You've probably noticed that, as you
print a picture bigger and bigger, the larger prints sometimes start
to look "blocky." In this article, we'll explain why and give you
some simple tips to help you get great prints at any size.
When should I start
thinking about what size I want to print my photos?
The best time to start thinking about
your intentions for your photos is before you shoot them.
The megapixel (MP) setting is the most important setting on your
camera determining your maximum print size.
Pixels are the little individual squares
that make up a digital photo--each with its own colour and brightness.
A megapixel is equal to one million pixels. The more pixels there
are in a square inch, the higher the resolution of the photo. A
1 MP camera is capable of a maximum of one million pixels per square
inch. A 2MP camera can capture two million pixels per square inch...
and so on.
The size of the photo you can print
is most closely related to the MP setting on your camera. (Some
cameras refer to the megapixel setting as "resolution.") The more
megapixels you capture when you shoot a picture, the bigger the
print you can make without getting that "blocky" look.
It's a good idea to have your camera set at a much higher MP setting
than you think you need. For instance, even if you are a person
who always prints 4" x 6" photos, you might shoot a picture with
a detail you especially love. If your camera is set for more than
the minimum amount of megapixels necessary for a 4" x 6", you can
crop and enlarge the photo to make a new photo of the detail without
noticing any loss of quality in your print.
Will taking high resolution
photos fill up my memory card?
The guide below can help you plan how much memory you'll need to have
on hand when shooting at your camera's highest resolution. Camera and
memory card capacities seem to be growing all the time, so use this information
as a starting point to estimate your needs.
It's important to make sure you're printing
at the right quality settings to ensure that all the digital information
you've carefully captured for your chosen print size ends up on
For most photos, "Best" is the print quality that will ensure long-lasting,
lab-quality prints. However, for wallet-size prints, the "Normal"
setting is sufficient. Refer to your printer's manual to learn how
to change print quality settings.
If you don't want your print sizes limited
by your printer's abilities, try using Snapfish,
the online photo printing service that can not only deliver prints
up to 20"x30", but also can wrap your photos around everything from
mugs to pet collars.
As you place an order, Snapfish gives you the choice of print sizes
that will give you the best print resolution for each of the photos