is one thing but if you come to print then you're going to need a bigger mp if you want to print larger pictures that have been cropped.
     
  5. Chris23

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    Thanks for those comments but they don't quite tell me all that I need to know.

    I have a copy of Irfan view so I have seen the test images full size & yes the 6mp ones look great full size- but they obviously do not fit on the screen in one go - I see a very small part of them. I am thus guessing that I will need to make the size smaller (reduce the pixel count) to view them. As you suggest simply reducing the image size isn't the answer as it introduces the nasties.

    What I need to know is if I have, say, a 6mp file that has nasties when displayed to fill the screen then can I somehow resize it to say a 2mp file & get something that displays nicely? Will this do the job?

    Am I right in guessing that a TV screen is 625 pixels high and thus at 4:3 833 pixels wide? Does the same apply as to the computer monitor? 0.5mp. When we get high definition TV's the corrrspomding number of pixels would be to approx 3.5mp.

    The question is if I resize them by somehow reducing the number of pixels in the displayed file will this give me an image as nice as if I had used a camera that did not give me the problem in the first place?
     
  6. dolph

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    Chris,

    for display on a PC I would suggest you resize them to your screen size. A graphics package only does very simplistic resizing when you say put "50%" size in when revieweing - hence jagged edges etc.

    Always keep a copy of the original file in case you ever want it printed (where the biggest resoltuion is best) - however, Irfanview actually has a very good resize algorithm. Use Irfanview to resize your image to the size of your screen for viewing (there are many different algorithm's - play around and see which gives the best result, this may change image to image depending on the subject matter) - then always display at 100%.
     
  7. Mango Bob

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    I assume you're using windows here - it depends a lot on what you're displaying with. Internet Explorer won't scale the image to fit your screen as well as Photoshop does, PS uses better scaling algorithms (that's why it ain't free!). Certainly when I preview in XP it makes a real hash of the pictures.

    You're best bet is to make it easy for whatever you're using to display the picture...if you're previewing do it at 50% or 25% only (this works for resizing the pic also). That way the computer has an easier job of interpolating the pixels...if you make the guesswork harder you're more likely to get jaggies/noise etc.

    Fundamentally it's never going to look as good as when you print it. I was amazed at how much better my pics looked when Boots printed 'em for me. The colours that the camera records aren't meant to be displayed on a monitor, they're meant to be printed so are unlikely to display perfectly on a monitor.
     
  8. SanPedro

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    Chris

    I'm just wondering what is you are wanting to achieve.

    If you want to view images onscreen that look great you need to match the pixe; size to your monitor. So if your monitor is set at 1024 x 768 then resize your images to this resolution.

    But if you want to print them out at high quality you will need to keep the hi-res image for prints.

    Having said that though, I view my 5MP images on my 1024 x 768 pixel monitor through the Windows slide show viewer and they look ok to me. Not sure if CRT monitors look different to LCD. Images on my LCD monitors at home and office look ok whatever the resolution. ie they look smooth whatver the res is.

    But when I've used CRT monitors then Hi res images that are not viewed at 100% in Photoshop look jagged and patterns like roof tiles and checked cloth have a moire effect on them.

    BTW, images for websites are always created at 72 pixels per inch (using Photoshop for example). This is kind of confusing as you could have a 14 inch monitor and a 21 inch monitor both set to 640 x 480 and you'd have a lot more pixels per inch on the 14 inch monitors.There was perhaps a time when there was a standard 'pixel per inch' measurement for monitors.

    Chris
     
  9. Chris23

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    Thanks again for the help.

    What I am trying to achieve is initially to buy the right camera. I will be doing most of my viewing on a portable PC (possibly connected to an Overhead Projector) as part of presentations, on my 19" CRT computer monitor in my office or on a domestic plasma TV & want the best possible image quality. I do not have the need to print much.

    Unfortunately what complicates the issue is that I also need to be able to enlarge small parts of the image at will so as to show greater detail. If I have understood what I have been told above this seems to mean that I will need two/ three/ or four copies of each image. The first three sets for viewing on monitor/ TV / Portable PC and the fourth for viewing detail, probably the original, (Higher pixel count image).

    As I said originally the question arose because the "better" cameras looked worse when I viewed the test images on my monitor than some of the cheaper lower pixel count examples. With resizing the situation is now much better but I must say on my monitor some of the cheap cameras still look better than some of the expensive ones when the downsized full image is being viewed.

    I need to find is a camera that lets me have the pixels for blowups but scales down nicely for monitor/ TV/ portable PC viewing.

    I think that I need to test scaling software just as much as cameras.
     
  10. SanPedro

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    When I've done Powerpoint presentations I've found that you need much higher res images for use on a Projector than you do with a monitor.

    I ended up having to use litho-print resolution images (300 ppi) for them to look good when blown up on a projector.

    Chris
     
  11. Chris23

    Chris23
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    Chris

    Please excuse my ignorance but when you say 300dpi I cannot translate that to what I need as for OHP use there is no apparant definite size of source data. What is this as an image count ie 1600x1200? This will give me a starting point for camera resolution.

    I have a nasty feeling it is going to be very top end.

    I will not need to "enlarge" bits on the OHP, just on the monitors, so it may all work out compatible.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  12. Crocodile

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    This "raggedness" of oversized images is a mystery to me. Don't know if that's because I'm using a TFT panel rather than CRT but 6M images viewed in XP's Picture/Fax viewer at 1024x768 are fine. Also, your chosen camera will be supplied with it's own viewing software. If it helps to clear the muddy waters, I'm happy to mail you some pictures of the same subject shot at different resolutions up to 6M for comparison. PM me if this would help.
     
  13. Centurion

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    MP's are best left to printable media. You cant expect to have taken a photo in lets says 2272 x 1704 then blow them up to the size of projection you want and expect them to be in the same resolution and quality
     

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