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Old Nov 26, 2004, 3:17 PM   #1
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Does anyone know what the "standard" sizes you can print from each MP camera? For example, what is the largest sized good quality print I could make from a 4MP camera?

If somebody could post a little chart or link to something that lists the largest good quality prints you can make from MP 3-8, that would be great.


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Old Nov 26, 2004, 4:57 PM   #2
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There is no hard and fast rule over a print size.

You will find lots of charts, with varying resolutions specified for any given print size. Here is an example:


Of course, you can also find printers that tell you that you will need at least 2 Megapixels for a 20x30" print. So, these charts will vary widely.

Personally, I've found that around 150 pixels per inch is needed to prevent noticing any degradation from a quality perspective, with 180 pixels per inch being a definite improvement. But, you can interpolate to prevent pixelation if larger print sizes are needed.

I know someone that had a image that was around 2.5 Megapixels blown up to 20x30" with good results when viewed from a distance. However, the image did not contain a lot of detail like foilage, etc.

Of course, interpolation can't increase detail. It only adds pixels, based on the values of adjacent pixels.

The best way to tell if an image is going to blow up well is to test it. You can simply crop a portion out of the original, then print it with the same pixel density to get an idea of what it will look like.

For example, suppose you've got an image from a 5 Megapixel Model that has an image size of 2592 x 1944 pixels that you want to blow up to 20 x 30 inches. Well, after cropping the long side, so you'd have the correct aspect ratio for this print size, you'd have around 97 pixels per inch of detail (1944 pixels / 20 inches ~= 97 pixels per inch).

So, if you wanted to print an 8x10" for test purposes, crop a 776 x 970 portion of the image out that containslots of detail, and print it at 8x10" size (97 pixels per inch x 8 inches = 776 pixels; 97 pixels per inch x 10 inches = 970 pixels.

This would be like printing an image of less than 1 Megapixel (752,720 pixels) at 8x10" print size. So, I'd interpolate it first using something like Bicubic or Lanczos to a larger size to prevent pixelation. Then, you'll have an idea ofwhat theimage would look like at larger sizes (since you're printing the smaller size with the same amount of detail you'd have when you print at a much larger size).

Then hang it on a wall and view it from the same distance you'll likely be viewing the larger image from.

Lin Evans has a good response describing why some subjects interpolate better than others here:


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