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Simple Guide to Printing Your Digital Photographs

How often have you heard the term “300 dpi” being tossed around loosely in the photography business like a bowl of salad? Your digital camera menu doesn’t have a DPI (dots per inch) setting so why should you concern yourself with this cryptic term at all? That’s right, you shouldn’t. DPI has absolutely nothing to do with digital photos but Capture Resolution does. Don’t believe? The Kodak digital printing guide has some useful info you may like to know but no more useful than the chart below. As a professional photographer of 8 years, I have often disassociated myself from matters in the business pertaining to printing — I leave that to the printing professionals so I can focus on what I love: the art of creating pictures with my camera.

The guide lets you print the highest quality photos from your camera. As a rule, I set my photo editor to zero compression when resizing my JPEG files. I learnt a painful lesson 10 years ago with a 1.6 Megapixel Kodak DC-265 when flash memory storage was prohibitively costly. Being forced to shoot at very low resolution meant an album of kids growing up photos that are pixelated even at 3R prints.

Source: Photo Printing Guide

If you feel like dusting off the calculator, you can work out the print size of images with this formula:

[photo resolution] / 300 dpi = print size in inches (print lab typically prints at 300 dpi)

Example: a 1200 x 1800 resolution image will give you a high quality 4×6 print (4R print)

1200 / 300 = 4 inches and 1800 / 300 = 6 inches

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