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09-15-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
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Printing is Rad, Mega PIxels are stupid.

So as part of a community orchestra I'm involved with, I've been lumped with getting some prints made in order to sell for fundraising.

We are the oldest youth orchestra in the country, Wooo to us, (it was our 70th birthday last week :P)

Anyway.. its embarrassing, but I haven't really printed much of my digital camera. So, in the name of science I took some shots over to office works (cheap automatic kodak printing place) to see what would happen.


I took these with me...

http://tromboadsclicked.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/chassing-no-buldge-small.jpg
http://tromboadsclicked.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/imgp2995.jpg
https://tromboadsclicked.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/workysimbw.jpg

They are 1600x1074 (2mp roughly) and I printed them at 12"x8" (cost $3.40 each) and 6x8" ($0.40c each)

And freeking hell they look great!!!! :S

It wasn't until i got home that i realised what i had done, in that I had printed them at around about 125ppi @ 12x8"


The first image was taken at 1600iso f1.8 of all things and I was interested in what the noise would look like. freeking looks fine!! The middle image was used to check colour and well, it wasn't as vivid nor bright as I expected from my pc monitor (suppose my monitor settings are a bit rich)

The last one was to see what the black areas in her jumper (they crappy gradients from jpeg compression ) would turn out like. at 6x4 you cant see them, at 12x8 surprise surprise they are there. But all in all, freek. I wonder just how big I can go with what I understood to be a "small" file resolution before I see some degradation.

Just for some fun, I printed the math for my own sake to understand just how useless Mega Pixels are in regard to physical print size..

2mp Image printed at;

300ppi = 5x3"
200ppi = 8x6"
125ppi = 12x8
100ppi = 16x10"


That really is a bit bonkers. These junk tiny files are sharp and clear enough to print at 125ppi... Looks like I was accidentally pretty close to the quality limit in what I did :P


Man if I knew I was printing at 125ppi... well I wouldn't have. 125ppi should look crap right?? "whimper" And that's only with 2mp!!


Ok so 10mp now..

10mp
300ppi= 12x8"
200ppi= 19.3x12.9"
125ppi= 30x20"
100ppi= 38.7x25.9"


I could print something with my K10d at 30" Bhahahaha

I would not have believed 125ppi would have looked any good until I accidentally printed them :P

Wait let me find a 36mp file to do the same math with..

36mp
300ppi= 20x16"
200ppi= 31x25"
125ppi= 50x40"
100ppi= 62x50"


That's just stupid!

Oh, to work out what your are doing, take the physical image size, ie 3000pixels and divide by the ppi to work out what the physical size will be.. Aka.. 3000pixels / 200ppi = 15" , 3000 / 300ppi = 10" etc etc etc Long story short you don't need a huge file to make big prints!

But yes. 12x8" looks pretty close to A4, and the fact that all you need is 2mp in order to do that. And really how often do you print photos at A4??

Mega Pixels are stupid. And I'm now going to print heaps of crap off. Its fantastic to have them in the flesh naturally.. I just never believed there would be enough resolution in order to do it any anything greater then 4x5 honestly. I cant believe its taken me so long to do this.

Everyone!!! Go print stuff!!!! you have more resolution you ever need to print anything near enough 30x20" hahaha


Tromboads, a printing convert.


Last edited by tromboads; 09-15-2012 at 06:17 AM.
09-15-2012, 06:02 AM   #2
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Don't forget the viewing distance the larger the print the further away you stand, in principle you're very safe with 12mp for all sizes really. That's the max resolution a human eye can see from typical viewing distance.
09-15-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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You could hold these 2MP prints (at 12x8") an inch from your face and they would still look sharp and clear. I'm really shocked honestly at just how fine, well good they look.

Mega Pixels be dammed.

If you haven't really done as such, I can't encourage you enough to go print something of at a decent size! $3.50 for an A4 size print is wicked :P
09-15-2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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The trick to get the best out of the printer, as far as I can tell is to upsize to 300 dpi ( using photoshop or whatever) to trick the printer into using it's best printing mode, which on many printers doesn't come into play until 300 dpi... but an original at 125 DPI works just fine in my opinion, which is why I think the FF guys are a little crazy insisting they need more Mp. I'm thinking I might like more MP, but I'm also considering producing a few 60 inch canvases. You need to be going to 40 inch prints to need more than 16 Mp.


Last edited by normhead; 09-15-2012 at 06:50 AM.
09-15-2012, 06:31 AM   #5
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300dpi is not always need, like said it depends on the size of the print and viewing distance.
Just look up close at some posters on the street side, those are roughly printed at 50dpi.

Even if you print 60inch you still don't need 16mp, 12mp is always fine in normal circumstances, certainly with canvas.
09-15-2012, 06:32 AM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
The trick to get the best out of the printer, as far as I can tell is to upsize to 300 dpi to trick the printer into using it's best printing ode, which on many printed doesn't come into play until 300 dpi... but an original at 125 DPI works just fine in my opinion, which is why I think the FF guys are a little crazy insisting they need more Mp. I'm thinking I might like more MP, but I'm also considering producing a few 60 inch canvases. You need to be going to 40 inch prints to need more than 16 Mp.

Well thats it. as far as printing images is concerned.. we need stuff all pixels to make em look good.

I realised I didn't do a measure for 16meg cameras :P

16mp=49283264
300ppi 16x10"
200ppi 24x16"
125ppi 39x26"
100ppi 49x32"




QuoteQuote:
300dpi is not always need, like said it depends on the size of the print and viewing distance.
Just look up close at some posters on the street side, those are roughly printed at 50dpi.
Indeed
09-15-2012, 06:35 AM   #7
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I have a HP B9180 A3+ printer and it can make amazing pictures. You don't need 24 megapixel for that.
09-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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No Sir no Siry no Sir :P Yeah I think I'll be printing stuff out a lot more now :P

09-15-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
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Someone took a panorama I shot recently with my K-5 (original resolution about 12500 x2500 pixels) and made it into a 4m long wall poster, so the sky is the limit really with prints, depending on the quality of your printer, inks, paper, colour balance, dpi and target viewing distance.
09-15-2012, 07:03 AM   #10
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I work making prints from digital files and I find that your premise is right- a lot of files are overkill for small to medium sized prints. Working with the original file from almost any modern camera (6mp or larger) gives plenty of information for prints up to 20 x 30. I've made stunning 24 x 36 prints from iPhone files. I've made 44 x 444 inch panoramas from a 10mp point and shoot camera (eight exposures stitched together) that looked great from a normal viewing distance. Conversely, many of the files I receive are way too small, or have been further degraded by low-quality jpeg conversions - usually as a result of being resized for the internet. One tip for anyone thinking of "going big" - DON'T SHARPEN until AFTER you have up-sized your file! A lot of Lightroom users sharpen everything, then up-size, giving their images a coarse "edgy" look.
09-15-2012, 07:10 AM   #11
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Here's a interesting article on print resolution.
09-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #12
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prints

often printed my k10 files to 20x24"
no problems at all, pixel peepers aren't photographers, they're tech heads
09-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #13
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Indeed! How free I feel now, re being able to be creative with large prints.
09-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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Yup thats why 24mp is abit pointless unless you need to crop heaps.
09-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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I just feel like I want to go on anti mega pixel crusade :P
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