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Old Apr 16, 2005, 2:40 AM   #1
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I took a bunch of great pics with my Sony DSC-W1 at 5 megapixels, and am wondering what the max size is that I can get a print made while still looking decent? I know it's a generalized question...



Yahoo photos lets you buy 11X14, 16X20, 18X24, and even bigger. I'd probably want to go with one of the smaller sizes. Would those work OK assuming it's a decently taken picture? Some of them are in black & white, if that matters.
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 2:56 AM   #2
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I have had a number of 11x14" prints made from my 5mp Minolta 7hi. They don't hold up to close inspection with a loupe, but are fine from normal viewing distances. Being done on laser printer may be the reason detail is lacking. 8x10"s which I print at home are equal to or better than 35mm.

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Old Apr 16, 2005, 7:39 AM   #3
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Plus, larger prints are not usually viewed at arms length, they are generally meant for display. On a wall for example. So long as there hasn't been any severe cropping it should be fine at the size you would like. (11 X 14 ?).

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Old Apr 16, 2005, 8:10 AM   #4
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How large depends on many things - two are subject and viewing distance.

Do some cheap experiments: print a crop of your picture. Crop out a 433x650 pixel of the part with the most detail and print it at 4x6". This is the same "magnification" you will get with a print 24" in the long direction. As Stevekin said prints that large are meant to be viewed at arms length, though some images invite closer inspection so again it depends.

Do some reading and experimenting with upsizing and sharpening. I doubt that you will get a really good print that size, but you might. In any case, doing a bunch of experiments at different "magnifications" will teach you what the limits are for your camera, your subjects, and your eye. Well worth doing.
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 8:59 AM   #5
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There was a post somewhere on Steve's last year by someone who had made a 16 X 20 of a 2Mp image from his UZI. He said people were surprised it wasn't a photograph. I think he said it was behind his desk at work, which would keep people from viewing it from very close.

Subjects differ according to how much resolution they need. Generally a group shot will elicit close inspection to see the individual faces and require greater resolution. Other subjects differ according to detail etc.

A good suggestion someone made on the subject is to print an 8 X 10 or 8.5 X 11 at the resolution of the large image. In the case of a 16 X 20 from a 5Mp image that would be 120 PPI. It would be best to crop out a section of the photo so it ends up at 120 PPI. Hang it on the wall and see how it looks at the distance you would expect a 16 X 20 to be viewed from.

There are things you can do in an image editor to help. One site that JimC linked said to not do anything as their software would do the best job of an upsample. Unless you are good at image editing I think it best to follow that advice for that site. The prices looked pretty good and I liked their approach. If Jim doesn't link the site again for you I'll look it up.

One thing I found looks good is to upsample the image and add some film grain with Grain Surgery. That is a pricey plug-in, but there is probably other software that will do that. If there is any noise in the shadows when you blow the image up you might want to try the free version of Neat Image. I apply noise reduction after the upsample.

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Old Apr 16, 2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
One site that JimC linked said to not do anything as their software would do the best job of an upsample. Unless you are good at image editing I think it best to follow that advice for that site. The prices looked pretty good and I liked their approach. If Jim doesn't link the site again for you I'll look it up.
Here is the recent thread where we were discussing this topic:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=31


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