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What settings did you use on your export? Can you post an example of each?
I just used Fireworks' batch process. I converted the image size to fit area 800x800 pixels, and exported to better quality .jpg from .tif. I'm not sure the best way to present examples. Click the URL and go to page 11, lot 119. The thumbnail is a pure Fireworks conversion. But the detail image is a Photoshop conversion. Do I need to use Photoshop to achieve more accurate color? Scottsdale Art Auction
The Fireworks "better quality' setting corresponds to
Smoothing: No Smoothing
Sharpen color edges (checked)
Remove unused colors (checked)
If I open a 66k .jpg image I have previously saved at Quality in the high 90s, "better quality" will result in a .jpg at 16k file. I usually export with quality above 90; 80 seems extreme for all but the softest of images. If I was going to save .jpgs of artwork, I wouldn't use the "better quality" setting.
What you need to do is understand what your setting are. I'm pretty sure you can set the parameters for your batch conversion to be whatever you want. Experiment with a few of the images you have to determine what is optimal for your images and define a new export preset (or more than one) to use. Images with higher contrast (either luminance or color) will need a higher quality setting to achieve the same relative faithfulness in reproduction.
Thank you for your thorough response. I'll give it a try.