Low Resolution pictures

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by aagneysh, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. I clicked couple of pics when I try to upload to any website for taking printouts ...I get warning as Low resolution photo (picture would be blurred).

    Can someone suggest how to fix the issue. I need those pics.

    Please advice
  2. thats my own photos from my camera. I am trying to take print of those photos.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2018
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Have you looked at your camera menu or exif data? What resolution is your camera set to capture?
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Your question was ambiguous and confusing. It appeared that you meant that you were "clicking" picture that were on a website.

    If you want to upload picture from your camera to a website, then as Sandy stated, the first step is to investigate what is the resolution those pictures.

    But you wrote "for taking printouts" - and if you want to print those pictures, and they are your pictures, then you do not need to upload them to a website because you can print from the file out of your camera, if you have only captured in a raw file, just convert that to a JPEG.

    You need to clarify what it is exactly that you want to achieve.

  5. aagneysh: Are you trying to submit pictures through the web site of an online printing service? I could imagine the interface would tell you if it thought the images would be low resolution.

    As others said, the first step is to find out the resolution of the images you've got. If you have JPEG images (which I imagine you do), both Windows and the Mac will tell you this. In Windows, right click on the file and look at "properties" - I'm not in front of a pc, but if you rummage you'll find the image size in pixels as "some number x some number" (e.g. 4000 x 3000); I forget whether I'm imagining this, but you might get that information in the explorer info bar just by selecting the file. On a Mac, select the file and press command-I for information.

    There are two sides to "resolution". The important one for whether an image is useful to you is the number of pixels that make it up - that determines how much detail you've got. The other side is how big those pixels are.

    The latter measure, usually in "pixels per inch", is the single most irritating and pointless source of confusion for anyone new to printing. Unfortunately, you can record a "pixels per inch" value in a JPEG file (which gives it a default printing size). Different manufacturers store different values here - 300 pixels per inch is considered high quality for a print (with a typical photo you won't see the pixels making it up), but some store, for example, 96 pixels per inch, which for a while was a standard conceptual resolution for a computer monitor.

    The pixels per inch value should be irrelevant - if you go further into the settings of the print you should be able to size it to whatever print size you're trying to create, which overrides the pixels-per-inch value. I've met some systems that start by assuming you really want the pixels-per-inch in the file, and want to crop to the print size, though - that's almost definitely not what you want to do, and (so long as you're sure you're fitting the image to your print output) you can ignore the warning.

    That's the case of the default "pixels per inch" is the problem. If the problem is the actual number of pixels making up your image, some places warn you if you don't get to 300 pixels per inch at the print size you want. Let's say your image is 3000x2000 (which is an example 6 megapixel image). If you're trying to print it at 15"X10" (or more likely 12x10 with some cropping), that's only 200 pixels per inch - 2000/10 = 3000/15 = 200. 200 pixels per inch is high, but not quite as sharp as 300, and you can see the difference if you look closely (whereas above 300 the eye really struggles to see the difference unless there are very high contrast edges). The good news is that people look at big prints from farther away, so the low resolution didn't matter so much (most posters look awful up close).

    If you're expecting to make a 40" print from a cheap camera or old phone, the result will look blurry (or in the case of some print places, pixelated) if you look closely. You can make the image larger in image editors like Photoshop, and the are tools specifically designed to make good enlargements - but they're making up detail that isn't in the original image, so they're never perfect. Since you probably won't look closely at a 40" print, it probably doesn't matter.

    TL;DR: I'd ignore the warning. It's either spurious because of a setting in the JPEG that you'll override when you size the image to your print, or it's valid but probably paranoid - the detail in your image is all you've got captured, so that's all you can print. The web site is really trying to warn you in case you had a higher quality version somewhere, but presumably you don't.

    It is, though, worth checking your camera settings in case it's recording images at less than maximum quality (typically to save side).
  6. My apologies for jumping to conclusions, but the question sounded like taking pictures from a website somewhere to get yourself prints.
    If they're your own photos, dig up the original file as it came from the camera. If your camera is a somewhat recent model camera, it should have plenty resolution for regular print sizes.

  7. Thanks for the information, I was trying to take print outs from shutterfly website when I got that warning

  8. attached the property file for reference, please advice

    Image Properties.jpg

  9. Please suggest any online editors which I can use to enlarge the image
  10. According to the description you posted, the file is 500 pixels by 548 pixels, which is an extremely low resolution file (about 0.24MP) from a Canon 60D, which can produce 18MP files. It is either a low resolution version of one of your files or an extremely cropped portion of a file. Consumer printing companies, like Shutterfly, will usually provide a warning if the file is too small to produce a decent specific sized print. In this case, it is not surprising that they would provide a warning if you tried to print any standard sized print, such as a 4" x 6" with that sized file. When I make 4" x 6" prints, I upload a file that has a pixel dimension of at least 1800 x 1200 pixels which is what I would recommend for making small prints. I think the minimum size file for such a 4" x 6" print would be at least 900 x 600 pixels, though larger would be better. You can ignore the warning and order a print, or upload a larger file (if available).
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  11. As Ken suggests, the native resolution image from a 60D should be plenty for a large print. At full size, the image resolution should be 5184x3456 (about 18 megapixels - let's not conflate that with 18 megabytes, since the file size will vary significantly), and even a small image is half this in each dimension.

    500x548 suggests a tiny crop from part of the frame (perhaps cropped in Photoshop or similar? - that the aspect ratio isn't 3:2 is a clue it's not just resized) - about a tenth of the detail the camera can record, as though you'd used a 50mm lens but wanted the view of a 500mm lens. This may be all you've got if, say, you took a photo of some interesting wildlife but only had the kit lens available. You can print what you've got and ignore the warning, but the web site is right to warn you that it'll look about as detailed as a standard definition television frame - so don't expect it to look tack sharp.

    You might be able to improve things a bit heuristically - there are dedicated companies (PerfectResize springs to mind; there are others) which can keep things looking vaguely okay as you scale up, and various people have recently demonstrated good scaling using AI, but expect some glitches because they're making up details not in the original image. Conventional scaling makes the result look soft, but at least won't introduce false details.

    I'm guessing the crop means that no higher resolution source was available?

    I hope that helps somewhat.

  12. You are right Ken, Its a cropped part of original picture since the original picture had some distortions which I wanted to discard

  13. Thanks let me try PerfectResize
  14. aagneysh: Good luck. I should say that I mentioned PerfectResize as a product name I remembered (they're now "ON1 Resize", and were previously "Genuine Fractals"). I know vaguely how their product works; alternative solutions are available, and they're almost definitely no longer state of the art (especially allowing for AI techniques); you might want to try Let's Enhance (which is cheap for small numbers of images). It'll only get you 4x larger, but that's better than nothing, and you can always try it on its own output - just expect the results to be a bit abstract the farther you go. PerfectResize and related products are good for 2-3x enlargement, but tend to look painterly the farther you go. But I hope they get you far enough for your needs.

    Are you sure you can't make use of the "distortions"? A smaller subject in its surroundings in a detailed photo can often look better than a lower-quality image of the subject isolated.

    Ken: That's a common conflation (I see it often in requests for image data). I don't really know why!
  15. I tried couple of sites mentioned above, though was able to increase the resolution but the final output was not good. The picture was not sharp, blurry..Looks like I need to go for some professional help to fix those pictures. Please suggest any site or store which can help.
  16. I think you're basically always going to have trouble. You have 500x548 pixels to play with, that's all the image information you've got (unless, as I suggested, you use more of the original image and accept that the subject you're interested in is only part of it). If you print it small enough, it won't look blurry - but "small enough" is quite a challenge since it's about half the size of the low-resolution images we accept on forum posts, for example. It'll look (fairly) tack sharp printed at 2" square, but I doubt that's what you want.

    You can apply sharpening to the image that you've upscaled (using Photoshop, or something free like the GIMP), but all that does is make edges appear crisper. It won't make up detail that wasn't there - if you enlarge sufficiently, most software systems will create something that looks either blurry, or like a painting.

    How big are you trying to make the image, and how blurry do you feel it is?

    Here's a (resized-to) 500x548 image crop (this is from the 2012 Olympics, I happened to have it to hand). At this size (1:1 pixels, by default) it probably looks reasonably sharp (if a little noisy - sorry, high ISO and sharpening, and I don't have my usual tool set to hand...):


    Here's a 4x magnification of part of that image, shown at the same size. And it's not "sharp". The information just isn't there to create the extra pixels properly.

    You're never going to get back to near the original resolution:
    ...because that detail just wasn't recorded in the image.
  17. Just for extra interest, here's what letsenhance.io did with that crop:

    It's definitely sharp, but see what I mean about "painterly"? (That's the most abstract version, to be fair.) It's doing what's actually quite a good job of making up plausible detail - but it's certainly not "right". The noise is also not doing it any favours. It might be okay at print size, although it's highly likely to look at least a bit funny.

    I happen to have a (research) program kicking around that does full fourier-space filtering. Knocking out the two highest frequencies from the bicubic resize option I used in GIMP above gives you this:

    ...which certainly isn't sharp and has a bit of ringing in it, but it's avoided the pixellated edges of GIMP's version. This may be the nearest to what looks right if you squint at it or look at it from far away - but up close, it's obviously awful.

    There are a few guides on youtube to enlarging images manually "without losing sharpness". They use sample cases which make the technique look good - there's no way to do it perfectly - but they might be worth a try.

    Good luck.
  18. Just as an extra thought, Thom Hogan has just commented that there's a new version of QImage, which he recommends for enlargements and printing. I've not tried it myself, but there appears to be a free trial, so it might be worth a look.
  19. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Let us look at the math. Most pros like to have prints made at 300PPI (pixels per inch).Commercial on line printers will usually print at an acceptablel 200 PPI.

    A 3600 x 2400 pixel image (8.6 MP) if printed at those PPIs will result in:

    3600 pixels/300 pixels per inch x 2400pixels/300 pixels per inch = 12 inch x 8 inch paper photo.

    3600/200 x 2400/200 = 18 x 12 inch paper photo.

    Doing that with your 500 x 548 pixel image would result in:

    500/300 x 548/300 = 1.67 x 1.87 inch paper photo
    500/200 x 558/200 = 2.5 x 2.74 inch paper photo

    Pretty small.

    You cannot stretch a digital image as if it were painted on a balloon and then inflated. Pixel sizes (data) don't change. To go from a 500 pixel wide image to a 3600 pixel wide image 3,100 blank pixels would have to be inserted and then decided what colors to make them and how to integrate them. Then you have to do this 548 times for each pixel line of the height adding 1,698,000 blank pixels to your original image of 279,000 pixels. That is asking a lot of a program to try to figure out what to do to all of those blank pixels..
  20. What James said. The different ways we've been discussing of doing enlargements, and what I showed in the above images, are just different ways of the computer trying to make up data for all the pixels that are missing. Unfortunately, with the best will in the world, you're never going to get those pixels to be a perfect match to reality - there are too many different colours that those pixels could be. If you're only enlarging a bit, the results can look adequately plausible, and clever computer techniques can make a difference. Enlarge by a lot, and the chances of the result looking good decrease.

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