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Username Post: Standard 4x6 or True Digital--How do you choose?        (Topic#1536359)
Love 2 Learn
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Love 2 Learn

I posted this in the Photography forum---but I get more responses here---and maybe it will help someone else from getting crappy crops.

I usually do my own editing (in Picasa because it's free) prior to uploading to an online printing provider--either Walmart or Kodak. Now keep in mind, in many cases, I tend to crop my pics very close, sometimes to bring focus on the person(s) or to crop out things I don't want in the picture. When I get to the checkout, I am asked whether I want Standard 4x6 prints (which would automatically crop my photo even more, sometimes cutting off tops of heads, etc.) or True Digital prints (which would not crop my photo any further, but would change the size of my print from 4x6 to 4x5.3--which I think is an odd size, and it's too small to fit into a 4x6 frame.

I use a Kodak Point and Shoot camera, which from what I've read, uses a 4:3 aspect ratio (as opposed to the 3:2 ratio of most DSLR's). All of this aspect ratio stuff is foreign to me, but I just discovered that I can use the menu on my camera to change my picture size from 4:3 to 3:2 (but it drops my megapixels from 7.1 to 6.1). It would solve my cropping problem, because I could then get my 4x6's (without any further cropping--I think), however, I would lose 1 megapixel of clarity. If I had a higher megapixel--say 10 or more---I could change my aspect ratio, and still have a good quality print.

So for now, using my camera at it's highest setting 7.1MP with a 4:3 aspect ratio, how do I go about cropping? What I mean is, if I want to get my print in 4x6 size, how do I determine just how much "extra space" I should leave (during MY cropping), to allow for the extra cropping that will take place during the printing process? And should the "extra space" be left equally on all sides of crop or just top and 1 side? (And, what if I want my picture in a 5x7 or 8x10---that's even more to think about)

I should probably contact Customer Service at my preferred online providers, and ask them (they should know right?) but I've found (especially with editing questions) they don't know much more than I do!!!

I know there are some smart women in this bunch, so any advice or suggestion will be greatly appreciated!!


 
Just G
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Just G
In response to Love 2 Learn

I crop at home at full size of the digi (i have 10 mp and it's some god forsaken 3000 dpi size)

Always keep the original in a file just in case.

I myself crop and then resize to 8x10 or 5x7

Then i upload to snapfish and send the file to Walgreens/Walmart to print. I print out at 4x6 size and it seems to save the changes fine.


 
Bxr-Linda
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Bxr-Linda
In response to Just G

If you're editing and cropping with Picasa, your images should already be in a 4x6 format (unless you are doing a manual crop). When you crop in Picasa, select a dimension and crop to 4x6.

The only time I am prompted for true digital is when I've uploaded an image (unedited).

I typically do my own cropping, to insure that I'm getting what I want. The 'standard' crop usually takes off from all sides and prints the center of the image.
If you don't want to lose any of the image, choose true digital.


 
AmyK75
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AmyK75
In response to Bxr-Linda

change the settting on your camera you won't notice anything if your only printing 4x6 even 8x10 you'll still be fine. I have an 11x14 on my wall that was taken back in 2002 with a 3.3 megapixel camera and it looks great.

It is a an easy fix to your problems.


 
Love 2 Learn
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Love 2 Learn
In response to AmyK75

OK---I'm confused ---which is not unusual. Not trying to be ungrateful for your answers---just don't completely understand.

Glenda, you lost me after the first 2 lines. Why do you resize your pic to 8x10 if you are only going to print it out at 4x6. Also why do you upload to one provider, if you are going to print somewhere else?

Linda, I always crop in 4x6, but sometimes I don't crop at all. I don't really care for the True Digital size, so are you saying if I crop each picture to 4x6 before uploading, then I can still choose 4x6 without losing anything? I'm wondering if I should crop it in 8x10 or choose custom Aspect Ratio and set it to 3:2. What do you think that would do?




 
Bxr-Linda
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Bxr-Linda
In response to Love 2 Learn

  • Love 2 Learn Said:
OK---I'm confused ---which is not unusual. Not trying to be ungrateful for your answers---just don't completely understand.

Glenda, you lost me after the first 2 lines. Why do you resize your pic to 8x10 if you are only going to print it out at 4x6. Also why do you upload to one provider, if you are going to print somewhere else?

Linda, I always crop in 4x6, but sometimes I don't crop at all. I don't really care for the True Digital size, so are you saying if I crop each picture to 4x6 before uploading, then I can still choose 4x6 without losing anything? I'm wondering if I should crop it in 8x10 or choose custom Aspect Ratio and set it to 3:2. What do you think that would do?







I think you'll still lose something, but you'll be able to see and choose how it gets cropped.

If I'm printing 4x6, I crop myself (either with Picasa before uploading) or with the store's own crop tool.


 
Gelidy Gelato
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Gelidy Gelato
In response to Love 2 Learn

not to confuse everyone even more... but the "with white borders" or "borderless" feature also plays havic with the final cropping. (The "borderless" feature tends to randomly crop the photo too. Sometimes it will just take from one side rather that evenly remove from both edges.)




 
rockmom
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rockmom
In response to Gelidy Gelato

I ordered some photos and when I got them back the images were cropped and heads had been chopped (that could be good or bad, lol). So I had to re-order them but I wnated them now! I took what was on Snapfish and loaded them to Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart site showed me with an outline what I'd get in each size, once again heads chopped. To get around that I ordered them in 5X7 or 8X10 to get good photos with no chopped heads. I might try the true digital next time since I am scrapping them and fitting into a frame is not important.


 
Croppers Ball
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Croppers Ball
In response to rockmom

I tried to use Kodak to upload my pictures and it ahd the uneven cropping from one side, and I never went back. When I tried to call customer service, they told me that I was out of luck, since it's a self serve program.



 
PhotobearSam
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PhotobearSam
In response to Croppers Ball

I had no idea I could change the ratio in Camera...I'm off to figure out how to do it in mine or buy a new camera....Thanks for posting this.


 
Expert
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Joined: 02-09-09
In response to PhotobearSam

I used to crop all of my photos through the Snapfish cropping tool so I could be in control of what was cut, but it was a PITA because I still had dial-up. I finally stopped cropping them all and instead got a few in the true digital size (usually because they couldn't be cropped without cutting out something I didn't want cut) and I slowly realized that I actually liked the digital size. So I stopped cropping completely and now I only order the true digital size.

I guess I never put pictures into a frame so I dont' have to worry about that, but I really actually prefer scrapbooking with the digital size. It's amazing how big the 4x6 seem after doing only 4x5.25 for so long. I can put two pictures next to each other and there's still room for a mat.


 
moxiegirl23
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moxiegirl23
In response to HuskerMom98

If you choose 4x6 as your size and crop the photo yourself using your photo printer's website's software, you will see basically what you get. (note, you might lose a tiny bit around the edges depending on how their machine is calibrated and how the paper is being cut and aligned during the printing process). You should be able to move the image around in the 4x6 box so you can choose which sides (top vs bottom, left vs right) get cut off.



 
Bxr-Linda
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Bxr-Linda
In response to HuskerMom98

If anyone needs a visual explanation of this, I found a good page:
http://www.hp.com/united-states/consume r/digital_photog...


And, FYI, the "true digital" print is 4 x 5.3 (not 4 x 5.25)


 
moxiegirl23
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In response to Bxr-Linda

  • Bxr-Linda Said:
If anyone needs a visual explanation of this, I found a good page:
http://www.hp.com/united-states/consume r/digital_photog...


And, FYI, the "true digital" print is 4 x 5.3 (not 4 x 5.25)



it depends on the exact dimensions of the camera sensor. Most sensors do produce an image that will fill a 4 x 5.3 rectangle exactly, but i've seen a couple where it's been 4 x 5point something else.


 
IzzyB
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  • IzzyB on 06-09-10 02:43 PM
In response to HuskerMom98

  • Quote:
but I just discovered that I can use the menu on my camera to change my picture size from 4:3 to 3:2 (but it drops my megapixels from 7.1 to 6.1).



Megapixels of 6.1 are WAY more than you'll ever need, even for a poster size, so don't worry about reducing your pics to 6.1 megapixels. The megapixel ruse is just a game camera manufacturers play to make you think you're getting a better camera or an upgrade. Really, 6 megapixels is gracious plenty.

If you are already editing pics yourself, you have the option of cropping them to 4x6 (since your point and shoot does not). If heads are near the border in my pics, I sometimes add a little white border in editing around the pic. Then if Walgreens (or whoever) chops a bit, then only the white border gets chopped.

Try to avoid close cropping in camera, and instead crop the way you desire when editing. That gives you the most freedom.



 
Bxr-Linda
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Bxr-Linda
In response to moxiegirl23

  • moxiegirl23 Said:
  • Bxr-Linda Said:
If anyone needs a visual explanation of this, I found a good page:
http://www.hp.com/united-states/consume r/digital_photog...


And, FYI, the "true digital" print is 4 x 5.3 (not 4 x 5.25)



it depends on the exact dimensions of the camera sensor. Most sensors do produce an image that will fill a 4 x 5.3 rectangle exactly, but i've seen a couple where it's been 4 x 5point something else.




Okay. I stand corrected.
Walgreens (where I get mine printed) is 4x5.3.
The HP site I linked also says 4x5.3


 
wilbur
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wilbur
In response to IzzyB

I always choose digital size because of the "heads off copping". I get my pics at Walgreens because of price but I think Walmart has a feature where you can move the "box" and set the edges to where you want them to be cut. At walmart it was in-store feature, not sue if you can do that online???????


 
jessicaparker88
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jessicaparker88
In response to IzzyB

  • IzzyB Said:


Megapixels of 6.1 are WAY more than you'll ever need, even for a poster size, so don't worry about reducing your pics to 6.1 megapixels. The megapixel ruse is just a game camera manufacturers play to make you think you're getting a better camera or an upgrade. Really, 6 megapixels is gracious plenty.






really?? i have an 8mp camera (it's a nikon coolpix L18 if that makes any difference) and i can't seem to upload a clean, untouched photo to walmart and print any bigger than 5x7 before it says the quality will be compromised. i tried printing an 8x10 photo i took with the camera once and it was super pixely. i know next to nothing about cameras, so maybe you could help me out on this? i thought i needed more megapixels or something?


 
Katlady
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Katlady
In response to Croppers Ball

OK Ladies, I need that foreign language interpreter. It's like you are all speaking Greek or Latin to me. I think I'll just move on to the next topic!!!!!LOL!!!!

Kathy


 
rockmom
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rockmom
In response to Bxr-Linda

  • Bxr-Linda Said:
If anyone needs a visual explanation of this, I found a good page:
http://www.hp.com/united-states/consume r/digital_photog...


And, FYI, the "true digital" print is 4 x 5.3 (not 4 x 5.25)



Thanks for the link!!


 
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