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06-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #1

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Is 640X480 good enough for 4X6 print?

Got a question from a friend.

She has a bunch of old files with 640X480 resolution.

Can she get decent 4X6 prints from those files? These are all family snap shots so best quality is not required.

06-01-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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yea, it will be over 100 dpi, so it will look okay.
06-01-2011, 12:39 PM   #3

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I think it largely depends on the contents. Sharp edges and diagonal lines might show some stairstep artifacts, and the overall picture might be a little soft-looking.

Don't look too closely, though, and they'll probably look OK.
06-01-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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The best way to print would probably be, to scale the images up beforehand with Photoshop and apply some unsharp masking. In the lab printer the upsizing will be done automatically and you don't have any control about the output. Personally I think, if the print resolution is 150 dpi and higher, it is fine.


06-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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To get a full quality print, let's say at 300 dpi, you'd need 1800x1200. With 640x480, if you go to about 110 dpi, you might get an acceptable print, but that's really up to your friend after taking a look at the printed product. I'd recommend taking a couple of images, getting prints made, and see if they're good enough.

Also to keep in mind, a 4x6 is a 1:1.5 ratio image. Best you can get with a 640x480 resolution is a 1:1.33 ratio or close to 4x5.
06-01-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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Having done it, I'd say it looks better than you might expect given that it's only 100dpi, but don't expect it to look as good as something with more pixels.
06-02-2011, 09:02 AM   #7
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For those family snap shots they will probably look fine. My first digital camera was a Fuji P&S I bought for exactly that reason, e-mailing photos to relatives who lived out of town. They were about that resolution because I only had a dial up service back then and I used the lowest setting so they wouldn't take forever to send. I made prints out of a lot to them.

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