How to Prepare Your Nikon D5300 Pictures for Online Sharing

Before sharing your Nikon D5300 photos, you’ll want to prepare them. Have you ever received an e-mail containing a photo so large that you can't view the whole thing on your monitor without scrolling the e-mail window?

This annoyance occurs because monitors can display only a limited number of pixels. The exact number depends on the screen resolution setting, but suffice it to say that today's digital cameras produce photos with pixel counts in excess of what the monitor can handle.

Thankfully, newer e-mail programs incorporate features that shrink the photo display to a viewable size. In Windows Live Mail, for example, photos arrive with a thumbnail link to a slide show viewer that can handle even gargantuan images. That doesn't change the fact that a large photo file means longer downloading times, though—and if recipients choose to hold onto the picture, a big storage hit on their hard drives.

Sending a high-resolution photo is the thing to do if you want the recipient to be able to generate a good print. However, it's polite practice to ask people if they want to print 11 x 14 glossies of your new puppy before you send them a dozen 24-megapixel (MP) shots.

For simple onscreen viewing, consider limiting your photos to fewer than 1,000 pixels on the longest side of the image. This strategy ensures that people who use an e-mail program that doesn't offer the latest photo-viewing tools can see the entire picture without scrolling the viewer window.

This size recommendation means that even if you shoot at your camera's lowest Image Size setting (2992 x 2000), you wind up with more pixels than you need for onscreen viewing.

Some new e-mail programs have a photo-upload feature that creates a temporary low-res version for you, but if not, creating your own copy is easy. If you're posting to an online photo-sharing site, you may be able to upload all your original pixels, though many sites have resolution limits.

In addition to resizing high-resolution images, check their file types; if the photos are in the Raw (NEF) or TIFF format, you need to create a JPEG copy for online use. web browsers and e-mail programs can't display Raw or TIFF files.

You can tackle both bits of photo prep in ViewNX 2 or by using the Resize option in your camera.

How to prep online photos using ViewNX 2

For pictures already downloaded to the computer, you can create small-sized JPEG copies for online sharing using ViewNX 2. Just click the image thumbnail and then choose File___Convert Files. When the Convert Files dialog box appears, set up things as follows:

  • Select JPEG as the file format. Make your selection from the File Format drop-down list.

  • Set the picture-quality level. Use the Quality slider to set the picture quality, which is controlled by how much JPEG compression is applied when the file is saved. For best quality, drag the slider all the way to the right, but remember the trade-off: As you raise the quality, less compression occurs, which results in a larger file size.

  • Set the image size (number of pixels). To resize the photo, select the Change the Image Size check box and then enter a value (in pixels) for the longest dimension of the photo. The program automatically fills in the other value.

  • Select all three Remove check boxes. Selecting these options removes unnecessary camera metadata, which reduces image file size.

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The rest of the options work just as they do during Raw conversion.

If you're resizing a JPEG original, be sure to give the small version a new name to avoid overwriting that original.

How to resize pictures from the Retouch menu

The in-camera resizing tool, found on the Retouch menu, works on both JPEG and Raw images. With both types of files, your resized copy is saved in the JPEG format. You can get the job done in two ways:

  • Resize a single photo: Set the camera to playback mode, display the photo in single image view (or select it in thumbnails or calendar view), and press the i button. On the screen that appears, select Retouch and press the Multi Selector right to display the Retouch menu.

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    Select Resize and press the Multi Selector right to display possible image sizes. The first value shows the pixel dimensions of the small copy; the second, the total number of pixels, measured in megapixels. Highlight a size and press the Multi Selector right. On the next screen, highlight Yes and press OK.

  • Resize a batch of photos: Display the Retouch menu, choose Resize, and press OK. First, select Choose Size to set the pixel count of the small images. Then choose Select Image to display thumbnails of your photos.

    Use the Multi Selector to move the yellow box over an image you want to resize, and then press the Zoom Out button to tag it with a resize icon. Highlight the next photo, rinse, and repeat. After tagging all the photos, press OK to display the go-ahead screen; highlight Yes and press OK.

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In both cases, the camera duplicates the selected images and downsamples (eliminates pixels from) the copies to achieve the size you specified. The small copies are saved in the JPEG file format, using the same Image Quality setting (Fine, Normal, or Basic) as the original. Raw originals are saved as JPEG Fine images. Either way, your original picture files remain untouched.

Small-size copies appear during playback marked by a Resize symbol next to the file size (lower-right corner). The filename of the resized image begins with SSC_ (or _SSC, if the original was captured using the Adobe RGB Color Space).

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