Trying to wrap my head around retina images being smaller

Forkjulle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
211
1
The retina display confuses me.

If I open an image in Photoshop, then it opens at what I presume is the correct dimension-size.

But if I open that same image in Preview, then it displays tiny. And if I insert it into an email, then it is tiny too. Which confuses me because I'm often not sure how the recipient receives it, and have to log into iCloud to view Sent messages just to see the size of the embedded image.

I know that the retina does scaling stuff to images, but viewing images across various apps shouldn't have to be a mind***k.

Is there a way to standardise the scaling of images when viewing them?
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,287
215
Sarcasmville.
It's up the app itself to handle the scaling of the image. I don't have a retina MBP, and AFAIK, Photoshop hasn't been updated yet to handle the high DPI mode fully.
 

Tea-Aholic

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2011
428
46
Melbourne, Australia
The retina display confuses me.

If I open an image in Photoshop, then it opens at what I presume is the correct dimension-size.

But if I open that same image in Preview, then it displays tiny. And if I insert it into an email, then it is tiny too. Which confuses me because I'm often not sure how the recipient receives it, and have to log into iCloud to view Sent messages just to see the size of the embedded image.
What you see in Preview is 1:1. Since there are more pixels in a smaller space, the images are smaller, but crisp and you can view more of the image.

Photoshop in not retina enabled yet, so it pixel doubles everything making it look the same size as if it were viewed on a non-retina display.
 

Forkjulle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
211
1
What you see in Preview is 1:1. Since there are more pixels in a smaller space, the images are smaller, but crisp and you can view more of the image.

Photoshop in not retina enabled yet, so it pixel doubles everything making it look the same size as if it were viewed on a non-retina display.
Oh I see. So Preview is handling the image correctly, while Photoshop isn't.

But this does get confusing when inserting images into emails, for example, because a 400px-wide image appears very, very small to me. I guess I have to assume that it's not too small for the recipient.
 

Tea-Aholic

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2011
428
46
Melbourne, Australia
Oh I see. So Preview is handling the image correctly, while Photoshop isn't.

But this does get confusing when inserting images into emails, for example, because a 400px-wide image appears very, very small to me. I guess I have to assume that it's not too small for the recipient.
The recipient will see the image 4X as large (assuming they don't have a retina display). :)
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
Oh I see. So Preview is handling the image correctly, while Photoshop isn't.

But this does get confusing when inserting images into emails, for example, because a 400px-wide image appears very, very small to me. I guess I have to assume that it's not too small for the recipient.
When you email a 400px image, that's exactly what it is, a 400px image. If they view it on a higher density screen it will be smaller, if they view it on a lower density screen it will be larger.
 

Forkjulle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
211
1
But why, then, does the email image size drop-down sometimes not adjust the image size? I sent an email earlier and tried to adjust the size, and every option remained identically sized.
 

Interstella5555

macrumors 603
Jun 30, 2008
5,219
11
Oh I see. So Preview is handling the image correctly, while Photoshop isn't.

But this does get confusing when inserting images into emails, for example, because a 400px-wide image appears very, very small to me. I guess I have to assume that it's not too small for the recipient.
Think about it like this...

you have a 400x400 image
If you display on a 400x400 screen, it will take up 100% of the screen
Displaying on a 1440x990 screen will take up..some (smaller) percentage
Displaying on 2880x1800 will take up half as much as the resolution above

All these are displaying at 1:1, so the image will "shrink" as the display resolution increases. Anyone you send it to won't have a problem viewing it, they'll just need to zoom appropriately for their setup (side note - a 400px wide image will appear small to anyone)
 

Forkjulle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
211
1
The problem is that mages aren't displaying at consistent sizes. For example, if I view an image on my desktop, then Preview shows it at 1:1 pixels.

Yet if I add the image to an email, then it displays as if my screen isn't retina. (Not always. Sometimes the image is tiny. I can't figure out why there is inconsistency and what causes it.)
 

nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
21
That is probably because it is displaying as HTML email. Safari and Chrome scale images on the web so web pages don't "break" (break because most web designers still think a pixel is a universal measurement!). I suspect the image in emails is being rendered by a web renderer that resizes the image, so a 400x400px image is resampled to 800x800px to take the same space screenwise...
 
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