DPI,Megapixels and print size

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OL'Hippie, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. OL'Hippie

    OL'Hippie Guest

    Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to printing LARGE
    prints. So my question is this, with a 6 Megapixil camera shooting at
    2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I expect to be the maximum print size, before
    loosing clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately my
    best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be appreciated.
    Bruce
     
    OL'Hippie, Feb 21, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. OL'Hippie wrote on 21 Feb 2006 08:13:25 -0800:

    OH> Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to
    OH> printing LARGE prints. So my question is this, with a 6
    OH> Megapixil camera shooting at 2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I
    OH> expect to be the maximum print size, before loosing
    OH> clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately
    OH> my best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be
    OH> appreciated. Bruce

    If you are not cropping, you only need divide the pixel count by
    the dpi desired. With 2816x2112, that would be about 15x11
    inches at 180dpi. Given that the viewing distance might be
    somewhat greater, you might use 150dpi or even less for a larger
    picture.

    James Silverton.
     
    James Silverton, Feb 21, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. OL'Hippie

    tomm42 Guest

    OL'Hippie wrote:
    > Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to printing LARGE
    > prints. So my question is this, with a 6 Megapixil camera shooting at
    > 2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I expect to be the maximum print size, before
    > loosing clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately my
    > best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be appreciated.
    > Bruce


    Depends on a lot of things:
    1. Are you a get your nose in a picture to check sharpness kind of
    photographer, in that case 8x10 or 11x14 with a good lens is your
    answer.
    2. Do you have the kit lens for your camera? See above.
    3. Do you like size better than extreme sharpness and have good lenses,
    then you can approach 20x30 and still have a good looking print, keep
    your nose a couple of feet away.

    When I was printing for a photographer we would routinely do 20x30
    portraits from a 6mp Kodak DCS760, 50 f2 or 80-200 f2.8 lenses were
    generally used, looked very good, a lot of folks couldn't believe the
    quality we were getting. The trick with digital is that while digital
    prints struggle to compete with photochemical prints in small sizes,
    say up to 8x10 or 11x14, they go big much better, as long as the person
    handling the file knows what to do. Film from a 35mm camera just starts
    to break down after 11x14, while digital may not be nose on the print
    sharp at big sizes a well done photo does look very good.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Feb 21, 2006
    #3
  4. Today OL'Hippie commented courteously on the subject at hand

    > Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to
    > printing LARGE prints. So my question is this, with a 6
    > Megapixil camera shooting at 2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I
    > expect to be the maximum print size, before loosing
    > clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately
    > my best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be
    > appreciated. Bruce
    >

    Prevailing wisdom says you need a minimum of 200 PPI (Pixels
    Per Inch, it isn't DPI) for a good print, preferably 300 PPI.
    But, the definition of "good" depends on a number of other
    factors such as subject type, lighting, exposure, extent of
    noise or banding in the original image, etc.

    But, the most important discrimator is what /you/ think
    "good" means.

    Others considerations include the paper type, glossy looks
    much different than matte, print techology type, and viewing
    distance. People view a 4x6 from just a short distance, an
    8x10 no closer than arm's length, but usually on a wall or in
    a tabletop frame. 11x14 and 16x20 are most often viewed on
    walls from 4-6 feet away.

    I have found that if you use high quality paper, have a good
    print (or use a good service), and keep viewing distances
    reasonable, you can do well at 150 PPI or less. I have gotten
    good results with as little as 70 PPI onto Super B 13x19
    paper, but I don't view them closer than 5 feet.

    So, as another person commented on, pic a PPI you want to
    maintain and simply divide one dimension of your image to get
    the max size. But, and this is very important, run a test
    print and just take a look. If you're doing this at home, that
    chews up some ink and one sheet of paper.

    As to format of the image, that's all hooey. It doesn't matter
    if it is saved as lossless TIFF or lossy JPEG /IF/ the
    underlying pixel map is correct and, in the case of JPEG,
    you've kept compression to a minimum consistant with the file
    size you can stand. I know of know one who saves their final
    image back to RAW but many use a proprietary format from their
    fav graphics editor to maintain layers, vectors, and other
    things in full-size, then create a print-only file in
    something that will maintain the image integrity.

    If you tell us something about the kinds of pictures you
    shoot, I may be able to elaborate more on what you perceive
    the challenges to be and what your expectations of quality
    are.

    Good luck.

    --
    ATM, aka Jerry
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 21, 2006
    #4
  5. OL'Hippie

    OL'Hippie Guest

    Wow, Now my head is really spinning LOL Thank you all, I think that I
    will invite you all to go see some of my pics I have them posted on
    Fotki, the reason I am asking is that I have the opprotunity to sell
    several of my photos matted and framed to a designer that is doing a
    job locally and they like what they have seen of my work and it is all
    local photos soooooooo. Come take a look I believe all of them can be
    viewed at the original upload size but I will recheck that to be sure.
    Here is the page http://public.fotki.com/goldbeach/

    The photos I am most interested in printing large are in the albums
    "Gold Beach & Vicinity" , "Final Sunset 2005" and "Charleston Harbor"
    and "Otter Point" other than that all were taken with the same
    resolution although some are from a 4 megapixil camera.

    Thank you all so much and I believe I will be a regular here from now
    on !!
    Bruce-n-Gold Beach
     
    OL'Hippie, Feb 21, 2006
    #5
  6. OL'Hippie

    OL'Hippie Guest

    Hi Tom,
    The lens I have on the camera came with it, I guess I should have told
    you folks what I was using it is an Olympus sp-500UZ and the 4
    megapixil camera is the Olympus UZ-750. I only bought the extension and
    a UV haze filter for the UZ-750, but I also bought a polarizing filter
    for the sp-500. I am still trying to get my technique down with these
    digital cameras, but all in all I like digital better because it allows
    me to bracket my photos,,,, you know take some one way take some
    another, I am finding this a whole lot more fun than paying for
    processing and tossing unacceptable pics. Slides were my favorite in
    35mm and still have not given up on my Nikon but this is sooooo much
    easier and the lag time between taking the pictures and evaluating them
    is just great. Hope you folks don't think I am too wierd but this hobby
    has had me by the perviabial lens cap sence 1975.
    Bruce-n-Gold Beach
     
    OL'Hippie, Feb 22, 2006
    #6
  7. OL'Hippie

    OL'Hippie Guest

    to answer your last question I take mostly outdoor pictures of the
    ocean and the coastal enviroment here on the SW Oregon coast. At least
    those are the ones most people like to see.
    Bruce-n-Gold Beach
     
    OL'Hippie, Feb 22, 2006
    #7
  8. OL'Hippie

    Tesco News Guest

    "OL'Hippie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to printing LARGE
    > prints. So my question is this, with a 6 Megapixil camera shooting at
    > 2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I expect to be the maximum print size, before
    > loosing clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately my
    > best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be appreciated.
    > Bruce



    Hi.

    A 6M Pixel camera will produce a file size of around 18Mb.

    I have heard a Photoshop Expert and Lecturer promoting a printing routine,
    which advocates that for every inch on the longest side of the print, the
    File should be about 1 Mb in size.

    10 x 8 inch print size, file size should be10 Mb.
    15 x 12 inch print size, file size should be 15 Mb.
    20 x 16 inch print size, file size should be 20 Mb

    For the Best Quality Prints the file size can be related to the next
    standard paper size above.

    10 x 8 print - file size 12 Mb
    15 x 12 print - file size 20 Mb
    20 x 16 print - file size 24Mb

    This might not seem very logical because the file size should seem to be
    related to the AREA of the print in order to keep the PPI constant. With his
    system, as the prints get bigger the PPI gets lower, but the viewing
    distance should also be increasing.

    He claimed the system is being used by some of the Professional Printing
    Labs, who are down sampling in line with his recommendations, simply because
    it does work and it also increases their throughput.

    Roy G
     
    Tesco News, Feb 22, 2006
    #8
  9. Today OL'Hippie commented courteously on the subject at hand

    > to answer your last question I take mostly outdoor pictures
    > of the ocean and the coastal enviroment here on the SW
    > Oregon coast. At least those are the ones most people like
    > to see. Bruce-n-Gold Beach


    Thanks for the added info. In all likelihood, you'll be able to
    get by with much less PPI, and thus larger "good" prints, for
    scenics, so long as there's no fine detail. Arcitecture, some
    kinds of still life, and my fav subject, cars, cars, and more
    cars, have a lot of detail and demand more PPI.

    And, if you're going to make different uses of the same basic
    image, it is a good idea to start large and same to some
    lossless format. Then resize down and crop as suits your fancy
    when getting ready to print. A lossy format such as JPEG /can/
    work, if you are careful with the compression and test the
    various Chroma subsampling setting you have.

    Then, /always/ imediately re-open /any/ JPEG. You really can see
    image damage such as atifacts or posterization with the in-
    memory bit-map you used to do the final edit.

    --
    ATM, aka Jerry
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 22, 2006
    #9
  10. OL'Hippie

    Don Stauffer Guest

    OL'Hippie wrote:
    > Although I am not new to digital cameras I am new to printing LARGE
    > prints. So my question is this, with a 6 Megapixil camera shooting at
    > 2816 x 2112 (HQ) what can I expect to be the maximum print size, before
    > loosing clarity? I know TIFF and RAW are better but unfortunately my
    > best pics are at 2816 x 2112 so any help would be appreciated.
    > Bruce
    >


    200 ppi is about the lowest for good results. So, divide 2816 x 2112 by
    200, and you get 14 x 10.
     
    Don Stauffer, Feb 22, 2006
    #10
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Chris
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    694
    Barry Parker
    Jul 16, 2003
  2. DS

    Should File DPI Match Printer DPI?

    DS, Jul 5, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    654
  3. New Site: SEE Megapixels vs. Print Size

    , Apr 28, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    25
    Views:
    796
    Matt Ion
    May 15, 2006
  4. jdanield
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    291
    jdanield
    Oct 17, 2012
  5. Rob
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    419
Loading...

Share This Page