Does your camera resolution matter when you need to choose the side of the print? This is what many people wonder, and basically, it’s not important. If you can take a photo with your camera, print it at 6 x 4 inches and be happy with it – you can print that same photo in basically any size that you like. In this video, James Popsys will tell you in a simple language why megapixels aren’t important when choosing the size of your print.
I took the photo just down there from the deck of the ferry that took me from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand. My camera was in my lap and in one split second, everything came together to create that image. It looks almost as if I’ve shopped in the cruise liner, doesn’t it? I was travelling alone, and minding my own business, but two older couples struck up a conversation with me.
It was the camera that they noticed. We spoke about all sorts, but what I recall specifically from the conversation was one of women mentioning that she’d tried to have one of her photos printed by an online print company in New Zealand, but hadn’t been able to manage it. Whenever she uploaded it, the image was red-flagged for being too small. She wasn’t really sure what she was doing wrong, or what size her image needed to be so that she could print it.
Almost five years on from that February day and it occurs to me that between ppi, dpi, pixels, and megapixels, people are probably still confused by minimum image sizes for printing. This is especially so, given that smartphone photos are regularly saved at 72ppi, but printers prefer 300ppi. I decided, therefore, to go straight to the printers’ works and ask a selection of companies what their preferred sizes were for printing wall art (so that’s canvas or acrylic or any other type of medium that you hang on your wall) sized 20 by 30cm (8″ by 10″, roughly A4) and 40 by 60cm (20″ by 24″, roughly A2). Here’s what I learned.
There are plenty of misconceptions about the number of pixels, resolution, image size and so on, which can make us quite confused sometimes. To make things worse, the terms DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixels per inch) are often used interchangeably, which makes the understanding even more difficult.
Essentially, DPI is important for printers. It’s a number of color dots printer uses to reproduce colors of the image. It’s also used for screen resolution, although PPI can also refer to screens as well. PPI applies to everything in relation to resolution and the size of a digital image.
In this video, you will see a brief explanation about DPI and how important is this value for printing big formats. How big is big enough? Does size matter at all?