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.
Basically, when it comes to printing your images, you should pay attention to dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixel per inch), and not your sensor size. It basically comes down to the viewing distance.
When you look at, say, an 8×5 inch print, you will view it from a very close distance. And since you’re so close to it, it needs to have a lot of dots per inch so it doesn’t look pixelated. Generally, you’ll make smaller prints at 300dpi. But this changes if you make a large print, for example a billboard.
When it comes to billboards, they’re usually printed at 100 or even 50 dpi. So, when you get close to them, you’ll see quite a lot of pixels. However, up close is not how you’re supposed to view a billboard. You should step away so you can see the entire image. And from a large distance, its quality looks perfectly fine even though it’s pixelated from up close.
So, generally speaking, if you want to make large prints, there’s no need to stress out about your camera’s megapixel count. Most of the modern cameras should do just fine and provide you with the resolution high enough, and it’s the number of pixels/dots per inch that count. If you want to read more information about dpi and ppi, you can do it in this article.
[The Print Size Myth… | James Popsys]