HowTo: Resize Digital Pictures

posted Aug 17, 2010, 3:21 AM by Tom Pedersen   [ updated Sep 5, 2010, 5:10 AM ]
The original request was for a simple procedure for SHRINKING images from digital cameras used by students during outdoor education activities.  We stumbled upon this need as camera memory and server folders threatened to overflow and pictures posted to web sites or presentations appeared to be the size of houses!  

The following procedure is tailored to the situation-at-hand, namely Canon cameras and Windows PC's, but the web/online resizer described below would work on any system with a reasonable browser.  I also tossed in a tutorial video to play with embedded objects as I continue to learn google sites/apps.   All-in-All - should be pretty easy, 3 alternatives to choose from.  

Best (Simplest):  Don't take big pictures if you don't need to!  

Limit the image size on the camera BEFORE taking pictures.  If you know that pictures will only be used on web pages, presentations or similar projects, it's probably best to reduce the resolution on the camera itself.  

The lowest setting on the Canon cameras we use is 640x480, which should be plenty for most student activities.   Set the cameras to higher resolution only if you plan to make prints or edit the images.

The video to the right provides a step-by-step procedure using a Canon camera similar to ours.  

Better (Still pretty simple):   Resize in the Cloud as opposed to installing software

There are a number of websites out there, I'll simply offer up one that I've checked into and tested. 
Pic Resize @ is powerful, simple to use and seems to be reputable. The site provides step-by-step instructions AND multi-image support.  Pictures can be resized by percentage,  cropped, rotated, converted and more ... pretty simple.   It would be advisable to test this site on school systems to ensure the site is not blocked - it really shouldn't be.  The tool appears to be user supported, if we find it useful, I'm sure any/all donations would be appreciated.

Good (still pretty easy ... for power users):  Install Microsoft Image Resizer Powertoy (XP)

This alternative may work best on systems that routinely resize pictures or images, PC's in Art class rooms or computer labs, for example.  It does require download and installation, so official software requests MAY need to be submitted to district or school IT groups to approve use and facilitate installation.  Consider installing and testing on a home PC before submitting the paperwork.  The XP version of the tool tool is available on this page.  There is also an excellent tutorial in the Digital Photography section of the Microsoft web site.