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Index JPEG Quality in Capture NX

JPEG is Lossy: JPEG is a lossy photo format. Meaning that when a JPEG is created, depending on the 'quality' setting you selected, the JPEG algorithm is allowed to discard some photo quality in exchange for a (sometimes dramatically) reduced file size.

And JPEG does a remarkable job -- a lot of photo information can be discarded, while still maintaining a decent quality photo, resulting in a small file size.

Quality vs Size: Given today's large hard drives and high speed Internet, 'size' is no longer the top priority for me (like it was when most web browsing was done via dial-up modems).

Instead quality is now my top priority, not file size.

Use Excellent Quality: Whenever I create a JPEG photo from within Capture NX for use in a brochure, for a photo contest, etc, I always use 100%, 'Excellent Quality' (see the dialog above right).
People who argue that a lower quality JPEG setting can be used instead because the quality difference can rarely be seen -- are right. But they are also totally missing the entire 'quality' point. Anyone using the 'Excellent Quality' setting is looking to produce the 'best quality' photo that can be produced, not a 'looks like the best quality' photo.
Quality for the web: I find that a quality of 85% in NX results in good compromise between file size and JPEG quality.

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