I'm using Microsoft Office Picture manager. It's the one that comes up, and it's the easiest to use. Just hit the "compress for web pages" button, and it instantly goes from 6 meg to 79 k. But it really takes away on the quality. I wanted to ask for advice, but I find the pictures aren't as crisp as the original, and some are darker.
The one question I do have is how to take action shots in low light outside? A couple of these pictures I played with my software picture editor to lighten them up, but I know real photographers consider that cheating.
I am not familiar with that program..BUT when you compress check to see if there are some advanced options...they may be called resampling or constaining...please post back what those advanced options (if any are). Although admittedly I use a higher end program...I have tried iranview many times. It's free and works great.
Here's a tip for irfanview from the following thread
To resize an image in Irfanview
Ok if you download irfanview, open your file in irfanview.
Go to Image - Resize/Resample - all I did was put the width at 500 pixels and clicked ok.Then I went to File - Save as..... and chose JPG - - JPEG for their dropdown menu.
Once I did that a new window opened where there is a slider to choose higher or lower images.
Like I've said in other threads - Personally I always use 40 or less
Then just save it.
This was just a quick way that I was able to do it in Irfanview, I'm sure there are equally good or better ways to do it in Irfanview or other graphics programs. Irfanview is a really easy program to play around with.
Another good thread on the same topic is http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=20694
and in general, an important point in that thread is...
Personally when I upload files I will resize the image to 350 or 500 pixels in width. By changing the width the height AUTOMATICALLY changes. Then I will choose a jpeg setting of 30 or 40. This gives me a beautiful picture for the web that is rarely over 40k.
make sure though that when you are changing 1 value - that the other values are changing as well. So when you change the resolution - the width and height of the image are changing as well. Or if you are changing the width (like I do) that the height is changing as well. There SHOULD be a check box (maybe it's called resample image - or constrain porportions) to do this.
The fuzziness you speak of is almost surely due to the fact the other values are not changing when you are changing 1 of the elements.
I hope that helps.
Onto low light
You have 2 choices...easiest...use a flash when the light gets too low.
OR if you don't want to use flash....make the ISO higher (maybe 1000 or 1600) on higher end cameras. Changing the iso, if you don't know how to do it, probably takes up 1 paragraph in your camera's manual....so it's easy and GREAT to know. The only thing you should know....(aye there's the rub) is that higher ISo's yield more grain or more pixellation in ENLARGED photos. You probably won't notice it for web photos or smaller enlargements like 4x6 inches.
also...the game has TOTALLY changed with digital photography...cheating is no longer cheating...it's using the best tools to get the job done.
Hope that helped,