I have a Canon 550D camera, with the goal of capturing images of books for my website. When I tale a picture of my products the resulting image has a very large size. I use the "Paint" program (in Windows) to resize it, but this results in distorted and unsharp images.

How can I achieve high quality pictures with low size for my website? Ideally I'd like a size like 200x150.


The aspect ratio of images from the 550D is 3:2, like the majority of DSLRs.

To avoid distortion, you have to resize to the same aspect ratio. 200x150 is 4:3 which does not match, but if you did 225x150, then there will be no distortion.

To get a different aspect-ratio without distortion, you have to crop first and that implies deciding which part of the image to keep. Most programs do this in two steps, first you crop to a desired aspect-ratio, then you resize.

When you resize, to obtain better quality, you have to use a better resizing algorithm. Photoshop for example, has many options and it says which one is best for reduction.


I think the easiest tool to use would be IrfanView. You can select it to maintain the aspect ratio, and it uses advanced interpolation techniques to still have a high quality image of your original input (resample, not resize)

  • Irfanview is great for things like this, especially as it has a "batch" mode, so you can do a bunch of files at once.
    – hdhondt
    Dec 10 '12 at 0:36

To create the size image that you want you will need to crop the image first , then re-size it. After you have cropped the image to your desired aspect ratio, you can resize it to what ever size you want.

Paint is not a very good program for doing this. Gimp, a free image editing program, does this better, but a more advanced program, like Photoshop, Lightroom or PaintShop Pro, provide better control and features for what you want. If you do not want maximum size photos you can set your camera to produce a smaller size photo. You can do this two ways:

  1. Press "Menu", Go to the first tab, select "Quality", Choose a size.
  2. Press the "Q" button, navigate to the Quality setting, select a size by the scroll wheel or by pressing "set" and choosing.
  • 2
    To be fair, the GIMP would count as "advanced"; it just doesn't integrate well with other programs, comes by default with an awkward interface (which the GimpShop variant makes a little more Photoshop-like, for better or worse). It can't use Photoshop plugins, and there's a little more work involved finding and adding extensions (FOSS developers either use a name that describes the technical process using the jargon of the trade or one of those meaningless cutesy names with a lot of "Z"s and an "R" on the end for no reason). And tutorials are harder to find as well.
    – user2719
    Dec 8 '12 at 16:07

Personally I use Photoshop to resize images. Resizing images in advance graphics manipulation programs is very easy. Keep in mind that the resolution must be set to screen or 72 DPI. GIMP is an excellent free program that facilitates a simple approach to resizing images. Pay close attention to the aspect ratio to avoid distortion. You may need to crop images which is also an easy task that can learned through help menus or tutorials on YouTube. There are also free utilities on your favourite photo sites that will accomplish all the tasks you require to put your images on a web site.

  • 2
    Why is it important for the resolution to be set to a certain value?
    – mattdm
    Dec 12 '12 at 23:36
  • 72 DPI is the minimum resolution for computer monitors. The higher the resolution, the larger the file. There are newer monitors out now that will handle a higher resolution but it hasn't penetrated the desktop market like the mobile market.
    – Ken Tuck
    Dec 14 '12 at 21:51

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