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Old 01-08-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
cathyWeeks
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Optimizing images for use in Kindle

Ok, so I'm pretty deep into learning how to use mobipocket creator to create kindle books, and I created a "cover" using a photograph I took myself, to avoid any IP laws/rules.

Anyway, I downgraded it to 600x800, changed it to greyscale, and it looks ... OK, but only OK. The screensaver/sleep mode images look GREAT, and I'd like my image to look as good.

I haven't used photoshop regularly in years (I've got version 7), but I thought I could define the numbers of colors the image has, and have it look at the image and pick the best 4 levels of grey, but I can't find that option anywhere.

Anway, what are your suggestions for adapting a photo to look good on the Kindle?

Thanks, Cathy Weeks
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
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That's exactly what I want to do also, but don't know how to do. If anybody comes up with real answers, or especially with a "how-to", please let us both know.
Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif. cfw123@gmail.com
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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I suggest posting your original photo to see if anyone is willing to use it as a test.

Did you try the original color version on the Kindle? I don't think making it gray scale should be necessary in general. This does give you maximum control over the result though. Also, a 600x800 image will be reduced in size (because the image display area is not the full screen). HarryT recommends 400x600 for cover images, although this won't use all of the available space.

Also, if you have a SD card Alt-Shift-G will create a screenshot on the Kindle to illustrate the problem, see Igor's Keyboard shortcuts.
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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I've done a few photos for screensaver shots and found the following helps...

• High-contrast images look best, due to the Kindle display's limited dynamic range. Boost the contrast on your images.

• Convert your image to black-and-white on your computer; color images don't look so well, again due to low contrast.

• The Kindle screen size is 600W x 800H. Resize/crop your images on your PC.

I've done the same thing for some cover images (for Mobipocket Creator and for Amazon's online book creator), and gotten decent results.

Hope this helps...
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:34 PM   #5
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Optimizing Images for Kindle

I'm also interested in this. I used Photoshop Elements. I cropped the images 600 by 800 pixels and converted them to grayscale. The results were okay. I used photos of my grandson. I'm thinking that the problem is too much contrast so that I might get better results if I adjusted the lighting. I'll post the results if I'm succesful. I'm also interested in any tips anyone else might have.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:54 AM   #6
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If you are using the images in a MOBI ebook, the maximum displayed size is 520 by 640 and larger images will be rescaled (maintaining aspect ratio) by the Kindle to that size. See All on the Mac: PDFs with Formatting!. This seems to be the case for the cover image as well as images within the e-book.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
make the images greyscale and save them out as GIF/JPG files.
the images can't be larger than 64kb, so aim for below 60kb.

vector and line graphics should be GIFs and photos should be JPG.

hope that helps,

-karl

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Old 06-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticone View Post
the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
make the images greyscale and save them out as GIF/JPG files.
the images can't be larger than 64kb, so aim for below 60kb.

vector and line graphics should be GIFs and photos should be JPG.

hope that helps,

-karl

http://kineticillusions.com
and if the image is jpg and too large you can simply resave it at a lower quality setting to get it under the 60KB limit. Gif can often be saved at a reduced number of colors to make it smaller, after all it is a monochrome device.

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Old 06-04-2008, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticone View Post
the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
Do you have an example illustrating this? In my tests, 640px high by 520px wide worked. See All on the Mac: PDFs with Formatting!. I originally used mobi2mobi without allowing for its image rescaling (which can now be turned off), but the test with mobigen appear to confirm the 640x520 value.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticone View Post
the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
make the images greyscale and save them out as GIF/JPG files.
the images can't be larger than 64kb, so aim for below 60kb.

vector and line graphics should be GIFs and photos should be JPG.

hope that helps,

-karl

http://kineticillusions.com
Are you saying that Kindle images have to be so small and have to be no larger then 64k? That is totally ridiculous to force such backwards software issues on new technology. That (IMHO) is a major issue that needs to be resolved. And to charge $400 for such a mess is silly.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:04 PM   #11
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
<sigh>
What I had hoped for is that AZW format was going to be an updated Mobipocket format that took into account that the Kindle is not a PDA or cell phone. The screen is 800x600 and yet it gets saddled with technology that is old.

If I create a text Mobipocket eBook with large images, would someone with a Kindle mind testing it to see if it works?
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticone View Post
the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
No, that's not true. I've created a number of books which have images 760 pixels high (the standard size I use for an 800x600 screen) and those images display fine on the Kindle, I am told.

The 64k (actually about 62k, I believe) file size limit for images in Mobi books only affects Palm versions of the Mobi Reader (because the Palm's memory is arranged in 64k pages, I imagine). More modern versions of the Mobi reader will happily display larger images.

Mobi Creator warns you if a book contains images which will "break" the Palm reader.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticone View Post
the maximum size for Kindle images is 550px high by 450px wide.
make the images greyscale and save them out as GIF/JPG files.
the images can't be larger than 64kb, so aim for below 60kb.

vector and line graphics should be GIFs and photos should be JPG.

hope that helps,

-karl

http://kineticillusions.com
This has been discussed and the conclusion was that the maximize resolution for kindle to display in full fidelity is 520x640. You can definitely put something larger than that in your prc file, but kindle will dynamically scale when display it on the screen. The 64KB limit is irrelevant to kindle.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:55 PM   #15
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Attached are the originals and the associated Kindle screenshots for 3 jpg images. The first is a cover image from FeedBooks, its original size is 595x842 (37KB) and it gets rescaled just like images in the interior of the ebook. The last two are from bob_ninja's version of Potter, Beatrix: The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. v1, 16 May 2008, one is 931x1264 (117KB) and the other, in color, is 603x736 (74KB). All three images are relatively tall but this confirms the 520x640 actual size, the rescaling (maintaining aspect ratio) and the support for jpg's > 64KB. There is a noticeable pause before displaying a page containing an image, but illustrated ebooks work well on the Kindle. It is a shame that some professionally produced ebooks have much smaller images than those shown here.
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