Image Size, How big can it go?

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by chris_rowe|1, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Sorry if this is posted where it shouldn't be, I didn't know where else to put it.Well, I've run into a question
    since I'm going to print some bigger sized pictures sometime in the near future. When I open one of my picture's
    in PSE 6, shot with my A350, and I go into Image>Resize>Image Size. here is what's given:

    Pixel Dimension:
    Width: 4592 pixels
    Height: 3056 pixels

    Document Size:
    Width: 19.133 inches
    Height: 12.733 inches
    Resolution: 240 pixels/inch

    Now the question is, how big am I able to print a picture without it being distorted, pixelated, etc... ?

    Might sound like a dumb question but.... I need to know.

    Thanks in advance, Chris.
  2. If you use the search function, there are many posts on this question.

    Short answer is you can double the length and width with minimal loss, that`s 4x the area.
  3. thanks. I don't generally search for things. Simply because I like posting my own questions and getting my own feedback. And I don't usually end up with results because I don't know what to search and don't want to spend a lot of time searching.
  4. I had a shot from my A700 printed at A2 a couple of months ago. Came out perfect. I didn't do any upscaling myself, the printers took care of that. Most places will infact, but I guess some people like to have more control over their own image. Really, you can have your shot blown up A1, A0 or larger. It's all about viewing distance. If you print that big, you're not really going to have your nose up against it, are you? I love big prints, only when they "need" to be big though. Good luck, Rich
  5. Rich, what would A2, A1, A0 be? haha. I'm still learning. :)
  6. Google "paper size" - wiki! :)
  7. haha. Alright.
  8. I think A2 is a good size. I'm planning on printing to post my photo's around in some stores for sale. To get better known and make a bit of money hopefully. Thanks for the help guys.
  9. Last year, I bought a copy of PSE6 from Costco, and it came with a free additional software that allows me to enlarge a picture without affecting the pixels per inch, or to increase the pixel count without reducing the size of the print.
  10. Well. That sounds like quite the software Robert. What would the name of it be? I'd like to look into buying this software.
  11. GenuineFractals is an excellent enlargement software. One thing to keep in mind though, is when you do a large print, the viewer is rarely going to be viewing it from the same distance that they would for say a 4x6 or 8x10. You should be able to print poster size from the A350 without having to run it through an enlarger application.
  12. thanks mike, Still looking for what the name of Robert's software is tho.
  13. The question is like how much one can dilute coffee, beer, milk <BR><BR>or go without bathing, cutting ones hair; shaving; or cutting ones lawn. <BR><BR>One may ponder is there an exact answer for the amount of ketchup on fries; shoes per woman; beers per Monday night football game; text messages or MP3's per teenager.<BR><BR>In a real application the image has a "purpose" and <BR><BR>viewing distance; <BR><BR>with a vague question like "How big can it go" its like asking how big a piece of string/rope is needed; without knowing if the string holds a dinky package; a dog to a tree; or an ocean freighter to a dock; or sew a button to a shirt.
  14. Your camera is TOTAL overkill for a freeway 12x48 foot freeway billboard or 3x 12 foot hockey rink dasher boards; without any pixel helper stuff.
  15. The viewing distance of my pictures will be anywhere from 1 foot to 20 feet. Because I'll be selling my pictures in local stores, and I live in a small town. People will be buying them for their homes, and not many people around here have rooms in their homes bigger then 20 feet in width of length. Also I'm almost positive, when someone wants to look at my picture hung on their wall they are not going to go as far away as possible to view it. They'll be standing 3 or 4 feet away to have a good look at it.

    So the question is how big can I put my picture to still be in decent quality, and look excellent at a viewing distance of somewhere less then 20 feet.
  16. Chris, the free plug-in software that Costco added to their PSE6 package is onOne software's Essentials 2.0. It is a $60 value is I'm not mistaken. You might check with your locate Costco to see if they still have the PSE6 in stock, as the stores are getting PSE7.

    When I installed the software on my computer, it was a little strange as the software doesn't have the ususal install window and at first I didn't think it was doing anything, and it took awhile. However, it will install and when you want to use it, you click on the 'file' option in PSE and look for 'Automation tool' to open the software. Oh, and when you first install the software, it will ask you to register the software, but you can use it without registering it. It will continue to register the software everytime you restart your computer, but after awhile, it stops asking you to register.

    You can look at the features of Essentials 2.0 at, as it does do a few other things.
  17. I already have PSE6, bought it a little before I got my Sony A350. I'm gonna take a look around for some free plug-ins to see if I can find one that does the job for now. But I don't NEED the software, just a want, but I have other things I need to focus on before I buy that. Thanks again.
  18. Hi Chris. Your question is totally reasonable. You've gotten some good responses so far, and I'll add a few thoughts based on my experience with this issue. I'm used to making prints from drum scanned 4x5 images. Working with these images has made me an extreme perfectionist when it comes to sharpness. With this background, an 11x17 made from my Sony a100 is too big and shows clear degradation, and the few 20x30s I've made look terrible. To me. To virtually everyone else they look just fine. The average customer who will be looking at your prints won't care if they are too big to retain critical image quality (whatever that is). Those few who critically evaluate your prints from 6 inches away and probably photographers, and as a rule tend to be hypercritical of other's work and are the least likely people to buy your prints anyway. If you have some good photographs, my advice is to print away at whatever size seems reasonable to you. Based on what I've seen in most small town galleries, the odds of your competitors having vastly superior prints is quite low.
  19. Thanks Brett, and all other people who have made comments. Good responses and I appreciate it a lot.
  20. Chris,

    Why are you considering changing the pixel count in software, especially trying to up the count?

    I may reduce pixel count to match printer software input, but only for speed of data transfer and reduced file
    size for easy delivery. For instance, if my Epson software is going to convert all input files to 720 dpi 8-bit
    anyway, then why waste time saving and sending a file with more information than that?

    On the other hand, why waste time making a second copy of a master file? I can go do something else while
    the printer software does it's conversion, and it really doesn't take that long, and space is cheap if I send out
    the full size master file. I'm uploading 10 MB JPGs to Flickr (from 96 megapixel "masters"). For me, file size
    doesn't matter much any more.

    Oh, and image qualities wise, I'd recommend enlarging up front in Raw conversion, not afterwards, if you
    "need" enlarging at all. I do it only for cleanliness via noise reduction software, then allow the printer to resize
    down during printing.

    Also, I find that output qualities are significantly the result of printer qualities. What printer are you using?

    I have a (free, essentially) Epson 5,760 x 1,440 dpi CcMmYK 6-color inkjet that renders smoooth enlargement
    (but only to 8 1/2 inches wide), and my 11 x 17 inch prints via a (not free) HP 1,200 x 1,200 dpi CMYK 4-color
    laserjet with 4,800 dot variability were incredibly detailed and smooth. I've yet to see pixelation on a modern
    printer, even at the National Geographic outdoor exhibits at 3 x 2 feet or larger. Pointalist dots from the output
    device/printer? Yes. Pixelation of the input file information? No.

    Oh, and my captures are tiny 1/16th of 35 mm full-frame via Minolta DiMage A1 5 megapixel (actually, even
    smaller 4.7 megapixel) black and white capture to RGGB conversions. See my 96 megapixel uploads
    somewhere at Flickr if you want to inspect the "original" JPG master copies. I figure JPGs toss so much data
    that upsizing in Raw conversion before JPGing will then allow re-downloading those JPGs later in life as
    emergency backups to perhaps get back image qualities that are close to what would be available from the
    original 4.7 megapixel Raw master ... so if I ever loose the Raw, Flickr is a backup. Lemme see ... or

    ... has some vertical images that ended up at 96 megapixels! or

    ... for instance - unsharpened, unmodified, except for enlarging before saving as least-compressed JPG, print
    size from 300 dpi = 67.7 x 90.3 cm; 26.7 x 35.6 inches. I gotta crop a piece and see how the cheapie Epson
    prints it! "Little tiny" 11 x 8 1/2 inches is perfect, at 230 dpi from the original. Inspect away. There are many
    more there on my Flickr. I'm uploading everything to Flick as master backups and exploring how best to do
    that. Any thoughts - what do others do for backups and distribution?
  21. How are you going to have the prints made? This will directly affect the final print quality.

    If you sent a TIFF to a LightJet or Durst Lambda - you could easily make 24x36 inch prints as the machine will interpolate the image to the required size. If you sent the file to a service bureau for printing on an inkjet printer, they would probably use RIP software and that would provide the interpolation to the final size.

    If you're going to print this yourself - it gets a little more complicated. Let's say you want to make a print that is 24 inches high on the short dimension. That equals about 127 pixels per inch. Something is going to have to create enough pixels to cover the entire print as you really don't have enough for a quality print at 127 pixels/inch.

    You could send the image directly to the printer driver and it would interpolate it to the final size to meet its native resolution requirement. In my tests - not a good solution. Printer drivers do not account for vectors very well - meaning that diagonals and anything with curves will have stepped edges. This makes the edge unsharp. The same thing happens to details - they get softened.

    Genuine Fractals has some real problems dealing with small details. For example, you have a photo with a tree at a distance with crossing branches. GF may get confused and turn the space between the branches into a solid object - it does in my testing on more than one image.

    You could use PS and bicubic smoother to upsize the image - but, sharp edges will get softened - to about 4-6 pixels wide as PS tries to not create stepped edges like the printer driver.

    There are a number of other software programs available for interpolating - and most will work better than either the printer driver or PS bicubic smoother. Kneson Imagener has a number of different interpolation methods contained in it. Interpolation can be image-dependent and one type of interpolation method may work better than another.

    I look at interpolated images printed at their final size with a 5x and then a 12x loupe looking for pixellation, image anomolies, etc. If you're interested in making your own prints and learning the best way I've found to make large images - please send me an email because the explanation is about 2-pages long.

    If you don't want to print yourself - find a good service bureau and work directly with them.
  22. "Also, I find that output qualities are significantly the result of printer qualities. What printer are you using?"

    I don't print myself. I leave that to my local professional printers. :) Tends to be less complicated.

    "Oh, and image qualities wise, I'd recommend enlarging up front in Raw conversion, not afterwards, if you "need" enlarging at all. I do it only for cleanliness via noise reduction software, then allow the printer to resize down during printing. "

    I currently have no program to work with RAW format, only the add-on I had to download for PSE 6 from adobe. So currently, the process is... Take the shot in RAW, open it with PSE 6, and make slight adjustments with the add-on, then open it in the full editor of PSE 6 and do what I think works best. Save as a Jpeg and load them to a CD or Flash Drive and have them printed at my local printers.
  23. .

    More on upsizing magic and fantasy:

    The target is to provide the printer with EXACT file dimensions and bit-depth so they don't have to do
    anything to your file, and it stays as you sent it ... unless you want them to smooze the file for you, in
    which case, just send it without playing with it!

    Also, you can consider potentially detrimental JPGing effects on the native pixels, and so, upsize before
    JPGing to compensate for JPG jaggies - 4x oversize should do (that's enough pixels for a 1,200 dpi
    image file being sent to a 300 dpi printer, for instance). 3x oversize (equal to a 900 dpi file for a 300 dpi
    printer)? Who knows? Any thoughts on this? 8x for a 720 dpi printer would require a 5,760 dpi print file
    ... BIG, but JPGed (100% no compression, right? I'd say it's make about a 120 MB JPG file!), so the
    print shop/lab should smile and say, "exactly what we asked for!" Hahahaha!

    I use sub-pixel gaussian blur to smooth out the new pixels and give them something unique, even once
    at 0.5 pixels is enough to invent new information, I sometimes use small amounts of blur at 0.5, 0.4, 0.3,
    0.2, 0.1 just to really make the new pixels something different. Since these are sub-pixels, it doesn't
    effect sharpening much either before or later, but it makes pixel peeping feel kinder to the eyes. I think
    Epson and others use sub-pixel blur for upsizing, plus they use sub-pixel printing algorithms, so we're
    not far apart from each other, thought wise and use of tools wise

    Free has a better upsizing routine than ol' Photoshop.

    Chris, don't you have the Sony Raw conversion software for your camera? Does anyone know if it also
    has resizing as part of Raw conversion like Minolta Raw conversion software does, rather than upsizing
    after Raw conversion in Photoshop? I can upsize to as much as 4.16x during Raw conversion ... using
    Minolta DiMage Master and $20 Dalibor Jelinek's "Dalifor" EXIF tool tricks to rotate the Raw image tag

    Dalifer EXIF tool for Windows explorer: or

    Minolta DiMage Master Raw conversion software: or

  24. I have the Sony Raw Conversion software. But I cannot find any way to increase the image size. :\
  25. I saw a test on TV comparing film to digital, and they made a 15ft x 27ft print using a 12.1 MP camera and it looked better than the 35mm film (they used a ISO 50 Fuji). The digital looked twice as good at 10ft. I think it's your call, you should be able to make just about any size depending on your viewing distance.
    Oh yeah it was a D700 if you wanted to know. Even with the smaller sensor of the 350 you still have a few more
    MP to work with, you should be fine.
  26. Thanks, I've got my answer so no more responses are needed now, unless you have something else you'd like to share that might help.
  27. Any thoughts on Qimage tool ( ?
    Thay make strong claims, and the guy behind the company seems quite knowledgeable.

Share This Page