Monday, July 14, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Picture printing.

I found this site pretty helpful to anyone with a digital camera who wants to print out their pictures.

West Coast Imagine MegaPixel Print Size Chart.

When I first started getting prints for some of my pictures, I was pretty uncertain as to what would be the largest sizes I could get of those taken with my scant six-megapixel camera.

This chart, and the very helpful FAQ you'll find should you follow the link above answers that and more.

Of course, the knock against that chart is that it doesn't take cropping into account (which is actually impossible to take into account since who knows how much of that image you're cropping out?). But, I'm actually surprised at the size I am able to print if I send in a picture where I've not resized or cropped the shot in any way.


Anyway, this is just for prints of 8X10 or larger, but don't worry. I think even the cheapest point and shoot out there should be able to get you excellent 4X6, 5X7 and 8X12 prints without any fuss whatsoever.

Aside from that, if you look closely at that chart, you'll notice how irrelevant the whole megapixel argument really is, and why, for the average shooter, it really doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to be cramming more and more megapixels into a camera. After all, the average shutterbug is usually going to be printing no larger than 8X10 or 8X12 at most if they print their pictures at all. It's only when you start thinking about poster-sized prints does that resolution really come into play. So, you folks sitting on your old three or four megapixel point and shoot cameras don't have much to be jealous of (I've got a 1.5 mp Olympus lying around here that takes great shots and makes good small prints. It just works very, very slowly).

Now, I don't know about you, but I was always wondering about that.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/14/2008 11:51:00 PM


  1. I have a 7.1 MP point-and-shoot, and for the rare 8x10's that I've had printed, the quality is excellent.


  2. Interesting stuff!