Quoted from stangbat:
Thanks for the update about the updates, Jay.
This has been asked before, but is there any way to update the older images to higher resolution? Constraints on files sizes and storage are different than they were 10+ years ago and many of the older images are woefully small and lack detail. Do higher resolution copies of the old photos exist, and could the existing images be updated with the higher resolution images? Or would people have to submit new higher resolution photos? Finally, is it even on the radar to update old images to higher resolution? I now that would be a lot of work, and if it isn't something you want to embark on, I understand.
Higher resolution copies of the old photos do not exist on the IPDB although the original photographers may have them. To the extent I can influence that, I may try. When I get permission from a Craigslist seller, I often ask the seller to email me with his/her larger original versions, as I know that CL has a size limit in their ads. The CL sellers are pretty cool about that. Some ebay sellers still show small images that don't enlarge when you click on them but can send me larger ones upon my request, or some sellers volunteer to do this.
People who use our Submission Tool of course send only the resolution they send but, if they included an email address, I've emailed them to ask for more/better pics. Just depends. Especially in the case of cell phone pictures. Whenever I can, I always ask folks to use a regular digital camera, if available, instead of a cell phone camera because quality is not consistent and nobody uses flash with their cell phone therefore some sharpness of focus is lost. So their pictures are too often dark and grainy and either pixelate when enlarged or wash out when lightened. Plus, many cell phone images look "flat" to my eye so I assume it will look flat to our users. I will say, however, that a few iphones have surprised me with their quality. I am no cell phone camera expert, though, and unless I ask, I never know what brand of cell phone is being used to offer you here any useful feedback on brands. I am aware that many folks chance upon games while they are out and about such as a flea market or garage sale or even on vacation and all they have on them is their cell phone. So of course we are appreciative that they thought of us and there ain't no way I am saying anything to them except Thank You, although I may ask them if they can return to get more pictures!
We inherited all of Russ Jensen's images from the Pinball Pasture (who?) which helps show you how far back Russ was helping the cause. The capabilities of older cameras were also a factor in the size of the images that we received. Early on, I started deleting Russ' images as too small but I started to feel like I was deleting Russ himself. I knew him and I just can't do it. Later, when modding caught fire, I saw in Russ' many pictures a pre-mod authenticity so I keep them around on the idea that games in his images are much less likely to have been modded or restored than the same games would be today, those games today having aged that much more, coupled with our hobby's hands-on restoration energy that did not exist back then.
Our Submission Tool can accept images up to 10MB each although most folks anymore seem to send them in at between 2-5 MB each. There is a reduction performed on the largest images prior to placing them on the IPDB but I don't know the formula used (Wolf knows) and I'm pretty sure we do not save the un-reduced versions stored anywhere. Certainly not accessible to me.
Incidentally, the link of new Stern games I referenced above represent 534 pictures, all from Stern. About 95% of them downloaded from their dropbox sized from 15MB to 30MB so I had to manually reduce each image using Photoshop to resave them to be under 10MB because I use the same Submission Tool as our users, with its 10MB image max and where each Submission group of images cannot exceed 60MB total. (Hence, the time it took to reduce and add the pictures.) If you look at any of these images as they now appear on the IPDB, you may like how well they turned out in terms of clarity, depending on your monitor or device. Example:
For right now, I think that is the best we can get, and of course the focus depends on the camera and photographer.
All we can hope is that our users continue to submit their (hi-res) pictures of unmodded games to exist alongside our existing pictures. (Retrofitting older games with non-factory LED/RGB illumination is also "modding" but you can turn the game off before photographing for us.) I like to have at least two examples of each game so that is another reason why I might not delete smaller images if that is all we have. For this reason, users should feel free to submit images that to them might seem like duplicates of what we already have, in addition to sending views that we lack. When a guy buys a used game and wants to figure out what it is missing or why a certain doohickey is there, hopefully he can see multiple examples of his game on the IPDB to decide what to believe.
P.S. In response to a different post, we ask that you link to our images using URLs and not copy/paste them from our site to elsewhere. They are copyrighted by the original photographers but we do what we can to help them on this point. If copyright holders ever see their IPDB images somewhere accompanied by the words "Courtesy of the IPDB", please know we were not asked and did not give permission which is not ours to give anyway.