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Maximum width and height for poster prints
Hi,.

I would like to take large poster size prints, I would like to know if you need to use 35mm film or can a DSLR do the job?.

I have a 8.0 MP Canon 350d, what is the maximum size of prints in RAW and if I use Photoshop what would the maximum be?.

How large would a 10 MP be? (Example Canon 40D).

How large would a 12 MP be? (Example Nikon 300D).

ThanksNeill..

Comments (7)

NeillS wrote:.

Hi,.

I would like to take large poster size prints, I would like to knowif you need to use 35mm film or can a DSLR do the job?.

Yes..

I have a 8.0 MP Canon 350d, what is the maximum size of prints in RAWand if I use Photoshop what would the maximum be?.

You could do a billboard if you wanted to and could afford the printing costs. And it would look great from the highway..

With PS and other, similar programs, you can "up-rez" the image to make the print look "smoother". This way it will look great even if you run off the road and into the farmers pasture..

How large would a 10 MP be? (Example Canon 40D).

A "big" billboard..

How large would a 12 MP be? (Example Nikon 300D).

A "giant" billboard..

Thanks.

You're welcome, Neill....

Sorry for the satire, but it's a silly question with no answer. Another similar question is how far back must I stand from a print to not see digital artifacts? And that still is ambiguous and has no answer..

Using a given camera, you can print ANY size you want, but with each different size, there is an appropriate viewing distance. Tell us more about how far your audience will be from your print(s)?.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #1

Thanks,.

With respect to the viewing distance, probably a few meters (2-3) I want to put them in a house or office..

Are you serious about billboard size?..

Comment #2

You could invest a little money in a test..

If you line in Noarth America, chances are you can go to a Costco store and for about $5 get a 12 x 18 print made..

So, take a good phtograph, carefully, and then crop the file to the 2:3 height to width ratio of a 12 x 18 inch print, selecting the center part of the picture..

If you select, for instance, the middle third of the original shot, and get it printed, you'll be able to see how good the overall quality of a print 36 x 54 inches..

If it's good enough, next step would be to find a custom lab that will make a print this big for you..

As for the MP size of the oiginal file truth is, the jumps in size from, say, 6 to 8 MP, or 8 to 10MP, or 10 to 12 MP really are not all that great..

If you have a Shutterbug or Popular Photography magazine handy, look in a B&H ad and you'll see the maximum number of pixels for height and width for various cameras, with different total megapixels..

VArious software programs, including at the low priced end Photoshop Elements, allow you to modify files for large prints, and many custom labs will autromatically do this resolution - pixel enlargement for you as part of the normal service..

The subject matters in making a giant enlargement. If you have a highly detailed image, like, say, a group of 50 people, your viewers will be getting close, trying to see details in all the faces. But if it's a portrait of just one face, they'll stand back farther, and not be as consumed by detail-examination..

For your original shot, use the best lens you own, and a good aperture, with the camera held very steady perhaps on a tripod..

BAK..

Comment #3

I have been sending my finished edited but not upsized images to kodakgallery.com and jumbogiant.com for awhile. kodak makes my 16x20 and 20x30 in matte. while jumbogiant makes my glossies and panoramas. I have been printing to 36inch wide(you can get 40x60) with jumbogiant. you also have several choices of paper with jumbogiant.com. they seem to be using Epson paper.



The further you stand away from a print the more you can enlarge it and the less dpi you need. a 20x30inch print is meant to seen from 2-3meters away..

I send either my jpeg and they do any upsizing needed. you cannot send raw(which require converting and pp) or tiff(file size is too big).i also have been sending them the image in adobeRGB, they either change them or use them as is. the colors from either company come out great..

You have to read the information of the printing website and see what they want and will accept..

I would not resize or change the color gamut till you KNOW that the printing online outfit will not accept what you are using. if you have to change only change the copy to the specs you need to send them never the original image..

I have been using adobeRGB and not resizing AT ALL to either outfit wih no problems. and by not resizeing I mean that I have been sending them every size imaginable and the print are all great from either place. sizes range from 6mp digital shots to unresized 4000dpi digital scans of slides which are still the original scan size(1.4inches X .9inches).i would not create a problem of your own till you have to..

I also have Poster 7. this is program that allows you to print at home on your photo inkjet to almost any size you want. it simply cuts up the pic into 8.5x11 photos and you piece them together later. they come out borderless. I made one once for my kitchen wall that 4x6feet of my cat..

I am using a 6mp dslr and have made 20x30 prints as well as 16x36panos with the camera with no problems. I can go much larger if I wish...

Comment #4

We have a 20" x 30" enlargement at our store that was taken with a 6MP Nikon D50 in full auto (green camera) mode with the Nikon 55-200 lens in jpeg (not RAW) with absolutely no PP done to it..

In otherwords.it was shot in jpeg and the memory card was removed from the camera, inserted into the kiosk at our store, then sent to the in-store photo lab without any adjustments made..

There is absolutely no pixelization in the shot.sharp as a tack!.

It could go way bigger!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #5

NeillS wrote:.

Thanks,.

With respect to the viewing distance, probably a few meters (2-3) Iwant to put them in a house or office..

Are you serious about billboard size?.

Yes...get up close and you will see that many are "screened" and the color dots are about 1/2" (12mm) in diameter!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #6

NeillS wrote:.

I would like to take large poster size prints, I would like to knowif you need to use 35mm film or can a DSLR do the job?.

Short answer - yes, DSLR is just fine. Longer answer - what youre getting from other people, and there is no single answer. Ill offer my thoughts in the hope that it helps..

I have a 8.0 MP Canon 350d, what is the maximum size of prints in RAWand if I use Photoshop what would the maximum be?.

Raw has nothing to do with it - the resolution of the camera sensor (megapixels) is what is relevant, regardless of whether the source is raw or jpg..

(OK, maybe it can be argued that starting from a raw source will give a better result, but I dont think thats material to the heart of your question.).

Photoshop has no real influence on maximum print size either. Hopefully youll see why as we go through the explanation below..

How large would a 10 MP be? (Example Canon 40D).

How large would a 12 MP be? (Example Nikon 300D).

OK, it depends. Lets start with the assumption that you want a high quality print at the same resolution as you would expect from a much smaller size - say 6x4 inches - that is, 300 dots per inch..

(Note, all the following dimensions are very approximate, Im working off the top of my head but its close enough for this discussion).

Now, at 300 dpi- an 8MP file will give you about 8 x 12 inches- a 10MP file will give you about 9x13 inches- a 12MP file will give you about 10x15 inches.

(Noting that this is all just arithmetic - divide the image dimensions in pixels, by the print dimensions in inches).

Now, you might say well thats not poster size! - BUT:.

1. Thats at 300dpi, and as others have pointed out, you can get away with a lot less depending on viewing distance.2. Thats all original pixels without any upsizing or interpolation..

As soon as you bring these two things into the equation, the maximum print size rockets up : ) to poster size quite easily..

If you send an image to a lab for printing at a certain size, their system will probably upsize it to 300dpi if required - not because 300dpi is necessarily needed, just because thats the resolution at which their printing system works. You dont need to upsize it before you send - unless you think you can do a better job than them, which is probably unlikely..

(This is why I say Photoshop is not relevant - you dont really need to do the upsizing yourself).

At that point (major upsizing being done by the lab) you will get some roughing up of the image when viewed closely, because of all the interpolation that has been going on, but at any reasonable viewing distance it will look fine..

The alternative, as others have noted, it to print at a lower resolution (200 or even 100dpi). This would mean less upsizing is required in the software, but a lower resolution print that would require a greater viewing distance (IMHO) than a 300 dpi print. In other words, and IMHO: If you (or the lab) upsizes to 300 dpi, the print will look better, from a closer distance, than if you dont upsize and simply print at a lower resolution. There is (IMHO) no cost to upsizing and printing at 300dpi..

But others with more experience may have a different view..

Anyway, bottom line - no problem producing poster sized prints from even a 6MP camera, let alone 8, 10 or 12..

Ive seen a 16x20 inch print at my lab, that was produced from a 3 MP camera. Ill leave you to work out how much of an upsize that was! : ) Point is, it looks good from a reasonable viewing distance. Good - enough to hang on the wall in the family home - but not great enough to win a prize at an exhibition : ) But make it a 6 or 8MP starting point, and it would look (IMHO) very good. No problem at all..

Note also that people on these forums, including professionals, routinely produce very large prints from 6MP cameras. Its not something to be afraid of : ).

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Comment #7

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