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How to get high resolution photos from digital camera

Vicki Blakslee , Mar 14, 2008; 11:58 a.m.

I am using a Fuji FinePix 9100 with the photo size set on 3488 x 2616 (what they call 9M F). I have also shot in RAW converting the image to Jpeg. When I upload to have pirnts made at onine services like Costco and Adorama I am informed that the largest that they can print and have the prints look good is 8 x 10. I am informed that the pictures are of a low resolution. In converting the RAW to jpeg I set the resolution to 500 and still got the same result when uploading the files. How does one get the higher resolution photos to be able to print in 12 x 18 and 16 x 20? I have a friend who shoots with a Nikon D300 and his 16 x 20 prints look great.

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TM Cleland , Mar 14, 2008; 12:22 p.m.

Vicki,

Just a quick follow up question: you set the resolution to 500 what?

If you're going to be uploading pictures to a site to be printed, your best bet is to open the images in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and use the "Image Size" dialogue to resample the image, then use the "Canvas size" tool to get it to the exact size you want, assuming it doesn't scale proportionally. Not only will you have total control over how the image is cropped, but you can get an idea of whether or not the final print quality will be acceptable.

Rob Bernhard , Mar 14, 2008; 12:37 p.m.

[[In converting the RAW to jpeg I set the resolution to 500 ]]

I too question this statement. Don't worry about setting the ppi or dpi values. Just upload a full sized, 3488 x 2616 JPG file and see what the site says about what sized prints you can make.

TM Cleland , Mar 14, 2008; 12:39 p.m.

The above assumes you have Photoshop / Photoshop Elements. If you don't I would recommend getting one of the two. Either would be acceptable for what you're describing, and at $100 or so, Photoshop Elements is a very good price for everything that it can do. The dialogues in this image are identical in both programs, though in "Elements" they will be found under "Image > Image Size" I believe. It's the same on a PC or Mac BTW. Click here to see the dialogues. I put it on an external page to make sure that it doesn't mess this one up. Hope this is helpful!

Rob Bernhard , Mar 14, 2008; 12:46 p.m.

There are far better ways to crop photos than by using the Canvas Size, TM.

Vicki,

You can easily print larger with your images even without sampling. 9MP is about 8x12 at 300dpi, but you don't need to print at 300 dpi. Most online ordering forms allow you to print at any size you want and simply give you a warning when you drop below their hard-coded "acceptable" dpi value. But that's applying a universal rule and does not take into account the quality of the image nor the viewing distance nor a host of other factors.

So, I think you'll easily be able to print larger simply by uploading and doing so. Ignore the warnings and just print one. If you don't like what you see you can revisit the issue by resampling the image.

TM Cleland , Mar 14, 2008; 01:12 p.m.

Well, there are different ways to crop photos, Rob. I don't know that one is better than the other, they each have their own strengths, one being better than the other based on what one plans to do with the image.

I was simply opting for a method that would be easy to convey to someone who's experience level with Photoshop is unknown to me. It's very likely that what I describe above is nothing new to anyone.

I agree that you can upload an image for enlargements without resampling. I guess years of working in printing and with printers (photographic and otherwise) have made me skeptical that the stranger receiving the file is invested in how good your image looks. For example, enlarging an image may amplify any noise that is in the image, or subject it to pixilation, and these are all things that can be dealt with before sending the image off.

My experience has been that it's best to remove as many variables as you can before relinquishing control of the image.

Carl Stone , Mar 14, 2008; 01:30 p.m.

Don't set the resolution, just send the full image. I print 8X12's from a 3.3 MP Nikon CP 990, and they look great.

Randall Pukalo , Mar 14, 2008; 03:04 p.m.

This is the problem: when you upload to Costco, the default setting is "Fast Upload", which downsizes your image before uploading. You have to manually over ride this and select Big Print/File Upload or something like that. Then your full image size will upload, and you should have no problems.

Carl Stone , Mar 14, 2008; 03:30 p.m.

"You have to manually over ride this and select Big Print/File Upload or something like that. "

Just how does one do that, I've never seen a way to change it? OTOH, I use it as is it, and I never have any problems with enlargements, even from a 3.3 MP camera.

Ronald Moravec , Mar 14, 2008; 04:35 p.m.

To get a good print, you need 300 pixels per inch. An 8x10 therefore requires 2400x3000 pixel image.

Either photoshop program can get you there.

You also need to make the original at max file size the camera will make, then reduce to 8" wide by however long it turns out. Then crop it so it is 10 long. Elements will do all this.


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