It is best to use your camera's lowest image size setting. That way you aren't filling your computer with giant photos that you have to shrink back down again. More camera pixels allow bigger PRINT photos from the drugstore, but do NOT translate into sharper web images. To shrink an image to fit on the web, all those extra pixels must be thrown away, so I generally set my camera to shoot 640x480 images, which is my camera's lowest setting. Some newer cameras only shoot as low as 1 or 2 megapixels, and you may simply have to deal with that and resize them afterwards.
For close shots of small items and collectibles, use your camera's Macro (closeup) setting. If you don't have macro and need to stand farther back to remain in focus, using your camera's lowest picture size setting may not be appropriate. In that case, you may need to shoot at a larger size so that, after cropping away a significant amount of background, your remaining image is still an appropriate size for viewing.
If you can shoot your eight sides and avoid image editing, you are a few steps ahead. But in general, I usually need to at least shrink my photos from 640 down to something that won't overload the visitor's browser. With eight photos, the burden on the browser is multiplied by eight.
Crop: My first step is to crop the excess image. This is tricky because you have to trim every photo EXACTLY the same, so you may want to skip this step. For center-cuts, I use Clic*Pic (for Windows), preset my image size and shape, and then apply zoom-to-fill to automatically crop all photos identically as I drop them into the cells. Or I use free irfanView (for Windows), which has a cropper that remembers my settings, so I can apply the same crop to each photo.
Resize: The next step is to resize. The images in my sample spinner are 480 high, straight off the camera, and I cropped off the sides to make the images 480 wide as well, so I didn't feel I needed to resize them smaller - but this is where you would apply that step.
Compress: Then I applied a LOT of compression when I saved the file. I used 70% quality for these images. eBay typically uses a higher 80% quality when they shrink and compress photos. By applying more compression (lower quality), I was able to get each photo down to about 25K in size. That means all eight photos will add up to about 200K bytes, which is quite a bit for dialup, but is tolerable if there are no other heavy photos and if the item justifies displaying this amount of detail. Also consider that a top and bottom photo may be needed outside of this spinner.
courtesy of eBay user shipscript
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