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Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-15-2007, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have both a Nikon D2X and a Canon 5D. My question is when I open images from each camera in Photoshop, the image size I see (when I click on image size) has different settings based on which camera I use. I am viewing jpg images saved in the camera at the highest level of quality (largest file size) with the lowest compression available. My Nikon images open in PS at 300 dpi and my Canon images open at 72 DPI. Since the 5D is not a camera designed to "web only" work, does anyone know what I need to do to change whatever settings so both camera images (jpgs) open at 300 dpi as default?


Sure would appreciate knowing how to fix this,

Brad, Tampa
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-15-2007, 08:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I have both a Nikon D2X and a Canon 5D. My question is when I open images from each camera in Photoshop, the image size I see (when I click on image size) has different settings based on which camera I use. I am viewing jpg images saved in the camera at the highest level of quality (largest file size) with the lowest compression available. My Nikon images open in PS at 300 dpi and my Canon images open at 72 DPI. Since the 5D is not a camera designed to "web only" work, does anyone know what I need to do to change whatever settings so both camera images (jpgs) open at 300 dpi as default?


Sure would appreciate knowing how to fix this,

Brad, Tampa
Keep in mind that DPI is not what you are dealing with in Photoshop but rather PPI (Pixels per inch). No matter what PPI it says, if both of the images started from an 8 mega pixel camera and you saved out as best JPG, then they both have roughly the same information no matter what the PPI says in Photoshop.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-15-2007, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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rfs,

Thank you for your reply. Both cameras are collecting files at alomst 13 megs so the images are just awesome. My thought is I am moving to using a new lab and I wanted to have an answer as to why the difference if asked. I wondered if there was a setting in the camera some where... strange kinda thing but I understand the final results are all the same... anyway... happy shooting!
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-15-2007, 09:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just as aside, my Canon 20D JPG images come into photoshop at 240 ppi. I haven't done anything that I know of to control this, that's just what they show. But again, since it really makes no difference as I can later render the photo anyway I want for whatever output I choose, then I'm okay.
Cheers,
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-23-2007, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Right. Completely ignore the dpi/ppi setting for photos until you are ready to output them. What is important is the resolution or number of pixels total (3000x2000 etc).

After you've saved your original and edited files somewhere safe and are ready to either print your image or resize it for putting into a printed document, then dpi comes into play. Say you have the aforementioned 3000 x 2000 image. If you choose to print an 8 x 12, you would go into, well lets say photoshop, choose resize, and without resampling the image, enter the dimensions you wish to print, which would give you a 250 dpi image. Or say you were putting the image into a word processing document, you could specify the size as 4 x 6, which would give you 500 dpi. Since most printers can't resolve that high a dpi level, you're wasting file size, so you would then resize in Photoshop with resample on and set your dpi to match the settings for of the printer.

So depending on how you set it in photoshop, without resampling, that 3k x 2k image could be:

40" x 60" @ 50 dpi
20" x 30" @ 100 dpi
10" x 15" @ 200 dpi
6.67" x 10" @ 300 dpi

Don't forget screen pixels do not equal printer dots... a popular inkjet printer might advertise 2400 dpi, but you can't print 2400 individual pixels per inch - the printer instead takes your 100/300/xxx dpi image and then internally creates a dot pattern of whatever colors the printer uses, much like the halftone color pattern in the newspaper. So it might take a matrix of 8 printer dots to reproduce 1 pixel as displayed on the screen.

In actuality screen display should be listed as ppi (pixels per inch), but unfortunately Photoshop and other applications have used dpi (dots per inch) as a catchall for so many years that dpi is often used interchangeably for ppi which can really confuse the issue for some people.

It can be confusing I know, but just remember as far as the image goes, its the number of pixels that is important, not the dpi/ppi that is reported by your application.
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 01-26-2007, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very helpful! Thanks so much!
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Re: Canon vs. Nikon DPI issue
Old 02-03-2007, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brothertheo View Post
... you can't print 2400 individual pixels per inch - the printer instead takes your 100/300/xxx dpi image and then internally creates a dot pattern of whatever colors the printer uses, much like the halftone color pattern in the newspaper.
Being an old newspaper photographer Brothertheo's explanation makes perfect sense. Just a few years back I would photograph a news event, develop film and enlarge a print using a dot-screen (normally about 80 dots per square inch for newsprint, 120 dpi for glossy magazines). The presses would interpret the dots and allocate ink to the paper much like our inkjet printers spray (Just take a good lope to an inkjet print and you can still see the dots). An average newspaper press would give you muddy looking prints in the newspaper if you exceeded its dots-per-inch ability (e.g. 80 dpi).

Since Adobe was trying to crash into the publishing industry with Adobe Pagemaker and later Photoshop, Abode choose to stick with lingo newspaper and publishers were comfortable with - thus DPI (which is a print-based measurement) was incorrectly adopted over PPI (which is a monitor-based measurement).

Now for the fun part: Some 8.5x11" prints look better when printed at 200 dpi rather than the high 300 dpi or 600 dpi because of the dot-per-inch spray capabilities of the individual inkjet printer. The photographer sometimes has a camera which exceeds what his printer needs to provide excellent prints.
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