Photography Cheat Sheet: Camera Resolution x Print Size Chart

Ever wonder how big you can print your digital photos? This infographic will serve as your handy cheat sheet for your next printing project.

We’ve long been advocating printing your precious photos instead of letting them marinate in your hard drives or stay forgotten on your social media accounts. One of the first steps to this is finding out how big you can print your photos. This will give you an idea which spaces in your home or office can house your prints. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet will help you determine the maximum print size for your photo based on the resolution of your camera.

The infographic below was put together by Photobiz as part of their handy guide to image print resolutions. We can treat it as a photography cheat sheet to understand the relationship between image resolution and print size so our prints will look as best as possible, without artifacts and visible pixels.

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If you’ve ever tried to print 5×8 inch photos from your 6-8 Megapixel point-and-shoot camera or smartphone, you noticed it looked good enough. You can even go as big as 8×10 inches and the quality would still be acceptable. But, if you want to either ensure optimum print quality at that those sizes, you’ll need to shoot with a camera that has a bigger resolution.

The chart also tells us it’s now easy to have our photos printed at least as big as 11 or 12 inches x 17 or 18 inches at 300 PPI. With many DSLRs and mirrorless cameras having a resolution of 20 – 24 Megapixels, there’s no reason for us to not print at this size. A few framed prints of these sizes should be big enough to dress up an empty wall of your living room or a hallway in your office.

To quickly determine the largest size you can print at the best quality possible, the cheat sheet also provides a simple equation: divide each of the dimensions of your image by 300. The 300 PPI is considered as the industry standard for printed materials, as pictures with higher PPI tend to have better quality due to greater pixel density. Find out more about PPI and how it’s different to DPI in this tutorial from 99designs.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our photography cheat sheets for more tips and tricks!