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Need help with my digital camera... (1 Viewer)


Dec 27, 2001
I just bought a Canon Powershot S200 digital camera and I don't understand what the picture sizes mean. Here is my dilema.

How can you make regular 4x6 and 5x7 pictures with a digital camera??? My camera has three sizes to take pictures in 640x480, 1024x768, and 1600x1200. Each of these has 3 compression modes: fine, medium, and super-fine. All I want to be able to do is take a picture, and get it developed and have it look like a regular 35mm picture.

I just had a couple of photos developed that were shot in 640x480 with super-fine resolution and they look AWFUL. They are grainy and just look like crap.

I try to resize my pictures using photoshop etc but when they are resized to a smaller image they look terrible. How do I make a smaller image look good?

Please help,

Jay H

Senior HTF Member
Mar 22, 1999
Pittsfield, MA
Real Name
In a very very very nontechnical way, hopefully something that makes sense, you need to use a higher resolution which is basically the number of pixels horizontally versus the number of pixels vertically i.e. 640x480 is a resolution that has 640 pixels on the horizontal axis and 480 pixels on the vertical axis. The more pixels the more detailed the picture will get without becoming grainy no matter what size the final picture is Be that 3"x5" or 4"x6" or 8"x11" so the best pictures that you're going to be able to take with your camera and print out would be the largest resolution and the least amount of compression, so take pictures you want to print at 1600x1200 and in super-fine mode. (Super-fine basically means the least compression) Eventually you'll get to a point where the printed image is to your liking and then you can experiment with the resolution and/or the compression so you can take the best pictures with the least qualities (larger resolutions and less compression means more disk space (i.e. less pictures can be stored in you compact flash card).

Hope this helps a bit :)



Second Unit
Nov 6, 2001

Camera Settings - Use the highest resolution (1600x1200) and lowest compression setting (super fine) that you can afford to use given the number of photos you want to take and the size of your compact flash card. Buy a bigger compact flash card if you need to...in the long run this is still much cheaper then film.

To print - Make any digital corrections you need to in Photoshop (red eye reduction, etc.) and then send the production ready full size image to an online printer or bring the compact flash card into any photo processing store for prints.

To share online or in e-mail - You are going to want to reduce the file size to share your photos online or send in e-mail. Use a program like Photoshop and reduce the full size images to something like 640x480 or 800x600. Make sure to save the smaller file either with a different name or in a different directory so you don't lose your full size image.

- Jeff

Cam S

Jan 11, 2002
As a rule, ALWAYS use the HIGHEST size and quality setting your camera has. You never know when you might take the picture of your lifetime only to have it in such low quality you won't be able to blow it up. Yes the higher quality/size takes up more memory as the files are larger, but memory is pretty cheap now.

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