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Old Nov 3, 2005, 8:30 AM   #1
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Right now, I usually just take my digital files to the local store, have them printed...no problem at 4mp size......I don't notice that any of the image has been cut off.

but now, is this going to be the same with a bigger file size? is the image I see when doing post processing what is going to be printed when when I take it in or will some of it get 'cut off'? In other words, does a 6 + mp image file fit into a 4x6 print? and if not, how do I know what is going to fit on it? how much of the outer edges will be cut off?!!

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Old Nov 3, 2005, 11:42 AM   #2
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The greater number of megapixels will not negatively affect your print size. In fact, you should probably be able to get nice sharp 4X6 prints with 6+ meg beacuse there is more information to work with. The thing that will make a difference is the ratio at which your pictures are produced. Many digital cameras shoot at 4:3 ratios. A 4X6 print is a 2:3 ratio. So, in order to get a 4X6 print from a 4:3 picture, one has a few options.

1. Crop the best part of the photo to a 2:3 (4X6) ratio.
2. Create a border at the desired ratio and paste the photo onto that - this means the print will not "bleed" all the way to the edges, it will have a border.
3. Resize the photo to the desired ratio. This works sometimes, but it will result in some distortion of the image as the computer will rearrange pixels to make it fit into the desired size. This can be very noticeable in portraits.

These options are listed in my order of preference. My first choice is to crop. I prefer to do this myself and control the print exactly rather than allow the photoprocessor do it. The photoprocessing program may cut out something I want to keep or keep something I'd rather lose. By cropping (as little as possible) I can make corrections to improve the photo.

If I really like the photo as is (I've hit upon the "perfect" composition right out of the camera - doesn't happen as often as I wish it did), I'll exercise option 2 and create a border. My experience with borders is mixed. They often look great on a computer monitor, but not-so-hot on a print. I'm leaning toward keeping print borders clean and simple and leaving the ornate ideas for web posting.

My advice is to stay away from option 3 whenever possible. I usually prefer not to distort the image. You may have some images, however, that benefit from the slight distortion - it happens sometimes.

Sorry this has gotten a little long-winded - I hope it helps.
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 1:04 PM   #3
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in addition. many photo processors now print to digital sizes as well, so no cropping has to be done. The downside to this is that I have yet to see many frames or albums sized correctly for these prints.
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