Monday, March 1, 2004

March/April 2004 HelpLine

DPMag Published in HelpLine

You also have the option to "Start printing immediately" or "Start printing after last page is spooled." I like to wait until all pages are spooled because it gives me a chance to cancel a print job if I've made a mistake. Otherwise, the first print starts printing right away and I can only cancel the second print.

Inflating File Sizes

Q)  I don't understand what's happening with my digital camera image files. Whether I shoot in Normal mode, producing a picture file size of about 680 KB, or in Fine mode, producing a picture of about 1100 KB, the opened document size is always the same, 9.0 MB. Shouldn't the picture shot in the Fine mode contain more information and therefore be a larger-sized document?

Richard Steinfeld
Watchung, New Jersey

A)  File sizes from the modes you're choosing are related to picture compression, i.e., how much the larger 9 MB file is compressed into a smaller file size. Normal mode is more compressed than Fine mode. Normal compression technology represents the image as something other than a pixel-by-pixel definition of the image. Although the pixel count between the two images is technically equivalent, the compression scheme makes one file smaller as it comes from the camera.

When you open the file in any imaging program, the file is uncompressed, so that you're working in a non-compressed environment strictly based on the number of pixels in the final image. The final number of pixels in each image is then the same (you set that on your digital camera), so the file size is the same.

Image compression is a very smart way of dealing with pixels (duplicates are removed), but higher compression levels can cause problems in reconstructing the image. The end result is that very small detail can be affected in the amount of compression used, which is why the manufacturer labels one level of compression "Fine." The amount of compression doesn't change the final file size in either mode.



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