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RE: Embedding pictures into Reports

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There are a few advantages to high pixel counts, even if they aren't needed.  First, most reviewers suggest 4 MP for 8x10 pictures, which is a reasonable size that many printers can handle, and in terms of price a 3 - 4 MP camera is pretty reasonable these days.  Second, having a higher than required resolution allows you to crop pictures after the fact while still retaining an acceptable resolution for printing.  This may let you print out only the portion of the picture that addresses your point and cut out a lot of extraneous background if you choose.  Third and most importantly for me, having a greater MP image gives you more detail if you want to zoom in and look for details later.  On one project, I was given some routine job site pictures of some concrete reinforcement before the concrete was poured, and later found out that there might have been a problem with the reinforcement in one spot.  Since no one had anticipated the problem, they hadn't zoomed in on the problem area, and the resolution wasn't good enough to zoom in it later.  It was frustrating for everyone that documentation existed, but simply wasn't sufficient.  

I currently use a 6 MP camera with a 512 MB memory card and spare batteries.  I will readily admit that this set up is overkill for nearly any conceivable use I have for it.  Still, I observed early in my career that I have never come away from a job site visit wishing I had fewer pictures or less information.  If the extra storage or extra resolution ever makes the difference between having what I need and making an extra site visit, or perhaps just not getting what I need at all, the extra $70 I paid for it over a more reasonable set up will be covered many times over.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE

>>> "Gautam MANANDHAR" <GMANANDH(--nospam--at)ci.alameda.ca.us> 03/01/05 11:46AM >>>
A 2 megapixel resolution is good for 8x10 size print without loss in
image quality.  Most of the prints I make or put in reports are max 4x6.
 FWIW, I think unless you plan to make very large prints, buying a
camera with more than 3 megapixel is money down the drain.  What is
important in a digital camera, for me anyway, is the optical zoom and 
focal length of the lens - a wide angle comes handy at building sites;
however, not too many digital cameras come with wide angle lens. 

Gautam



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