Need to know what size I can print my photo

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TheSVD, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #1
    Hey All :)

    I've finally taken a picture I want to make a large print of.

    At work I have access to a huge printer that does A0, A1, A2 and A3 prints (americans if you don't use the same paper size tell me and I'll get the measurements, not sure if you do :confused: I'm in the UK..)

    I have no idea how large I can print my picture decently.. I have an 18 megapixel 550d and I'd print from a TIFF file which was saved from the CR2 after messing around with it a bit (is that the right thing to do)

    Basically I have no idea what kinda size it could go up to, and I don't get DPI and how changing it ends up relative to the photo quality and why you wouldn't just set it at the maximum every time..

    So yeah, I'm pretty confused about this, if someone could shed some light on this one that'd be good thanks :)
     
  2. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #2
    There's a lot more to it than just x megapixels = y size print. However, as a really basic guidline you can look at this chart. In addition to straight dpi/ppi your choice of paper and the printer used will make a world of difference and change the effective resolution.

    Another issue is going to be viewing conditions. If you print A0 and plan on holding the print in front of your face in bright lighting you are going to see pixels. On the other hand the same size hung on a wall and viewed from a few feet away will look much better. Then on top of that the type of glass used in the frame can make a difference in the look of the print.

    Other considerations would be, did you crop the print? How sharp is the lens you used and how well focused is the picture? What did you do in post processing?

    That being said, I've sold 20x30 prints based off of a 10MP images. You won't find those prints in a gallery but they still looked pretty good. With a few tests and a little effort you should be able to make good prints off of an 18MP file.

    Hope I didn't ramble too much and you got some useful information out of that. :)
     
  3. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #3
    Heh, after reading another thread I just thought of something else. Don't get too hung up on numbers. A couple of my favorite images were taken with a pinhole camera. Talk about anti-dpi: just a cardboard box, a piece of photo paper and sheet of copper with a tiny pinhole poked into it. One picture of a kitten has a nice, soft and etherial quality to it. Another taken down the length of a bleacher has almost limitless depth of field.

    Even at 50MP it would be difficult to reproduce either of these images yet I still enjoy looking at them.
     
  4. TheSVD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #4
    Oh thanks by the way man, I just printed it at A1 leaving all settings (other than quality) intact and they came out awesome :) thanks :D
     

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