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I came across this article for buyers about choosing file size on the new (?) Alamy blog:

 

http://www.alamy.com/blog/2014/08/choose-right-file-size-project

 

When downsizing images, it sounds as if it's a good idea to keep the file size above 25 MB if possible in order to keep sales options open.

 

If I feel it's worthwhile downsizing a particular image -- i.e. if it significantly improves sharpness and overall look -- I usually choose 4000 pixels on the long side, which yields a 30 MB file. I believe this is roughly equivalent to images produced by a 12 MP camera. It seems large enough for most editorial usages. I have plenty of photos taken with a 10 MP camera (28 MB files) that do well on Alamy.

 

How and when do you downsize?

Edited by John Mitchell
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Generally I haven't been downsizing. I send files at their native resolution which generally works out to somewhere between 35 and 70mb with newer photos on the larger side. However I began to rethink size the other day when my internet connection was particularly slow and it was taking half an hour to upload each image. I'm not so sure clients really need a 70mb file expecially if you're uploading to Live News from a mobile device. 4000 pixels, or 30MB, might be a much more workable solution.

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Generally I haven't been downsizing. I send files at their native resolution which generally works out to somewhere between 35 and 70mb with newer photos on the larger side. However I began to rethink size the other day when my internet connection was particularly slow and it was taking half an hour to upload each image. I'm not so sure clients really need a 70mb file expecially if you're uploading to Live News from a mobile device. 4000 pixels, or 30MB, might be a much more workable solution.

 

I had an image from a 10 MP camera lease for "billboard use" ($500) a couple of years ago. It was never refunded, so I assume the client was satisfied. I've also had quite a few two-page spreads with these 28 MB files.

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I only crop and even then I aim to keep it as close to the native 16Mpx (or larger) as possible; just do it to clear intrusions at the edges usually that I could not eliminate when framing (or missed :( ). Can't remember going below about 12Mpx; if I did I got the original framing seriously wrong!

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I downsize when I feel the pic needs to sharpen up just a bit. I often downsize to 24MB, which is one of the options in their search for minimum file size.

 

I do this too sometimes for Alamy. The point I was trying to make is that it might be a good idea to keep file sizes above 25 MB when downsizing because in their blog post Alamy is suggesting to clients that they choose 25-48 MB files for print use -- i.e. A4 (8.75" X 11.75"). Those few extra MB could conceivably make the difference between landing and not-landing a print sale.

 

BTW cropping and downsizing are two different processes IMO.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I nearly always downsize to 24Mb just to be on the safe side.

 

I feel it reduces the risk of CA or SoLD failure, whilst allowing me to travel light with a 14-140mm lens instead of using primes.

 

Mark

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I nearly always downsize to 24Mb just to be on the safe side.

 

I feel it reduces the risk of CA or SoLD failure, whilst allowing me to travel light with a 14-140mm lens instead of using primes.

 

Mark

 

Mark, do you think that you might be losing possible "print use" sales by going below 25 MB?

Edited by John Mitchell
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Do I not remember correctly that Alamy suggested we not downsize when they changed their minimum size from 48MB to 24MB? I don't do it routinely . . . but sometimes I do. I also crop sometimes. With larger files, we do have more flexibility. But with my recent back-to-back sin bin stays, I've been rethinking my entire workflow. 

 

Thanks for the link, John. After reading that one I read the 10 Top Cities list and saw that NYC is number two. (Is that good or bad?)  :wacko:

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Do I not remember correctly that Alamy suggested we not downsize when they changed their minimum size from 48MB to 24MB? I don't do it routinely . . . but sometimes I do. I also crop sometimes. With larger files, we do have more flexibility. But with my recent back-to-back sin bin stays, I've been rethinking my entire workflow. 

 

Thanks for the link, John. After reading that one I read the 10 Top Cities list and saw that NYC is number two. (Is that good or bad?)  :wacko:

 

I believe Alamy said that there was no need to upsize if your camera produced 24+ MB files. But that was long ago...

 

As you know, I like shooting with zooms, plus I can't afford those lovely Zeiss lenses (wish I could), so I end up downsizing -- usually to 30 MB -- whenever I think it will improve my chances of passing QC. It's a bit of a trade-off. That said, about 75% of my shots look fine at full resolution despite my less than ideal glass.

 

Not sure where you saw the 10 Top Cities list that you mentioned. Is it on the Alamy blog?

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I downsize when I feel the pic needs to sharpen up just a bit. I often downsize to 24MB, which is one of the options in their search for minimum file size.

I do this too sometimes for Alamy. The point I was trying to make is that it might be a good idea to keep file sizes above 25 MB when downsizing because in their blog post Alamy is suggesting to clients that they choose 25-48 MB files for print use -- i.e. A4 (8.75" X 11.75"). Those few extra MB could conceivably make the difference between landing and not-landing a print sale.

 

BTW cropping and downsizing are two different processes IMO.

 

Your're right John, an as the 3600 x 2400 is 24.7MB, then a few more pixels brings it up to 25MB, so best to keep the odds on my side.

 

Yeah, the top 10 are on the Alamy blog.They are the top 10 for number of photos on Alamy. Be interesting to have a top ten in selling.

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan
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I downsize when I feel the pic needs to sharpen up just a bit. I often downsize to 24MB, which is one of the options in their search for minimum file size.

I do this too sometimes for Alamy. The point I was trying to make is that it might be a good idea to keep file sizes above 25 MB when downsizing because in their blog post Alamy is suggesting to clients that they choose 25-48 MB files for print use -- i.e. A4 (8.75" X 11.75"). Those few extra MB could conceivably make the difference between landing and not-landing a print sale.

 

BTW cropping and downsizing are two different processes IMO.

 

Your're right John, an as the 3600 x 2400 is 24.7MB, then a few more pixels brings it up to 25MB, so best to keep the odds on my side.

 

Yeah, the top 10 are on the Alamy blog.They are the top 10 for number of photos on Alamy. Be interesting to have a top ten in selling.

 

Jill

 

 

Thanks, I just found the top ten list. Interesting to see Las Vegas (a.k.a. Lost Wages) on there. I guess that says something, but I'm not sure what. NYC isn't a big surprise, but Ed has some serious competition on his hands by the looks of it.

 

Regarding resizing, I find that downsizing to 4000 pixels gives about the same results as 3600 pixels, and it gives you a 30 MB file.

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I nearly always downsize to 24Mb just to be on the safe side.

 

I feel it reduces the risk of CA or SoLD failure, whilst allowing me to travel light with a 14-140mm lens instead of using primes.

 

Mark

 

Mark, do you think that you might be losing possible "print use" sales by going below 25 MB?

 

 

Not at all. Customers can only set minimum sizes of  1,5,15,24,48 or 70MB on the search results page. So it appears the above 25MB idea is a "red-herring" from the blog becuase the search tools only allow 24MB setting. I wouldn't consider upsizing to 48MB with my kit, although I have submitted some stitched panoramas at that size. MIght be a good idea if Alamy revised their blog accordingly (hopefully not the file size choices).

 

The blog could confuse buyers too as at says for A4 at 300DPI you need an RGB JPG of 25-48 MB. Err. that's a HUGE JPG. Interestingly the search tool uses MB too. IMHO it would be more sensible if they quoted MP instead in both the blog and on the search tools. 8MP is fine for A3 (equivalent to 24MB uncompressed 8bits/RGB channel JPG)

Edited by M.Chapman
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I just sent the following email to Member Services

 

Dear Sirs,

 

May I suggest a couple of minor revisions to your blog

 

http://www.alamy.com/blog/2014/08/choose-right-file-size-project

 

At the moment it states that for A4 the size range at 300 DPI should be 25 – 48 MB and that A3 should be 49 – 70MB

 

These values are not consistent with the submission size guidelines (now >24MB, previously >48MB) or the minimum file size settings on the search results page (>24, >48, >70MB).

 

I suggest revising the blog so that

 

A4 the size range at 300 DPI should be 24 – 48 MB and that A3 should be 48 – 70MB.

 

Please don’t revise the file size selections on the search page as this would exclude minimum sized submissions from those seeking  A4 suitable results.

 

Also suggest that the terminology needs revising slightly. You indicate that the sizes referred to are RGB JPG, perhaps you should include the word “uncompressed”?

 

Mark

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Now I AM confused . . .

 

dd

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I don't normally have a set size for uploading. Some are downsized, some are full sized, from a 12mp camera, and some are in between. Have recently been uploading from a 6mp camera so I've had to go the opposite route and upsize to get them to the required size. They, touch wood, have gone through with no problems, so far.

 

Krisken

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I just sent the following email to Member Services

 

Dear Sirs,

 

May I suggest a couple of minor revisions to your blog

 

http://www.alamy.com/blog/2014/08/choose-right-file-size-project

 

At the moment it states that for A4 the size range at 300 DPI should be 25 – 48 MB and that A3 should be 49 – 70MB

 

These values are not consistent with the submission size guidelines (now >24MB, previously >48MB) or the minimum file size settings on the search results page (>24, >48, >70MB).

 

I suggest revising the blog so that

 

A4 the size range at 300 DPI should be 24 – 48 MB and that A3 should be 48 – 70MB.

 

Please don’t revise the file size selections on the search page as this would exclude minimum sized submissions from those seeking  A4 suitable results.

 

Also suggest that the terminology needs revising slightly. You indicate that the sizes referred to are RGB JPG, perhaps you should include the word “uncompressed”?

 

Mark

 

Let us know if you get a response. There definitely does seem to be a mismatch between the search results page and the blog. I'm not sure where that awkward 25 MB figure mentioned in the blog came from.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I rarely downsize my digital images, but I often downsize my scans of 50 year old Kodachromes to add sharpness (and to overcome the quality of the lenses I had at the time).

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I don't downsize as I simply work on the basis that if any image is marginal at full size it does not get submitted, however much I love the image. I may use it for other purposes though, on my web sites for instance.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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I don't downsize as I simply work on the basis that if any image is marginal at full size it does not get submitted, however much I love the image. I may use it for other purposes though, on my web sites for instance.

 

Out of interest what camera and lenses are you using?

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I don't downsize as I simply work on the basis that if any image is marginal at full size it does not get submitted, however much I love the image. I may use it for other purposes though, on my web sites for instance.

 

Don't forget that "marginal" is a relative term. Most agencies don't pixel-peep at 100% the way Alamy does. The majority of images that I downsize for Alamy -- often solely out of sin bin paranoia -- I would not downsize for other agencies that have different QC priorities.

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Canon EOS-1Ds3 (very, very occasionally EOS-1D2 for sports news) and mostly L glass. These days for stock and news it is mostly Fuji X-E1/ X-T1 and 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200.

 

I stopped risking marginal stuff a few years ago when I had fails with static images taken in good light on a Canon G10, it pushed the resolution too far even for acceptable results from raw.

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I don't downsize as I simply work on the basis that if any image is marginal at full size it does not get submitted, however much I love the image. I may use it for other purposes though, on my web sites for instance.

 

Don't forget that "marginal" is a relative term. Most agencies don't pixel-peep at 100% the way Alamy does. The majority of images that I downsize for Alamy -- often solely out of sin bin paranoia -- I would not downsize for other agencies that have different QC priorities.

 

 

True, I have deliberately taken a a very critical approach because I am trying to raise my game both technically and artistically (long way to go on that front, much harder to judge). I had got lazy. In that vein I take the same approach with all images that I am going to publish to librarie, clients etc. I aim to be (at least) as critical as anyone who may review my images.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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My best quality camera is Olympus OM-D E-M5 this is 16MP and yields images of 45MB, normally I do not downsize these.   Older Olympus cameras are 12MP and give 35MP images again I do not downsize these.

 

The Sony RX100 and RX10 are 20MP and give 57MP files.   I normally downsize these. For 3:2, I reduce the long side to 4800, and for 4:3 I reduce it to 4600.   These images then start to come near the O-M5 quality and are the same 45MB size.

 

In low light, ISO > 800 I downsize further.    Any image cropped below the 45M size, I leave it as is, no up or down sizing.

 

It has taken a while to get to this way of working, but it gives 45MB files that pass my QC (higher than Alamy requirements for safety's sake).   

 

Any image which I have any doubt about, I do not submit.

 

Perhaps this attitude results in a rather unadventurous approach - no images pushing the boundaries here...

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