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Old Nov 10, 2006, 7:56 PM   #1
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How do I know how large I can print?

I'm looking at a 6-7.5 mp camera and was wondering how large I could go, if I wanted to.

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Old Nov 10, 2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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Johnny, check out this page: http://www.design215.com/toolbox/megapixels.php

The charts and explanations are pretty good, though it doesn't really answer your question of how high you could go! The page doesn't cover things like upsampling, or how viewing distance affects the perceived resolution: A print made from a 150ppi file might look kind of rough up close, but look pretty good from six feet away! Even the subject matter in the photo will influence how high you can go. A subject like a landscape that contains many areas of small detail won't enlarge as well as a portrait that has larger areas of more gradually transitioning shapes and colors.

This is a complex question with lots of variables, but the above page gives a good basic overview.

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Old Nov 10, 2006, 10:33 PM   #3
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I noticed you referenced 150ppi files. Does that mean that HOW I save the pictures will influence print quality? If so, how do I alter the ppi of the files?

Anyway, I'm now off to read that. Be back shortly.
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 5:10 AM   #4
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PPI depends on the photos size in pixels and the size you will be printing at.

An example helps -> , a 3000 x 3000 pixel image is 300 ppi when printed at 10in x10 in but when printed at 20in x 20in becomes only 150ppi

Images are usually set as a particular ppi by the camera, usually something like 72 or 96, this is only a default number, does not change the number of pixels and can be ignored since ppi is only important when actually printed

So when you bring the image into photoshop or psp or any other editor you may see 72ppiso don't panic !

Eg my Sony H1 (5mp) sets the ppi as 72 so when loaded into an editor the pic reports as 72ppi with a size of 36in x 27in !

As I am very unlikely to ever print that biga more realistic 9 x 6.75 inches print would give me a good 288ppi..

Thats not to say a print with a low ppi is worthless, go up to a roadside billboard some time, see how grainy it looks close up !

A 72ppi print may look poor handheld and inspected closely, that same print on the wall, 5 or 6 feet away may look amazing .
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