November 27, 2006

The Fixer

Posted in Commentary, OSX Software, OSX Technical at 6:54 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

Who ever said size doesnt matter? Tell that to the poor guy trying to make a 24×30 poster from his digital camera image that is only 1200 pixels wide. I started shooting digital with a Nikon 950 and 2.1 megapixels. Now I shoot with a Cybershot and 8 megapixels. I hope in the near future to change to a Nikon D80 but new sprinklers at the house have dampened my optimism for a D80 under the tree this year. But, I have found something that may let me postpone my biannual camera hardware fix. It comes from FixerLabs and is called “SizeFixer. I mentioned this in a past post but this time I will go into more detail since I got the results back and promptly bought my own copy of SizerFixer SLR.

The short answer to how SizeFixer works is this, they build a mathematical model of your camera using what brand and model you shot the image with. This allows them to work out the math on how the image would have looked if you had a bigger sensor for the light to fall on. This also allows you to sharpen the edges and remove the default fuzziness that all digital images have in their raw state. I have grossly simplified how a very complex piece of software works but it gives you the idea of what is happening in the background and why it can work as well as it does.

There are three versions of SizeFixer depending on how big you want to make your images. In my case, the cheaper solution is the best choice at this point in time. So I also splurged at bought the extra package with FocusFixer, NoiseFixer and ShadowFixer. FixerLabs really has come up with some terrific software and the results are pretty amazing. I used an image I shot with my Sony of a flower in a bouquet of flowers. I had flipped it to black and white with high contrast but it would only print well to an 8×10 due to the heavy cropping. So I use the original and sent to Fixerlabs for resizing.
original.jpg

For the software to work well, there are several requirements. No sharpening, original image in RAW or Tiff, or highest quality JPEG can work and no other adjustments. I did not have RAW but I did have the high quality JPEG so that is what I used. My goal was to hit 5,000 pixels in size which would easily allow me to make a 24×28 print. Below you see the SizeFixer interface where you can select the various options to resize the image. In this sample, I choose to resize to an A2 Landscape image at 300dpi. This is something like a 25x increase in size.

sizefixer-slr-resized.jpg

The outcome of the resizing was outstanding. You do not get any new detail but you do not lose any either. So if you have a very clean negative to work with, the print will look super. Here is the image resized and reworked to my original B/W idea. I have not put the real image since it is about 100 meg in size or 4 meg in JPEG format.

dsc01792.jpg

Right now I’m waiting on my proofs to come back from Westcoast Imaging on silver paper.

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1 Comment »

  1. paigekepple said,

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