Yes, you can have lovely, large, clear and sharply detailed images on your web pages. But they have to be on a page of their own.
Here are the reasons: Wonderfully clear and sharply detailed pictures comprise a huge file - the massive code required to encode every pixel for all the image detail and colour nuances. And such huge files take a long time to download - at least for the 80% of all Internet connected people who are still on slow dial-up telephone connections. Only 20% of all 'Internetters' have fast broadband connections (as of Dec. 2001).
And since dozens of studies have shown that people become impatient, and then annoyed when they have to wait more than 15 seconds for a page or picture to download - while 6 to 8 seconds is good - what we need to do is present people with a small, highly compressed and fast downloading 'impression' of the picture, and then - when they are interested to see more - and perfectly willing to wait for the picture to download - provide a link to a new page with the larger, and much better image. Here is how it works:
combined load is 10.377 pixels - or a bit over 1/3 of a second download time at 28.8 kps
for a total download time of 6 seconds for this page
To reduce the 'bulk' and download time of these images, they have been greatly reduced in size, and the file has been compressed by about 90% - all of which results in the fuzzy picture quality common on the web. However these thumbnails give visitors a quick impression of what is being offered, and if they are interested in one or more items, they won't mind waiting for a larger and much better picture to download - which they can do by clicking on the image they are interested in.
In this manner, you can have the best of both worlds. Fast downloading pages - the prime imperative if your pages are to be seen - and wonderfully clear and well defined images, the prime imperative for turning a visitor into a customer. And this is what good design is all about.
Now then, go out on the Web and see how many such well designed web sites there are out there. Painfully few; and as rare as hens teeth - to save you the effort and the agony.