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What is the maximum size I can print with a 14MP image?

646 48 December 5, 2010 at 01:09 PM
I am thinking of buying a digital camera with atleast 14MP so that I can print images of my daughter to put up around the house. What is the maximum size that realistically looks good? I know the manufacturers claim you can print 20x 30 and so on. But I don't buy that. Does anyone have experience with printing images from 14MP or higher? If you have any images that are in the range, can I print them at my expense to see how they look before I get the camera? Any scenery images would be great.

Thanks

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Quote from mumbaiyya
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I am thinking of buying a digital camera with atleast 14MP so that I can print images of my daughter to put up around the house. What is the maximum size that realistically looks good? I know the manufacturers claim you can print 20x 30 and so on. But I don't buy that. Does anyone have experience with printing images from 14MP or higher? If you have any images that are in the range, can I print them at my expense to see how they look before I get the camera? Any scenery images would be great.

Thanks

How big of a printer do you have? Big Grin
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I'd say 18 x 24 would be ideal for 14MP. I'm sure you can fine some pictures on the net to print up. 4672 x 3104 is 14.5MP so try searching for images that size.
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a 14 mp camera can save a file much bigger than you will ever print with a 18x14 printer...
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Quote from larrywhois
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How big of a printer do you have? Big Grin
I was planning to print them at Costco or Staples...

Quote from sonic2120
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I'd say 18 x 24 would be ideal for 14MP. I'm sure you can fine some pictures on the net to print up. 4672 x 3104 is 14.5MP so try searching for images that size.
Thanks I'll try that.
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Last edited by mumbaiyya December 5, 2010 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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You can print decent 20x30 with 10MP - at 14 you can really print whatever you want.

Here are some 14mp test images if you want to try before you buy: http://www.imaging-resource.com/P...00ISA7.HTM
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http://www.romantechnologies.com/mpdpi.htm

http://www.romantechnologies.com/mpdpi.htm

but that's at 300dpi. it can be lowered depending on what you are doing.
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Quote from fyu
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http://www.romantechnologies.com/mpdpi.htm

http://www.romantechnologies.com/mpdpi.htm

but that's at 300dpi. it can be lowered depending on what you are doing.
Interesting- so according to this table, the maximum size I can get a good print is 15 x 10 with a 14 MP image. If I go upto 16MP, I can do, 16 X 11. Confused
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Quote from mumbaiyya
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Interesting- so according to this table, the maximum size I can get a good print is 15 x 10 with a 14 MP image. If I go upto 16MP, I can do, 16 X 11. Confused
That's at 300 DPI. 300 DPI is excessive for many applications. For household prints, 200 DPI would be plenty good enough. Magazines and publishing companies tend to ask for images formatted for printing at 300 DPI, but you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I regularly print photo quality 13x19" photos from a 10MP camera at around 200 DPI.

DPI means "dots per inch." Today, it describes how many pixels your printer prints on one inch of paper. This is an absolute value, meaning setting your print resolution to 300 DPI determines your print size absolutely. That print size can only be changed by changing the DPI value or by resizing the image. A higher DPI value means more pixels crammed into the same space, resulting in a smaller but higher quality print. A lower DPI value means fewer pixels crammed into that space, resulting in a larger but lower quality print.

The quality of a higher DPI value comes from the nature of printing. Your printer generates an image a sort of collage by printing lots of small dots that it blurs together. When you use a high DPI value, your printer prints the pixels of a picture really close together, making the blending look natural. When you use a low DPI value, the printer prints the pixels space farther apart, resulting in a grainy, pixelated look.

What camera is your daughter looking at? If you can find the specifications sheet that tells you the dimensions of its 14MP images, its easy to estimate an ideal target print size by dividing each dimension by your target DPI. For example, if the camera were a Kodak EasyShare Z981, the images it produces would have a size of 4288x3216 at the highest quality setting. If you wanted to print at 200 DPI as I suggested, you would divide each of this values by 200 to get an optimal print size of 4288/200 = 21.44 inches long and 3216/200 = 15.63 inches high (or about 21.5x15.6").

You can of course play with the DPI value to find a setting that works for you. Plenty of people are happy with settings as low as 100 DPI, which, with the above camera, would let you print about 40x32". A 150 DPI setting would give you prints 28.6x21.44" big.

Hope this info isn't too confusing. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Last edited by Mixels December 7, 2010 at 02:31 PM.
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Quote from Mixels
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That's at 300 DPI. 300 DPI is excessive for many applications. For household prints, 200 DPI would be plenty good.....
Wow! This is awesome information! I've always wondered how all that worked out. And to think, after all the photography sites I've been on, I learn it on slickdeals. thank you kindly worship
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Also You need not always print at a specific DPI. If you plan on viewing a photo from afar, you can easily get away with far lower DPI size. The reason being that your eyes cannot really resolve the detail of a poster from afar. This is why you can print a poster at a relatively low DPI value. In fact, billboards use very low DPI values, because the typical viewer is fairly far away from the poster and the color and detail come together to form a picture.

A low DPI poster will fall apart under scrutiny (it's not magic), but I don't believe posters are necessarily scrutinized on a regular basis in most homes. As an example, though, I had to get some posters printed for a presentation which included a photograph from a 3mp point and shoot camera. It was printed at ~ 46"x35" which amounts to ~ 43-44dpi. Up close, you can see how the image was stretched, to an extent, but from 3-5 feet away, it looks just fine.
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Last edited by kakomu December 7, 2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Quote from Mixels
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You can of course play with the DPI value to find a setting that works for you. Plenty of people are happy with settings as low as 100 DPI, which, with the above camera, would let you print about 40x32". A 150 DPI setting would give you prints 28.6x21.44" big.
Just curious, how are you getting these numbers? I get:

4288/150 = 28.59
3126/150 = 20.84

4288/100 = 42.88
3126/100 = 31.26
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Quote from fwdmydeals
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Just curious, how are you getting these numbers? I get:

4288/150 = 28.59
3126/150 = 20.84

4288/100 = 42.88
3126/100 = 31.26
It's 3216, not 3126.
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Quote from Mixels
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It's 3216, not 3126.
Bingo, I hate numbers. Thanks!
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Quote from SilentStapler
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Wow! This is awesome information! I've always wondered how all that worked out. And to think, after all the photography sites I've been on, I learn it on slickdeals. thank you kindly worship
Until the fairly recent avalanche of wide format printer deals, it has been pretty uncommon for amateur photographers to do their own prints. Learning photo printing should get easier as time goes on. Unfortunately, I don't know of a single web resource that offers tutorials or lessons. Every printer is different, so really all you can do is learn the basics and the idiosyncrasies of your printer. There are lots of other important fundamentals like learning color spaces and understanding what difference paper selection makes. Learning these things can be a real time and cost saver if you plan on doing a lot of prints in the future, but sometimes it can just be more fun to play with your print settings and see what turns out. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Just remember when printing your own pictures, be prepared to screw up a few attempts. Wink
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