13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2012 2:35 PM by PECourtejoie

    Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop

    PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

      I'll start by quoting Jeff Schewe on a upsizing thread:

      "In any event, I _DO_ agree that the whole sizing function in ACR needs a rev. I also agree thst upsampling in ACR is better than after the fact in PS because the sharpening and noise reduction can scale better when you set ACR to upsample. And I think it can be argued ACR upsampling is a bit better than PS's. So, I think that use case should be pushed..."

       

      I was wondering about the opposite, and did not want to pollute the other thread.

       

      With the advent of 36MPX cameras, if one knows that some images will end online, and their goal is not to be printed in a large size, or if storage space is an issue, should one use the cameras ability to record smaller images, downscale in ACR, or in Photoshop, for optimal quality? (I know that if it is not recorded, it is lost forever, while doing it in ACR/Ps keeps the raw file intact.)

        • 1. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
          Robert Shomler Level 4

          Speaking only for my experience and workflow, I find that the limited set of reduced dimensions to select from in ACR rarely will match the pixel dimensions I want for an online image or even a smaller print.  I find it easiest to use Russell Brown's Image Processor Pro for images that are good to go from ACR and all are to be reduced to the same dimensions (PS Save for Web if they need individual sizing).  The ACR-edited raw remains my master file (sometimes in multiple edit versions - ACR Snapshots).

          • 2. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
            Yammer Level 4

            I'd be interested to know why those particular sizes are shown. I once tried to work out if they were significant, and failed.

             

            I know this is not the place for a feature request, but I'd like to see a custom resampling size/ratio in the Workflow Options, instead of the presets, which seem too arbitrary to me.

             

            On a related note, I seem to remember that there's a trick you can perform with ACR's crop tool to resample the image too, but I don't know if this works any differently.

            • 3. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
              Level 5

              Capturing an image at the target size has been and always will be the ideal to pursue, in my view.  This holds true for scanning film as well as for digital cameras.

               

               

              PECourtejoie wrote:

               

               

               

              …should one use the cameras ability to record smaller images…

               

              I'd answer that with an unqualified YES.  It's a no brainer, really.

              • 4. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                Robert Shomler Level 4

                station_two wrote:

                 

                Capturing an image at the target size has been and always will be the ideal to pursue, in my view.  This holds true for scanning film as well as for digital cameras.

                Capturing the image at a desired target size is ideal when one unequivocally knows that target size at time of shooting.  But there are situations where this cannot be known.  I'll  photo a theatre rehearsal where the immediate need is for web, social media and send-out-to-press-size images.  Then, sometimes much later, I'll get a request "can you crop out of a small part of the scene? we want to cut it into a brochure," or for a very high res file to go for a poster or other large print.  Never know ahead of time.  In anticipation of these I capture largest size from camera even though it may be called for in only a small fraction of the images; then, using acr-edited raw file as a master file, derive other image formats and sizes as needed over time.

                • 5. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                  Noel Carboni Level 7

                  Perhaps the answer has to be based on the individual's situation and projected use of the image data.

                   

                  One could argue that you should shoot at the best possible quality and resolution, and save the raw file regardless of what your current known need for a photo is.  Some day you might happen to need a super high res version.  Of course, that happens in practice for some folks only very rarely. 

                   

                  What's the size of a D800 NEF?  40 MB?  No lightweight for sure, but with today's drives of several million megabytes or more is it consequential?

                   

                  The strategy I've found works best for me (and I have only a 10 MP camera) is to shoot in my camera's largest raw size, upsample during Camera Raw conversion (e.g., to 25 MP), then resize for use after the hijinks in Photoshop are completed using Bicubic resampling (the new Ps CS6 defaults are not good IMO). 

                   

                  I can see my strategy being roughly the same with a camera with a lot more MP, except that I'd probably not upsample during conversion.

                   

                  You need to outfit yourself with a decent computer for storing and working with very large datasets to be practical.  But such things, especially gargantuan storage, are cheaper and more powerful than ever today.

                   

                  -Noel

                  • 6. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                    Level 5

                    Note that I started my post by typing; 

                     

                    Capturing an image at the target size has been and always will be the ideal to pursue, in my view.  This holds true for scanning film as well as for digital cameras.

                     

                    Yes, of course that implies knowing exactly what the target output is.  Duh!

                     

                    Within the Context of PEC's post, the goal would be to eliminate the need to downsample for web—or to resample at all.

                     

                    I say, by all means take advantage of the camera's ability to capture different pixel dimensions natively.

                     

                    Downsampling will degrade an image far more than upsampling.  That's just a fact of life.

                     

                    Ideally, I shouldn't have to resample at all, but in a pinch, if forced to choose the lesser of two evils at gunpoint, I'd opt for upsampling, reluctantly.

                    • 7. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                      MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                      I recommend recording at the full size and downsampling later (e.g., at the point at which you'll be producing a web-sized image).  This is because the detail and noise processing can be done more accurately in ACR/LR at the original resolution.  The downsampled result will generally have better uniformity, especially for higher ISO images.

                      • 8. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                        Andrew_Hart Level 2

                        Eric,

                         

                        To be absolutely clear, you are recommending to downsample in Ps rather than ACR : is that correct?

                        • 9. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                          Thanks, everyone for the various answers.

                           

                          Thanks Eric, my main concern was about the algorithm used for the pixel-binning in camera, if it would reduce/increase noise, or hurt details, and you seem to indicate that It's best to give ACR the full pixels.

                          When changing the resolution in the workflow area of ACR, this change is made only at export time?

                           

                          I was pondering if it is worth capturing and processing the full 36MPx/24MPx, when the output of a given workflow is a 4x6 at 300PPI. For other cases, I would of course capture and keep all the pixels.

                          • 10. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                            Noel Carboni Level 7

                            Perhaps you should print your 4 x 6 at 600 ppi, Pierre.  It won't look much different, but maybe subtly better.  I saw definite differences (with a jeweler's loupe) between 300 ppi and 600 ppi inkjet prints with a 1200 x 2400 dpi printer.

                             

                            -Noel

                            • 11. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                              PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                              Good idea, but no: dye sublimation printer...

                              • 12. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                                Noel Carboni Level 7

                                A general philosophy I've always followed, and so far it's not done me wrong is this:

                                 

                                Don't skimp on the computing resources.

                                 

                                If your computer had no problem storing as many raw files at full resolution as you could possibly ever shoot, and would process them just as quickly as if they were smaller (i.e., fast enough to keep up with you), would there be any question?

                                 

                                The pertinent considerations seem to be:

                                 

                                • You can store 50,000 40 megabyte raw files in a 2 terabyte hard drive, which costs under $100 today and shows no signs of getting more expensive tomorrow.
                                • Modern multi-core computers and GPUs can whip through processing a 36 megapixel file in just seconds.  I don't think next year's model will be slower.
                                • One day you might want to make even more out of the images you've already captured.
                                • Raw converters keep getting better and better.

                                 

                                 

                                Only you can weigh the tradeoffs.

                                 

                                -Noel

                                • 13. Re: Downsizing: in camera, ACR, or Photoshop
                                  PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                                  Yes, as I said, that's what I would do for the documentation Photography, or my own photos, but here, it is pictures that need to be output at 4x6 300ppi, that will not be repurposed, that I will not re-develop, and that I cannot edit, besides color-correcting.

                                  I'll just need to keep them for 3 years, then trash'em. A very peculiar case. I know I'll be getting cameras with way more megapixels than the current 10, that are already overkill for those pictures,  but not the 8x10 we also shoot.

                                   

                                  Eric indicates that ACR prefers/should use the captured pixels, not binned pixels, so it's the route I'll take. (I'll still make experiments, but I wanted some directions before)