Camera Settings To Make A Poster Print

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by james_hester, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. I am simply trying to find out how to set my 40D to be able to get 20x0 poster size prints. Can anyone help please?
  2. Wow! Good question, and you will get as many answers as you like!
    There is no golden rule for that, you need to know what effect do you want to achieve. For best results on big prints, use the best lens you have got and the lowest ISO possible, that might be one of the rules.
  3. Just a generic answer, but shoot RAW for the size. Other variables would depend on you lens choice, subject matter, available lighting, etc...
  4. Using the camera settings for the file size. I'd like to know what's the best size for me to choose. Small, Medium Large, what? This issue has been haunting me lately.
  5. James,

    File size settings are about compression, not directly about print size. There is no reason to use anything but the largest available (least amount of compression). Using more compression means throwing information away.
  6. Shoot RAW, as said, and a tripod and remote release will help minimize motion blur which is magnified along with everything else. You may even want to consider composing and then putting up the mirror first.
  7. How do I set the 40D to get this size (2000x3000) for printing posters?. This is the minimum size required by the printer to print poster prints. I can take care of the quality with the other settings mention and suggested.
  8. I think this will make providing an answer easier. These are the settings on a 40D:
    Image Type
    JPEG, RAW (Canon CR2)

    File Size
    JPEG/Large: Approx. 3.5MB (3,888 x 2,592)
    JPEG/Medium: Approx. 2.1MB (2,816 x 1,880)
    JPEG/Small: Approx. 1.2MB (1,936 x 1,288)
    RAW: Approx. 12.4MB (3,888 x 2,592)
    sRAW: Approx. 7.1MB (1,936 x 1,288)

    Which will help me to make 20x30 size poster prints. Once I find out I can set the camera to that/those settings. Thanks.
  9. You have just answered your question James.
    Use biggest size of file that is possible plus shoot in RAW, and your posters will be of best quality possible.
  10. Afetr you select the file size (hopefully the largest possible which is 3,888 by 2,592), you can calculate how many dots per inch (dpi) you will have in your 20 by 30 poster. The answer is approximately 130 dpi for the largest file size.

    I'm not experienced with poster printing so I'm not sure what would be the recommended dpi. I'd guess it would depend on the distance from which viewers will be looking at the poster, and the amount of detail in your image.

    Maybe others that have experience with this could recommend a guideline for suggested dpi and you can figure out if you have enough resolution with your camera.

    In any case, maximum resolution and shooting RAW is always the best you can do.
  11. Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the responses.
  12. Not sure if this is true but my local printing service adviced me to convert the RAW image to TIFF (after my normal postprocessing) for the best prints.

    Can anyone confirm that?

    Thanks, Matthijs.
  13. Check your manual, find the pages that tells you the list of available picture dimensions (in Pixels), and select the image size thats going to give you greatest # of Pixels (dots) in both Horizontal and Vertical dimensions. This will give you highest image resolution possible from your camera, and thats going to be important when you print the image at large size.

    Since TIFF is a widely recognized graphics file type, and is also a loss-less compression type (that means that you do get compression, but you dont lose any of your original image data/quality), I would select TIFF as the picture file type, if possible. Also, many graphics file editing and printing applications will load a TIFF file, but will not load a RAW file w/o you converting it first.
  14. James, I don't think the printer will get freaked out if you exceed his minimum pixel requirements. I suggest shooting in RAW and converting to TIFF. Use a tripod and your best lens. Focus carefully.

    Matthijs, TIFF images do give the best results for the final image. JPG images are compressed, so that they lose detail and introduce objectionable artifacts, especially when printing large. The only caveat is that the TIFF images should have 8 bit color depth, rather than 16 bit. Not all printers can handle the 16 bit.
  15. Alan, TIFF might be "compressed", by in my view it is not as TIFF takes twice the size of a RAW file (conditional), however it dos not mean that the printing company will accept RAW. Always convert to TIFF for best results.
  16. The "camera settings" aren't going to make much of a difference beyond the fact that you should shoot full size RAW files.

    If you want a photograph that will hold up at big enlargement sizes critical issues include: use of a tripod, mirror lockup,
    good to excellent lenses, careful focus, stopping subject motion unless said motion is part of your concept.

  17. In printing a 20x20"is really a small poster. Folks bring in cellphone images; stuff lifted from the web; slides; gobs of digital images right of the camera . In a recent murder trial set of posters that were only about 20x30 to 30x40" the inputs were from a 1.3 Megapixel camera in jpeg mode. Probably 1 in 1000 posters we print is a raw file input; or shot with a tripod or killer settup. <BR><BR>One should spend more time with a dynamic image with impact that worry about subtle issues of what dpi/ppi; or what pixel helper to use. Typically the folks who worry about theses issues have the worst inputs for posters; the BEST are kids with disposables; and folks who worry about what the image is ABOUT versus settings, upsizng, dpi/ppi.<BR><BR>Its like folks are engrossed in what type or paper color is used with a resume or book; and are braindead in the content, details and drama dept.
  18. Some of the BEST posters I have printed in many thousands were shot with a waterproof disposable camera by a teenage girl on a white water rafting trip; the worst are typically by worry warts engrossed in dpi/ppi upsizing methods.
  19. "Not sure if this is true but my local printing service advised me to convert the RAW image to TIFF (after my normal post processing) for the best prints.

    Can anyone confirm that?"

    Yes, that's correct... Use a TIFF file, 16 bit if possible, and don't use any compression on it.

    Not all printers can handle a big TIFF, so be sure to talk with them first, before walking in the door with a CD.
  20. It really amazes me that some one who has close to professional camera, Eos 40D, but have no clue what
    should be the file size setting and other requirements for large prints. Simply put (as repeated by others),
    Raw, tripod, L-lens, other requirements depend on shooting situation.

    James, I strongly suggest before spending thousand plus $ on equipments, buy a $10 basic book of
    photography. Read it carefully and try to understand. Things that you do not understand, feel free to shoot
    us with questions. will help you.... But buying a golden pen, does not make a person a good
  21. shoot raw do your post processing and save as a tiff...
  22. and don't forget the fundamentals. set your lens to it's optimum aperture for maximum resolution, which is usually
    f/5.6 or f/8 for most prime lenses.
  23. How timely :) I have just done some shots for a commercial client. I used my 400D with my 17-40L lens at
    apertures between f/8 and f/11 and ISO mostly 100 but never higher than 400 (all on tripod, MLU and remote
    release). I occasionally used my 50 f/1.8 for a few shallow DOF-effect shots. I used a handheld light meter and
    also bracketed some of the shots with trickier metering. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't have "enough" MP
    to capture the necessary detail...
    <p>I shot everything in large JPEG (3,888x2592) like I do for all my jobs. The prints were done by a local
    commercial printer whose output was set to 500dpi. I did only minimal Photoshopping (some mild sharpening and
    occasionally levels adjustment) and printed straight from JPEG. I collected the 20x30s day before yesterday. They
    came out superbly :)
  24. Prime or L lens, tripod, Raw, ISO 100, cable release or timer, f5.6 in Av or Manual mode. Download latest DPP.
    Use DPP, Photoshop or DxO to reduce any chromatic aberration present, save as TIFF. (If subject is not moving,
    look into using superresolution software like PhotoAcute to get more resolution by shooting more frames of same
  25. You need to have more info from your printer, Do they print from TIF files? `minimum 2000x3000`=100dpi, Do they prefer a fixed file size at a fixed resolution eg:400dpi, the camera is best at full rez in RAW, the rest is done software as photoshop. One of my outofhouse printers did TIF`s for me till a new operater did not know the printer and converted them to jpeg without saying, I was not happy, so talk to your printer and they should work with you :)
  26. Don't worry about it so much, 20x30 isn't going to be a problem. It's really not that big and you have 10Mp file.

    RAW, TIFF... if you don't know how to handle RAW files you may as well shoot JPG. In some cases RAW is seriously useful *for editing* but not always. DSLRs apply pretty modest JPG compression when you keep the quality setting best possible.
  27. I think one point that's being overlooked here is that none of this is specific to doing posters. You should almost
    ALWAYS have your camera set for the largest possible file size and minimum amount of compression. At the
    extreme, that means largest file/image size (in James' case 3,888 x 2,592) and RAW. At the least it means largest
    file size plus the minimum amount of jpg compression if you're in a situation where you need jpg files right away and
    don't have time afterward to do RAW conversion. (In that case, best to shoot both jpg and RAW simultaneously if
    your camera allows it.) But to shoot at anything other than the largest file size is simply throwing away those
    expensive pixels you paid so much for. Going from large to small turns your 10 megapixel camera into a 2.5
    megapixel camera, and severely limits the size and quality of photos you can print. By keeping file size at maximum
    and compression at minimum, you can print as large as the camera is capable of and always have the option of
    converting down to a smaller size. If you are shooting a minimum size and maximum compression and come across
    that once in a lifetime shot that deserves to be a poster, you're screwed. Yes, Genuine Fractals and other digital
    magic can save lots of crappy files, but it's not the same as starting with a good file. What the lab needs to print from
    is irrelevant to how you shoot -- you want to keep the maximum image quality as far down the line as you can. If the
    lab needs TIFF or JPG to print from, you make the conversion at that point, not in the camera.
  28. If you want to make a really large print, esp. if it will be viewed close and printed on a high res. printer, you would want to follow all the advice above and also shoot a number of shots to stitch together using panorama creation software (Photoshop, AutopanoPro, etc.) which will give you many more pixels than your camera is capable of in a single picture.
  29. "Don't worry about it so much, 20x30 isn't going to be a problem. **It's really not that big and you have 10Mp file**."

    Important point: the 10 mp file is only available if the image to be printed hasn't been cropped. Once (or if) James starts cropping into the original - and we don't know what he's shooting or how he's shooting it - that might well change.
  30. "you would want to follow all the advice above and also shoot a number of shots to stitch together using panorama creation software"

    What if James is doing portraits though? Or photographing, say, birds?
  31. I posted here yesterday but for some reason it's not showing in the thread. Deleted perhaps? Anyway, what I said
    was that this thread was very timely. On Monday I collected some 20x30 inch prints that I had sent in to a
    commercial printer on Saturday. I use a 400D (XTi) and I was sure that this job would stretch the imaging
    capability of the camera. I was worried that I may not have enough pixels to work (play?) with...
    <p>I shot, as I always do, in large JPEG mode. I used a tripod, MLU (mirror lock-up) and remote release for all
    the shots. I metered using a hand-held light meter and for the trickier exposures (typically high contrast
    situations) I bracketed my exposures. My primary lens was a 17-40L set at between f/8 and f/11 throughout. I
    occasionally used my 50 f/1.8 when I wanted shallow DOF. The only tweaks I made in post were some mild
    sharpening, levels and one or two B&W conversions. I sent in my files as JPEGS and I must say the prints came out
    superbly! I don't want to start a RAW vs JPEG debate here, but I have found JPEGs to be more than sufficient for
    just about all my work, especially in controlled situations such as the one I was shooting (for an interior
    design firm) and am yet to be convinced to shift to RAW...
  32. Mark, your post was fine, maybe refresh was slow, did You rerez your files or the printer? BTW I agree with you, jpegs work fine with good exp, 98% our pro prints are jpeg, RAW only becomes usefull for bad or mixed lighting

    Works for us eh :)
  33. Yes, I think refresh was slow because I can see both posts now. Sorry about that, admins :)
    <p>I didn't re-rez my files, I simply burnt them onto a CD at the large JPEG default size and dropped them off at the printers. They told me they print at 500dpi. In a post on the Digital Darkroom, I freely admitted that I get confused by ppi/dpi issues :-/
    <p>JPEG sure does work for me too, CJB :)

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