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Old Jan 28, 2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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for printing to 4x6" pictures, what should be the resolution of the pics so the pictures come out as best as possible. would there be a noticable difference between a 2592x1944 and a 1200x900 when printed to a 4x6"?

i have pictures originally at 2592x1944 and i used PIXresizer to reduce the resolution to 1200x900, and im wondering if i will be losing quality when i print to 4x6"

thanks.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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It's usually best to send the full resolution captured by the camera to the printer.

But, you'll need to crop for the correct aspect ratio (ratio of width to height). Otherwise, you'll end up with unwanted borders (or some of your photo missing).

For a 4x6" print, you'd want to crop your full size image to 2592 x 1728 for sending to a printer.

This would give you the correct ratio of width to height for a 4x6" print, and would be sending 432 pixels per inch to the printer (2592 pixels / 6 inches = 432 pixels per inch).

Can you get by with less? Sure. But, the downsizing algorithms used by your software may impact quality. You may also see some degradation because of JPEG compression (depending on your settings in the image editor you're using).

If you wanted to use the photos already downsized to 1200 x 900, you'd still want to crop them to the correct aspect ratio for a 4x6" print. So, they'd end up being 1200 x 800 (versus 1200 x 900) after this crop.

That works out to 200 pixels per inch of detail being sent to the printer (1200 pixels / 6 inches = 200 PPI; or 800 pixels / 4 inches = 200 PPI).

Is that enough? You could probably get away with it on most printers, depending on the quality of the downsizing algorithms, since most printer drivers are going to interpolate the image back up to a higher resolution for printing.

You'd be printing an image a little smaller than 1 Megapixel (1200 x 800 = 960,000 pixels).

My advise.... Stick with the full size images, only cropping as needed for Aspect Ratio. Disk space is cheap.



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Old Jan 29, 2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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Try cropping with this freeware: http://ekot.dk/programmer/JPEGCrops/

It will crop to the right ratio for whatever format you want like 4 X 6 and it won't dump any pixels other than those you trim off to get the right ratio.


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Old Jan 29, 2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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JimC, slipe,

thanks for the replies! JPEGCrops is great! now i can crop the pics before i have them printed.

the only reason i thought of lowering the resolution is to lower the file sizes because i was thinking of leaving my 16MB sd card with the print shop, instead of my 1GB card.

thanks again!
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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asr dude wrote:
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... the only reason i thought of lowering the resolution is to lower the file sizes because i was thinking of leaving my 16MB sd card with the print shop, instead of my 1GB card.
Put them on a CD-R (some shops have a problem with R/W). IMHO, ifthe photois worth having printed, it is worth having a spare back-up copy.
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