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Thread: Best images sizes to save at

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    Best images sizes to save at

    I am wanting to know is there a standard size that "Professionals" save their pictures at? And if so what is the best way to save images?

    I have a number of export presets set up in Lightroom for the different sizes, quality and with or without watermark. I'm trying to understand what the best way to go about saving images is. Currently I'm keeping 1920x1080 at 72dpi as a jpg and saving original at 3001x1688 at 300dpi as tif. I'm also thinking about saving the original raw file too.

    I tend to crop the majority at 16:9 but don't know if if there is a standard size or sizes the experts use.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    It depends on purpose. Print, Web, display on a small digital frame, or on a huge (80inch for example) screen.

    The big issue is a misunderstanding of DPI and PPI, they are not the same thing! Also saving at 72 was good when we had CRT monitors. These days most monitors are around 100 so saving at 72 might just be a bit low

    DPI and PPI are often assumed to be the same and thus often interplaced with each other, when in reality they are quite different.

    Dots Per Inch (DPI) is a printing term and is not really relevant to digital photography, it is not a photographic term, it is a printing term. DPI is a measure of how many tiny, tiny droplets of ink a printer can lay-down in its dither pattern to form one inch of a print. You will often see an inkjet printer marketed as 1440 DPI (can be as low as 720 DPI and as high as 5760 DPI). You tell the printer which DPI mode to print when you select options just before you print. So to summarise, DPI is a printing term.

    Pixels Per Inch (PPI) is the key term for digital images. It is a description of the number of pixels from your original image (X pixels by Y pixels - height by width) that will be used to tell the printer to print one inch on paper. Assuming a sharp original shot with good technique the higher the PPI, the better the quality print you can achieve - this is testably true even well beyond most claims of 360 PPI being the most you need ... 600 PPI images can easily be seen to be much sharper again if this data is available at good quality from the original file).

    PPI is a logical term - changing the PPI of a particular file does not in any way affect the file itself - it is simply a decision about how many pixels of the available pixels you will use to print an inch on page. You can choose any number you like - from 1 to infinity. The de facto standard for high quality, photographic printed images is 300 PPI - that is, for each inch of the printed image, there must be 300 source pixels to use.

    So DPI relates to how many little droplets of ink are used by a printer, PPI relates to the resolution of the digital image.

    Now with that, you should be able to work out what you want/need for your images.
    Last edited by ricktas; 17-11-2013 at 7:33am.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmvaux View Post
    ...I am wanting to know is there a standard size that "Professionals" save their pictures at? And if so what is the best way to save images?...
    (Well, I'm glad you're NOT asking me - no expert, that is!)

    But I'd say there is not, and like Rick said, it depends on purpose. I tend to leave them as they come out of the camera, and then make up other versions
    for posting here and the like.

    What ever way you do change the size, you affect the image quality some. Often it can be negligible, but it's there. The idea is to (try to) make this as
    little as possible. Photoshop (and I'd guess LR) have various interpolation methods for changing size, with some version of "bicubic" considered the best.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    It depends on purpose. Print, Web, display on a small digital frame, or on a huge (80inch for example) screen.

    The big issue is a misunderstanding of DPI and PPI, they are not the same thing! Also saving at 72 was good when we had CRT monitors. These days most monitors are around 100 so saving at 72 might just be a bit low

    DPI and PPI are often assumed to be the same and thus often interplaced with each other, when in reality they are quite different.

    Dots Per Inch (DPI) is a printing term and is not really relevant to digital photography, it is not a photographic term, it is a printing term. DPI is a measure of how many tiny, tiny droplets of ink a printer can lay-down in its dither pattern to form one inch of a print. You will often see an inkjet printer marketed as 1440 DPI (can be as low as 720 DPI and as high as 5760 DPI). You tell the printer which DPI mode to print when you select options just before you print. So to summarise, DPI is a printing term.

    Pixels Per Inch (PPI) is the key term for digital images. It is a description of the number of pixels from your original image (X pixels by Y pixels - height by width) that will be used to tell the printer to print one inch on paper. Assuming a sharp original shot with good technique the higher the PPI, the better the quality print you can achieve - this is testably true even well beyond most claims of 360 PPI being the most you need ... 600 PPI images can easily be seen to be much sharper again if this data is available at good quality from the original file).

    PPI is a logical term - changing the PPI of a particular file does not in any way affect the file itself - it is simply a decision about how many pixels of the available pixels you will use to print an inch on page. You can choose any number you like - from 1 to infinity. The de facto standard for high quality, photographic printed images is 300 PPI - that is, for each inch of the printed image, there must be 300 source pixels to use.

    So DPI relates to how many little droplets of ink are used by a printer, PPI relates to the resolution of the digital image.

    Now with that, you should be able to work out what you want/need for your images.
    Thanks Rick, a lot of helpful info there.

    What I'm thinking of doing at some stage, is have a webpage set up with my photos and give people the opportunity to buy them. I don't know what the largest size print is possible with photos taken at 6000x4000 but I want to be able to have images saved for the largest possible print, one for the website... not sure if that should be 1920x1080 or larger, I have heard some people who use Mac's with a large screen need around 2500 on the long side and also I'll keep the raw file. I guess there would be various print sizes available for someone wanting to buy via the website or shopping process that would be set up.

    I guess it probably helps having various size images as some may suit others better or someone may only have a certain size photo to fit an area.

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    Member carolyn j horrell's Avatar
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    I am also confused with this.... I have a Nikon D3100 and have been asked to photograph 2 of my friends weddings... What is the best setting as far as taking the photo, RAW/JPEG, FINE/NORMAL etc??? And for best print quality regarding enlarging and editing... the size, large, medium, small?? Pixels???

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolyn j horrell View Post
    I am also confused with this.... I have a Nikon D3100 and have been asked to photograph 2 of my friends weddings... What is the best setting as far as taking the photo, RAW/JPEG, FINE/NORMAL etc??? And for best print quality regarding enlarging and editing... the size, large, medium, small?? Pixels???
    There is not a simple answer. It depends what you call large etc. Large could be a4 size or it could be billboard size. The answer depends on how big you want to print it. But in general use RAW, then you do not need fine/normal etc. Save as TIF or PSD, not jpg (degrades image quality). Use a calibrated screen to ensure better colour accuracy in your prints. Find a printer who knows what he/she is doing (not harvey norman etc) and talk to them about what you want, they will be able to advise based on what size print you want, as to the best settings for the image. This is the easiest way to go, if you do not have a good understanding of it yourself.
    Last edited by ricktas; 20-11-2013 at 6:37am.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolyn j horrell View Post
    I am also confused with this.... I have a Nikon D3100 and have been asked to photograph 2 of my friends weddings... What is the best setting as far as taking the photo, RAW/JPEG, FINE/NORMAL etc??? And for best print quality regarding enlarging and editing... the size, large, medium, small?? Pixels???
    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    There is not a simple answer. ......
    Well there is.
    Beginner, weddings!
    Are you confident in your ability to capture good photos in the fast place Carolyn? Maybe post a few photos of people you have taken so you can get some feedback?
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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