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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Apopka, FL
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    How Big Can I Print??

    So I was making a "First Halloween" picture book for my son, who is 11 months old tomorrow, on www.shutterfly.com and was going to an 8x8 book but when i was placing the photos there seemed to be very little detail in the photos and fairly grainy. Really they looked like just plain crap. I have an A33 as most of you know and shoot in RAW, The photo size is 4592 x 3056.

    So my question is How big can i make these photos if i wanted to get prints made with out loosing any quality??
    Sony A33 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM | Sony 30mm f/2.8 DT AF Macro | Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD

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  2. #2
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    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
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    300dpi is what I would print minimum for a calendar, book, photoprint et al.

    so 4592/300 = 15" by 3056/300 = 10" (rounded)

    3056/8" = 382dpi

    I would suspect what you are seeing is the shutterfly site deresolutions the pictures you see while placing them to save on processing and data transmission rates. Printing will be done with the full resolution images.

  3. #3
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    depends on the quality of the image to begin with. the resolution isn't much use if the quality of the image is garbage. if its a low light iso6400 image, its gonna look crap. if its an f8 shot at iso200 on a sunny day you can make it huge and it will still look great.
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  4. #4
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    @Rooz I try to never shoot higher then iso800.

    @Kiwi I really don't understand any of the dpi stuff.....Is there maybe an easier way you can explain it to me?
    Sony A33 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM | Sony 30mm f/2.8 DT AF Macro | Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade906 View Post
    @Rooz I try to never shoot higher then iso800.
    post the shot here with the exif.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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  6. #6
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    DPI is Dots Per Inch.

    That is simply a way of saying that there are a certain number of spots of ink deposited on the page. At 300dpi you will have in a 1" square, 300x300 dots.

    Each pixel of your 4592 x 3056 image is one dot. Therefore if you printed at 4592dpi your picture would be one inch wide and about 2/3 of an inch high. On the other hand, if you printed at 1dpi, your picture would be 4592 inches wide by 3056 inches high. At 36 inches per yard that would be 127 yards wide by 84 yards high... Big enough to cover the side of a warehouse.

    Grab a newspaper and look at the photos close with a magnifying glass and you can see a whole lot of dots. Put a ruler along a line of dots and count them and you have the dpi count.

    Usually internet pages display images at a default of 72 dots per inch, newspapers are coarser, magazines and glossies are finer, and photographs are finer still. The reason for this is mainly cost and speed, the coarser the dots the less time to print and the less time to transmit the smaller data files over the internet.




    I read an article once, something like Scientific American or Nat Geographic type magazine. IIRC the human eye, retina and lens, at ideal state has an imaging resolution equal at 22 inches (the average distance a book is held from the eye while reading) of around 280dpi. the American eagle on the other hand has an imaging resolution of close to 1200dpi at 22 inches, and the Kestrel 1400dpi.

    This means with a book at 22 inches from your eye, to a human the dots blend into a whole picture, but a hawk can still see each and every discrete dot that makes up that picture.
    That makes sense since at 2222 inches, what would be a small blur to a human is still clearly visable and recognisable as a furry small dinner to a hawk.
    But, as a human, at 300dpi holding something at a normal reading distance you will see a picture, though if you pixel peep and pull it up to 4 inches away from your eye and scrutinise it, you will still make out individual dots.

  7. #7
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    @Rooz,

    I don't think the problem is the original image Switchblade took, instead I read it as he uploaded a bunch of nice pictures to the website, and moving them around on his browser to make up his book, realised what he was seeing on his browser was way crappier than the nice pictures he took.

    What I suspect has happened is the nice pictures uploaded were large files, (10 to 12 Mb?) high resolution, the site probably stuck them in memory, created a set of smaller (250Kb-ish maybe?) low res samples to use to move around the browser to create the book. Otherwise every time the browser is refreshed after a change or movement, the site would have to send the large files back and forth. It is Much cheaper (remember the site also has to pay their host for bandwidth used, just like you need to pay your ISP) to use low res placeholders to create the book in your browser than it is to use the original high res/high Mb files. Much faster to load each refresh as well, even on cable broadband.

  8. #8
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    you're probably right but it always helps to see the image to rule that out.
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  9. #9
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    I Used over 120 Photos in the book that i made, so i don't think that posting them here would be a good idea lol

    Now i know they aren't all going to look professional since most of them were shot outside in really low light with a fast moving little one lol

    And yes almost every photo was over 10 Mb, Some that I shot with my IPhone 4S (Much better little camera then the 4) was around 1.8-2 Mb
    Sony A33 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM | Sony 30mm f/2.8 DT AF Macro | Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD

    Flickr

  10. #10
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    You dont have to post all of them. Just one from the a33 which didnt come out well. If you dont want help to figure out the answer to your question why bother posting it and wasting our time.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

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