#1. "RE: I have a coolpix quality question;" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 27-Jun-13 03:25 PM by grnzbra
The day may come when...
Don't know how easy or difficult it is to switch modes between 8 and 18. However, the day may come when you look at a pic and wish you could really crop it.
When my dog was a pup, he went into a lake and when he came out, he stood with his hind legs in the lake and his front legs on a rock and looked quite regal. Unfortunately, we only had time to grab a pic from where we were standing before he came out of the lake.
Looking at the pic, he was a relatively tiny portion and the lake was everything else. It was a picture of a lake with a dog in it. If we could have blown it up and cropped it, it would have been great. It would have been a picture of a dog in a lake. But it was a 5 megapixel camera and when the pic was blown up and cropped, it was worthless.
My suggestion is to shoot at the highest quality the camera has available. If you need to reduce the size of the file later, fine. You can always do that. If, however, you throw away the detail in the first place, you can't get it back.
#3. "RE: I have a coolpix quality question;" In response to Reply # 2
There are only two downsides that I can think of when using highest quality settings, both of which have to do with file size. If you have only one small memory card, you may find yourself limited to the number of pix when the shot of shots presents itself just after you've filled up your memory card.
Also, if, like me, you do a lot of continuous shooting, your buffer memory will fill up sooner and then you have to wait for the buffer to clear out (which will take longer because it has more to write) before you can continue firing 4 frames per second (or whatever the rate of continuous fire is for your camera).
If I found myself with this problem, I'd get a bigger, faster memory card (or two or three) rather than reduce the picture quality.