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Old Sep 8, 2003, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default 16"x20", 20"x30"

If I want to order a professional printed 16"x20", or 20"x30", what's the ideal pixel size, or megapixel level for each? 18"X24"? 24"X36"? 36"X48"? Thanks..

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Old Sep 8, 2003, 11:31 PM   #2
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I know that Ofoto (www.ofoto.com) recommends a minimum of 1600x1200 for a 16x20" print or larger. Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) has a minimum recommended size of 1600x1200 for 8x10"prints and larger.
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Old Sep 9, 2003, 5:45 AM   #3
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How big a photo can be printed and how good the resulting prints look have to do with a lot more than just how pixels you have at your disposal. Some images, on account of contrast, colour range, detail etc., just simply print more pleasingly than others - often even ones with a better pixel count.

My own personal approach (and I'm sure others will have other ideas, it is one issue that tends to divide opinion), if I want a large print of an image that has printed well on my own set-up - is to try and create a file (I vector interpolate through QImage, as required) that has at least 200 pixels of image, per linear inch of print/paper - nearer 300 if possible. This is purely to ensure that there's sufficient data in the file to make a decent looking print - pro photo prints don't use dpi as such, it's just a rule of thumb to ensure enough data is available.

Therefore if I wanted a 16 x 20 print, I'd try and send them a file at least 3200 x 4000 pixels, larger if possible and the image could stand it. The print service I use, by preparing the order in their software on my hard drive, tends to warn me if it feels I have insufficient data by pixel per print size. Ideally, if it could be achieved successfully, I'd like to send a file of nearer 4800 x 6000 pixels. I've had some very good large prints (I routinely order 10 x 15s) using this technique.
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