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Busting The Megapixel Myth — How Much Resolution Do You Need For Print?

How many megapixels does your camera have? Mine has about 10 megapixels. But how much of it do you really need for a print? Here’s a small reference table to outline the pixels required to print some common sizes. This assumes that you print them at 200 dpi (dots per inch).

Print Size (in.) Diamension in Pixels Megapixels
3½ x 5 700 x 1000 <1
4 x 6 800 x 1200 1
5 x 7 1000 x 1400 1.5
8 x 10 1600 x 2000 3.2
11 x 14 2200 x 2800 6

So just in case you thought the pictures taken with your old 2 megapixel cameraphone were a waste, don’t give up hope yet. Retouch them to your liking and feel free to press the print button when you are satisfied. And if you want do bookmark this post – those reference tables do come in handy.

8 comments… add one
  • Kim Beck August 31, 2009, 1:45 am

    I have a 6MP Nikon D70s, and I made GREAT looking 75x50cm prints…

  • Kirsten Ness October 28, 2009, 7:41 pm

    I wish I could leave a collaboration in your work at Mozilla.I like the tabs idea!
    WoW! Great pictures in this page! Congratulations! Im a photography lover since ever but not as good as you!! Maybe some day because for a hobby is kind of expensive and my good camera is an old generation one: Nikon F4. Imagine! My digital camera is a HP 240. Excelent but not enough for what I want. All my blessings and maybe we can be in touch and share pictures. I can learn a lot from you

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