Bigger really is better

Grace Gale's French Festival has won A Grade HONOUR - you'll need high resolution photos for the newspaper or camera club entries

Grace Gale’s French Festival has won A Grade HONOUR – you’ll need high resolution photos for the newspaper or camera club entries

By Julie Hartwig, Tin Can Bay Camera Club

One photography term that is often misunderstood in Resolution. In some cameras, this is called Image Size or Image Quality and your choice will (as the alternative terms suggest) affect the size and quality of your photos.

Image Size is often defined by a pair of numbers (e.g. 3000 x 2000). These measurements give the height and width of a photo in pixels. Resolution is the multiplication of these measurements. In the above example the resolution would be 6000 pixels or 6 megapixels (MP).

The secret to understanding resolution (or image quality) is to remember that the higher the pixel count, the better the image quality. Therefore an image of 6MP will have superior image quality to one of 600KB (or 300 x 200 pixels). Images that are described as “high resolution” simply have a higher pixel count and a larger file size. Low resolution images have a lower pixel count and a smaller file size.

So which resolution is right for you? That depends what you do with your photos. If you’re a “happy snapper” and just want to email photos to friends or share on social media, low resolution images are fine and you can chose a lower Image Quality setting on your camera. You’ll also be able to fit more photos on your camera’s card.

If you’re more serious about photography and want to make prints, join a camera club, enter competitions or do photo-editing, you’ll need high resolution images. Therefore Image Quality should be set to your camera’s highest setting. The downside of larger file sizes means you won’t be able to fit as many photos on your card, so you’ll have to download and format your card more frequently.

We’ll discuss downloading and formatting in upcoming issues. Happy snapping!

The Tin Can Bay Camera Club’s next meeting: 7pm, Wednesday June 21 at TCB Library. For more information about club activities and to view members’ images, visit www.tincanbaycameraclub.wix.com/tcb-camera-club.