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Discussion Starter #1
I just posted the below in response to a question on the Amazon forums re how much difference there is between 4 shades of gray for the Kindle Klassic and 16 shades of gray for the Kindle 2. Felt it might be of interest here also.

The choice of 16 shades of gray (or grey) over 4 shades is an easy one for me as the difference is HUGE (for someone whose hobby is photography and who likes to enjoy images in books too).

The illustrations are from the tutorial at http://www.thewonderoflight.com/articles/?page_id=109
It includes (ABOVE each photo) a description of gray shades used for that photo.

A grayscale image is made up of differences between white (0 bits) and black (1 bit) which is a sort of night & day thing, with nothing in between.

To add something in between, they can make it "2-bit," and this produces 4 shades of gray. You'll recognize the image below from what we encounter with our Kindle 1's (unless the publisher dithers* the image.)

Kindle Klassic style (4 shades)


* (Some publishers can choose to 'dither' a limited 4-shade image by
using diffusion to lessen the harsh transition from one shade to another
to make the image more photo-like.
But that reduces sharpness and can cause a grainy pattern that's visible.
We see nicely-dithered images on the Kindle Klassic by publishers who are
aware it can be done.)

Sony PRS-700 style (8 shades)


Kindle 2 style (16 shades)


For me, this is a REALLY desirable change, and it's the one reason I do want the Kindle 2, but not enough to pay $400 for it with case when I have a much-valued Kindle Original. So I wait for the day that Amazon decides to offer a tempting promotion (having decided it's not worthwhile to offer one now to K1 users for a device WITH which we are moved to order more from Amazon -- such as books with illustrations).

I already have 2 Photoshop tutorials on my K1, bought from Amazon and a couple of travel guides with pictures. I 'd buy many more if they gave K1 users a promotional offer for a limited time.

By the way that page at http://www.thewonderoflight.com/articles/?page_id=109 is excellent. As you browse it, remember that each photo is explained by the description ABOVE it.

- Andrys
 

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Neat comparison, thanks for that.

I actually haven't run into any books that I've needed to see the illustrations to enjoy them though, so...

I suppose this will come in handy for people who read the newspaper and want to see the graphics though.
 

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OMG, that is a HUGE difference!  thanks for the visual.  I may just keep my K2 for reference materials.
 

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Any photographer knows a picture is worth a thousand words but this is just awesome. I was especially interested in seeing how the Sony stacked up with the Kindle. While I love my Kindle, the K2 just blows my peabrain away!!!!! Now to find some funding!!!!!!!
 

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kwajkat said:
Any photographer knows a picture is worth a thousand words but this is just awesome. I was especially interested in seeing how the Sony stacked up with the Kindle. While I love my Kindle, the K2 just blows my peabrain away!!!!! Now to find some funding!!!!!!!
There's a big difference in the shades of gray between K1 and K2. The Sony is pretty nice too though. :)
 

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This thread is demonstrates the one & only reason I'm thinking of purchasing the newer Kindle.  Sometime.  By the time I'm ready, the next version will be out  ::)

The improved grayscale helps out the "plain Jane" text, too, all!

If you love the Klassic Kindle screen this one is a leap-year ahead of it.

Marci


 

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Marci said:
The improved grayscale helps out the "plain Jane" text, too, all!
Is this true? My understanding is that the normal book lettering was the same between K1 and K2 and had nothing to do with the greyscale improvement.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dangerosa,
  Yes, I think I saw that in these forums.

  I was struck that the pictures were taken with different zoom levels so that the one on the left is enlarged quite a bit more (note both picture sizes) and is therefore less clear.  Since we all have Kindle 1's we know that "PREV PAGE" on the K1 is perfectly clear on our Kindles.  So the enlargement for that image is not comparing quite the same thing.

  But I was struck by the 'dithering'  I mentioned -- which is done to the 4-grey-shades picture.  To get away from the sets of visible dots, they make the black vs white boundaries less noticeable through diffusion but that still leaves very little in the way of enough simulated gray shades.  4 shades to work with instead of 16.  So the shadows on the arms are unnatural and as if painted by numbers.  The one on the right looks as we expect from seeing the tutorial on grayscale.

  Now that the Kindle allows us to zoom pictures to full screen and rotated to the side, the dots or unnatural shades are more noticeable too.

  I wish I could send in the Kindle to have them insert the other (same-sized) screen, but it must have, of course, electronic differences that couldn't be handled by the K1, I guess.  But I would prefer my K1 with that screen to buying the K2.

 

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Andrys -- Wow, thanks for the visual comparison.  It really does make a difference!  I never owned K1, so I am very pleasantly surprised.
 

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thanks for the post... the difference is remarkable and yes, it does kinda make me want a K2, but since my main interest in the Kindle is to read books, not look at pictures, I will resist the urge to upgrade.
 
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