Digital Photo Print Sizes

I am sure millions of people received a new digitaCamera 1l camera this past week and are busy snapping photos of everything that moves. I actually had to buy my own, but am thoroughly enjoying having a higher-end digital camera. As I prepare a lot of print ads and marketing material I was curious what size I could print with my new 7.2 megapixel camera. I did a little research in the internet and thought you might find this interesting.

Here is a handy chart for your own reference showing the number of megapixels and the size you can print.

Number of Megapixels Acceptable Print Size (Inches)
2.0 4 x 6
3.0 5 x 7
4.0 8 x 10
5.0 9 x 12
6.0 11 x 14
8.0 12 x 16
10.0 16 x 20
12.0 18 x 24

Here’s how to read the megapixel print size table: if you have an 8 megapixel camera, any print that you make that is 12″ x 16″ or smaller will look fantastic.

If you have a 4 megapixel camera, you can make high-quality prints at 8″ x 10″ or smaller. Now, there is nothing stopping you from printing your 4 megapixel photos at 20″ x 30″. You could even print your photos billboard size if you wanted to. As you increase the print size more and more above the acceptable print size, the image deteriorates further and further.

A 4 megapixel photo printed at 4″ x 6″ will be perfectly clear. It will also be clear at 8″ x “10. But a 4 megapixel photo printed at 12″ x 18″ will show a loss of image quality. The same image printed at 40″ x 60” will show considerable loss of image quality.

Digital Image Storage Table

A digital image’s file size is mostly determined by the digital image’s resolution and the digital image format.Camera 2 Other factors that can influence the file size, depending on the chosen digital image format, is the number of colour channels per pixel, compression level, the digital camera’s settings and the complexity of the scene being photographed. The last three factors are applying only when using the JPEG format. The most important rule to remember is that higher image resolution, more megapixel, leads to larger file size.

Determining an image’s file size in advance for the TIFF and RAW format is relatively easy. But doing that for a JPEG image is impossible. It is also impossible to have the some file size for all images since each image is unique when shooting in JPEG mode. Therefore in the table below we assume that all JPEG images have the same file size.

Image File Size Image
Resolution MB Format
  5.5 TIFF
2 2.7 RAW
  1.1 JPEG
  9.0 TIFF
3 4.5 RAW
  1.8 JPEG
  11.4 TIFF
4 5.7 RAW
  2.3 JPEG
  14.3 TIFF
5 7.2 RAW
  2.9 JPEG
  17.2 TIFF
6 8.6 RAW
  3.4 JPEG
  20 TIFF
7 10 RAW
  4 JPEG
  22.9 TIFF
8 11.4 RAW
  4.6 JPEG
  25.7 TIFF
9 12.9 RAW
  5.1 JPEG
  28.6 TIFF
10 14.3 RAW
  5.7 JPEG

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