What image quality and resolution should I use?

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  • Updated 12 years ago
Hi all,

I have a Nikon D80. That means I can control 2 variables: the image resolution and image quality. (Resolutions: 10 megapixels (MP), 5.6 MP and 2.5 MP) (quality: compression 1:4, 1:8 & 1:16))

This means when I select 10 MP and a compression of 1:4, I get a highres image of 3.2 MB and when I select 2.5 MP and a compression of 1:16, I get a loweres image of 240 KB.
The difference is a file that is 14 times bigger!

I want to make a tradeoff between image quality; upload speed and processing time when 'synthing'.
Could you guys give me more insight? Is there an optimal?

Is is true that small files have in comparison a:
- faster upload
- faster download
- faster synth (less detail =? less calculating)
- slower synth (less detail =? harder to calculate)
- worse synthy% (less detail =? less information)

So if I do an panorama (e.g.:like here) can I use 'small' images for the panorama, and the big ones for the shots with much detail (zoom) for optimal performance/quality ratio?
(reducing the 1.5 gig upload to a 300 MB upload; but still maintaining some of the high quality zoom images)

Photo of srblackbird


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  • sure this will help a lot of users.

Posted 12 years ago

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Photo of David Gedye

David Gedye, Principal Group Manager

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Official Response
Great question! Here's the information you're looking for:

The synther currently uses up to 1.5 megapixels of the photos it is given, so any resolution above that won't change your synthy score. If you downsample to below 1.5 megapixels you will definitely be hurting Photosynth's ability to connect the photos.

Obviously, the lower the resolution the faster the upload. Other things being equal, if you downsample to half the pixels your upload will take approximately half as long.

Downloading (viewing) is a different story altogether. Because of the Seadragon capability to get the pixel that you need when you need them, your viewing speed should be pretty much identical whether you have 1 megapixel images or 10 megapixel ones.

We encourage people to synth their full resolution photos because the viewing experience is much better if you can zoom in and inspect all the interesting details, but I recognize that the upload times are really long. We hope to add some kind of a preview mode to get around this problem in the future.

Hope this helps,