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2MB file...

Anton Frid , Jan 25, 2007; 04:21 p.m.


I have shot a 2MB digital file that now needs to be printed into 57in x 23in photograph. Can it be done? or is the file to small? I though any file can be printed any size, but with that you loose quality? Also does it matter if the file is 72dpi or 300pdi?

Meaning what is the difference if I have a file that is 2MB(300dpi) vs 2MB (72dpi)

Can someone advise on what to do is the size of the file (jpg) is to small and yet it needs to be printed BIG! Perhaps PS manipulations can be applied.

I'm open for anything.

my best


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Don Cooper , Jan 25, 2007; 04:48 p.m.

Since all the numbers (and I mean all) you refer to are meaningless (except the 57in X23 in) learn to refer to pixels when talking about resolution. What are the pixel dimensions of your file example - 3000 X 2000 pixels.

Hakon Soreide , Jan 25, 2007; 04:58 p.m.

Well, the numbers might be vague on the verge of meaninglessness, but I can assure you that you're not very likely to get a good print at 57x23 inches from a 2Mb file.

Of course, viewing distance and subject matter is important too, but for a good quality print of 23x57 inches, 200dpi is what I'd call the mimimum, meaning 4600x11400 pixels, 52 megapixels, which uncompressed in 8-bit quality would make a 156 Mb file, and if you're anywhere near that pixel count, it will have had to be compressed into a nightmare of jpeg artifacts in order for it to get as small as 2Mb.

Anton Frid , Jan 25, 2007; 05:41 p.m.

Well i believe i shot it at Normal - High which is like 3200x2100 on my FujiS2...

Why can you just blow up the print using 2mb to any size that you wish? Quality will suffer, but its possible, no?

Dan Mitchell , Jan 25, 2007; 05:46 p.m.

You could blow it up to a very big size, but there will be little detail left in the image. If you were going to look at it from a very great distance it might be OK, but if you were to put in on a wall where viewers could stand close, it would likely look pretty awful.


Michael Axel , Jan 25, 2007; 05:52 p.m.

I'd think 2Mb is really unusable for that size. I occassionally do 44x66" prints (roughly the same size as your largest dimension) with a 10.2 Mb camera and it is acceptable if post-processed properly. They come out around 15-17 Mb I believe.

Anton Frid , Jan 25, 2007; 06:11 p.m.


To get a 15-17mb file, you have to shoot RAW? So from what you guys are saying, my 3200x2100 gives me at most 8x10? and 4200x3200 would give me 11x14print size? If i want to print anything bigger i have to shoot RAW? am i understanding this?

How about this option - I print an image 4x6 or 8x10, and than scan it say to 15mb file? Can i than print it 23x57inch? Would that work? what are the pro's and con's?

Thanx you all....

Ben Kriete , Jan 25, 2007; 08:30 p.m.

You are correct that it's possible. There's no law, legal or physical, that prevents you from printing your 2 MB file at 57 x 23 inches. However at that level of enlargement you will probably see actual pixels or substantial graininess/fuzziness. Ever see old newspaper photos blown up to 20x30 or so? Notice how grainy they are? That's more or less what you'll be getting with your image. Printing it at 4x6 and scanning will make it worse, if anything. If you want to get some idea of what the picture will look like, take 3200/57 = 56 dpi. Take your picture in Photoshop or another image editor and crop out a 450 x 560 pixel section of it and get it printed at 8x10. This simulates a section of the whole 3000 x 2000 pixel image at 57x23 but won't cost you as much. It might look "ok" from across the room but it will likely look bad up close.

72 vs 300 dpi (dots per inch) makes no difference - it's the number of "d"s (dots) that matters. 2000/72 = ~27 inches wide at 72 dpi and 2000/300 = ~7 inches wide at 300 dpi. It's still the same amount of information.

Anton Frid , Jan 25, 2007; 11:47 p.m.

Thanx Ben

Okay, i just went and changed my picture from 72dpi to 300dpi. The file jumped from 2MB to 13MB. Can i now print it 23x57inch?

Matt Neighbour - York, U.K. , Jan 26, 2007; 11:36 a.m.

If you did that conversion using resampling in Photoshop, then it will look a little better, since pixellation will be smoothed out, but it will be soft, since you can't create any new information. However digital files can be interpolated to larger sizes quite well.

There are better ways of interpolating files to larger sizes to print. I recommend the application QImage, which is an excellent means of preparing files for printing. It has superior interpolation algorithms than Photoshop and is relatively inexpensive. A free option is ImageMagick, but this is a command-line tool for those people familiar with such things. Just Google the names and you'll find them.


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