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Thread: Printed Photos Look...Pixelated/Digital - HELP!

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    Member notahonda's Avatar
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    Printed Photos Look...Pixelated/Digital - HELP!

    Hi All
    I recently came across an issue and i am sure or well im hoping to be sure that its something im doing wrong, but when i print photos...it comes out slightly pixelated. The photos that i am printing out have a resolution of about 2000 x 1200 or something like that so the pictures themselves are pretty huge .... and the print size i want is 6 x 4. Now this is pixelation not to be confused with graininess. Like when you look at the photos you can tell it was a digital printer rather than from like a film camera. And i get a similar amount of pixelation when the photos originated from a nikon d700 or my olympus e-520. I am not printing from RAW. I am printing from a JPG file. I printed the photos out of office works. I am hoping people can give me some pointers on what i am doing wrong please

    Kind regards
    Nim

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    What Pixel per inches are you using?


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    im not sure to be honest....sorry im a bit of a newb at printing how do i check that in photoshop? also is there a guide to how many dpi's a photo should be? and is it relative to the photosize output?

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    Quote Originally Posted by notahonda View Post
    im not sure to be honest....sorry im a bit of a newb at printing how do i check that in photoshop? also is there a guide to how many dpi's a photo should be? and is it relative to the photosize output?
    Go image [Ctrl+Alt] and set it 300 p/in

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    thanks for that ianB. the photos i printed were set at 300pixels/inch ...is that enough for a smooth image?

    if i decided to change this number to 500 pixels/inch now would this mean the same photo will be alot smoother? or is this number meant to be set before the jpg image has been saved?

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    oooops i realised that some photos were set at 72dpis if i change this to 300dpi on all the pictures that i thought were pixelated would that improve the print quality? or will i have to redo all the photos again ?
    Last edited by notahonda; 08-06-2009 at 1:53pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notahonda View Post
    oooops i realised that some photos were set at 72dpis if i change this to 300dpi on all the pictures that i thought were pixelated would that improve the print quality? or will i have to redo all the photos again ?
    Don't set PPI to 500, it's a waste and it makes the output file size very small only!
    That is if you want to print a large photo size your limited to XXXX x YYYY pixels size, divided by the number of PPI per side. Good quality printers only use a max of 300ppi anyhow.

    So your 2000x1200 pixel image will only print to 4x2.4 inch photo size if you use 500PPI setting.
    @ 300ppi that same image will print to 2000x1200(divided by 300) which equals (roughly) 6x4inch. But that's not allowing much leeway so you're best off using a higher file size to print to photo... say 3000x2000 or so. It should yield better quality.

    The images set to 72ppi will almost certainly look very ordinary when out putted to print.

    It's not rocket science, but it can be confusing!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    okay...i just had a play with PPI in photoshop... and it seems wateva PPI figure i use it automatically determines the appropriate image size.

    If that is the case then photoshop calculates all the above automatically and optimally? And if that is the case ... how come my pictures are coming out pixelated? and not smooth like a film a camera?

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    Quote Originally Posted by notahonda View Post
    .. ... how come my pictures are coming out pixelated? and not smooth like a film a camera?
    Dunno?

    Not being a printer, I can't help troubleshoot anything, but I have printed the odd photo(maybe 10 photos in 3 years!) on my cheap, but decent quality bubblejet printer, and I remember the only thing that affected print quality was file size.

    Smaller files remember resolution is simply the basis of file size, taking out compression as a factor, so a larger file means more data.

    I used to convert to jpg at 100% quality(ie. no compression!) and leave the original 4000x 3000 filesize intact. even for lowly 6x4 in prints.

    maybe you had some kind of compression setting that reduced the actual file size??

    What file size was this 2000x1200 pixel image. Say if it were 2.4meg and you saved it to 500kb's then the compression is going to kill quality too.
    And I'm only assuming that you're using jpg not TIFF.
    I can;t say that I've seen any difference in print quality from the 2 or 3 A4's that I've printed in both TIFF and jpg format, but as I said my jogs were saved at 100% quality using Capture NX(whatever that corresponds to in PS speak??).

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