Difference between SuperFine, FINE and NORMAL?
I have not noticed ANY DIFFERENCE on my computer screen between the 3 resolution settings. Is there a noticable difference between the three settings in digital prints? I'm asking because I will be buying a photo printer soon and would like to know so I can start taking pictures in FINE if there is a difference :)..

Comments (10)

Oh and by the way, I'm using the Canon Powershot A300.


Comment #1

Rob, If the image is smaller than your screen, it means you are zoomed out. If you are running 1024x768 screen resolution (for example), that is 788,736 pixels - or less than 1 megapixel. To view the image on your screen, most software will zoom out - which makes the image appear smaller (to fit on your screen). Whatever software you are using to view the images, zoom into 100% and THEN compare the images. Remember, a computer screen is very different to paper. Text that would be easily readable when printed (say 5 point) is usually very difficult to read on a computer screen.

This is because the printer has more dots-per-inch (most printers are 200 - 600 dpi, while a monitor OTTOMH is usually 75 dpi). Hope that helps.


Comment #2

Yea I know. I zoomed in to the pixel level, and have not seen any difference between NORMAL and SUPERFINE. Which makes me wonder if it's worth the extra space at all! Just wanna know if any difference becomes apparant between a SUPERFINE picture and a NORMAL picture when it is printed out...

Comment #3

Those are compression settings, not resolution. You are more likely to see compression problems when printing compared to screen viewing. Resolution will impact the size you can print to. The larger you print, the easier it is to see that you have too much compression or too little resolution. What may not be apparent at 4x6 may become apparent at 5x7 and obvious at 8x10. OTOH, if you are only looking on screen it will be hard to see until you really overcompress.

What did you expect to see differently? As to whether it makes sense to save at a lower resolution or higher compression? You'd almost have to do that by printing test shots - each subject differs some. But you can't get back information that you didn't save and memory isn't that expensive...

Comment #4

Yes, it does make a difference IF, If you are going to make prints larger than 8X10 you need Superfine. An 8X10 shot with superfine, or normal will not hardly show any difference to the unexperienced eye. On the screen it will show almost no difference as the screen resolution is limited to 640x480, (that is just how the computer works). Yes you can go to a higher screen resolution, however it is just compacting what is there. For the most part- (again for anything less than 8x10) you don't need the highest settings for most pictures. If you ever plan on doing something artistic or going to a larger print with the photo, then you should ALWAYS shoot at the highest resolution (largest file) you can get...

Comment #5

Ok guys, sorry for my ignorance before. I see the difference now My mistake was that when I was zooming in on the picture, I was zooming in TOO MUCH! I was zooming to the pixel level, and I thought there was no difference because the pixels were the same size! What I failed to realize is that number of pixels is based on resolution! Not compression! Once I got to the pixel level, I zoomed back alittle bit and started to notice a BOX pattern on the pictures I took on the "NORMAL" setting! This BOX pattern is not noticeable when I use FINE or SUPERFINE Thanx guys!..

Comment #6

I'm sorry, but that doesn't make any sense. CRT-based computer monitors are not fixed at 640x480, or any other resolution. It's not compacting anything when you switch to a higher resolution. LCD monitors ARE fixed resolution, but it's not 640x480 (they're usually much higher, like 1280x1024)...

Comment #7

I think it's always important to get terminology right. There's a LOT of confusion when people are trying to explain RESOLTUION to someone who is actually asking about COMPRESSION, as you'd expect.

Anyway, the easiest way to find any differences in two images get the conputer to do it for you! Import both into a decently-powerful image editor, which can work with layers. Set the layer mode to DIFFERENCE (or maybe subtract, if you've got a different prog?), and bing, any pixels which differ will show up as bright parts. The digger the difference, the brighter the pixel, since for example a 240, 180, 180 pixel (a rather light red) minus a 5, 10, 5 pixel (a REALLY dark green) will produce a 235, 170, 175 pixel, which is again a somewhat light red, almost grey.

However, if two pixels are the same RGB values, then the result will be a perfect black. Interestingly, as you found out yourself Rob F, not all differences, even with this method, are readily apparent when zoomed in TOO much. patterns like JPEG compression artifacts are indeed also more easily spotted at a zoom closer to 100%. Most of the other replies were right, though, in that I really don't think that zooming to LESS than 100% will help anything.

Indeed, your findings are correct. Block-like patterns will appear in highly-compressed JPEGs, because that's exactly how JPEG works: by recording luminance changes over a predefined block of pixels...

Comment #8

Personally I find that if there's a lot of texture, for instance animal's fur or grass, etc., that blocks will be noticible in anything below superfine. In other situations, I find I can't tell the difference, but I always keep it on superfine anyways...

Comment #9

Why dont you just take a couple sample pictures at different commpression setting and print them out at CVS. As expensive as CVS is, this test will still only cost a dollar or 2. I personally (at least think I) see a difference between all 3 settings. Between normal and fine though is a much bigger difference than between fine and superfine. Personally, if have the free space, I take the pictures on Super Fine, but I nevertheless feel that 'Fine' is really perfectly fine (excuse the pun)...

Comment #10

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