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Products & FAQ > Megapixels Explained

Megapixels Explained


When considering an image for print you must consider the size of the digital file. Art Print Express uses the latest technology in fractal resizing to make it possible to push the limits on images with sufficient digital file size. The important thing to know is that just because an image looks great on your screen does not mean it will make a fantastic print and there are some requirements for resizing your image. . The actual quality of the image is determined by many factors including the quality of the lens used. So your Cannon SLR camera with a fantastic lens will create a better quality image than your cell phone lens even if they are the same in megapixels.However cellphone lenses are getting better with every upgrade and you can still have a fantastic print even from a cellphone image. For the sake of efficiency online and offline, the majority of images seen on your screen and available or uploaded on the web are resized to 72ppi (pixels per inch) and for a reasonably good print you will need a minimum of 200ppi and for quality prints you will need a minimum of 300ppi.

Below is a chart to illustrate the different photo quality prints you can expect from your camera or digital image when we use our fractal resizing software. Each box on the left is  the number of megapixels of your camera if you mouseover the sizes the chart shows in the dark red the original sized file print dimensions in inches at 300ppi and what you can traditionally expect to print from that file size. For example, the chart shows that you can make a 5" x 7" quality print from a 4 megapixel camera image. However with advancement in technology is is possible to make that image 20" x 28". We will do the resizing for you and if there are any concerns we will address them with you before the images is blindly sent through the printing process.

To clearly explain megapixels.

Consider:

  • A megapixel is 1 million pixels. It's an area measurement height x width.
     
  • A typical 8 megapixel camera produces images that are 3266 x 2450 pixels.
    If you multiply 3266 by 2450, you get 8,001,700 or 8 million pixels.
     
  • To find the largest quality image you can print, simply divide each dimension by 300:
    3266 / 300 = 10.89 inches
    2450 / 300 = 8.17 inches
     
  • With image editing software like Photoshop, you can push the limits of an image doubling the number of pixels in the image. The newer the software the better the quality of this upsizing will be. The larger the image the more you can push the limits of print size.
     
  • Also, the quality of the camera and lens is very important when pushing these limits. The lens determines the quality of the image to begin with. So your 8 megapixel Cannon SLR camera image will be much sharper and can be pushed more than the image from your 8 megapixel cell phone. The lenses are that much different in quality. When you push the limits on a digital image, any loss of detail or sharpness is magnified. If an image is enlarged too much in this manner, it will look "fuzzy" or "pixelated".

Megapixels vs. Maximum Print Size Chart without Fractal Resizing

Megapixels

Pixel Resolution*

Print Size @ 300ppi

Print size @ 200ppi

Print size @ 150ppi**

3

2048 x 1536

6.82" x 5.12"

10.24" x 7.68"

13.65" x 10.24"

4

2464 x 1632

8.21" x 5.44"

12.32" x 8.16"

16.42" x 10.88"

6

3008 x 2000

10.02" x 6.67"

15.04" x 10.00"

20.05" x 13.34"

8

3264 x 2448

10.88" x 8.16"

16.32" x 12.24"

21.76" x 16.32"

10

3872 x 2592

12.91" x 8.64"

19.36" x 12.96"

25.81" x 17.28"

12

4290 x 2800

14.30" x 9.34"

21.45" x 14.00"

28.60" x 18.67"

16

4920 x 3264

16.40" x 10.88"

24.60" x 16.32"

32.80" x 21.76"

35mm film, scanned

5380 x 3620

17.93" x 12.06"

26.90" x 18.10"

35.87" x 24.13"


*Typical Resolution. Actual pixel dimensions vary from camera to camera.

**At 150ppi, printed images will have visible pixels and details will look "fuzzy". We do recommend image of 180ppi or better.

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