BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Sara Mitchell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007


I recently purchased a Canon XTI. The problem I'm having is when I upload the images to the computer the image size is almost 20x30 but the resolution is only 72dpi. If I want to make prints from these images(4x6) they look pixelated. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I don't think I should have to go to photoshop and resize them. Before I used a canon powershot point and shoot and I didn't have this problem. Can someone help. Thanks so much. Sara Mitchell

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6/27/2007 12:38:56 PM

John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  sara, I'm not familiar with your camera, but, unless there is a menu option to change the dpi, you'll have to resize in your photo editing software. If you use Photoshop, under "Image Size", change the 72 to a more printable resolution such as 240-300.


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6/27/2007 1:32:48 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  What program are you using to print them? This shouldn't be a problem, and you shouldn't have to actually resize the images. All the information is there. When you print, if you tell the printing program or print driver to scale to fit a 4x6, it should print the image at about 650dpi.

Wait a minute, something doesn't sound right. The pictures from your XTi should be about 36"x54" at 72dpi. Do you have your camera set to Medium or Small JPEG? If you have it set to Small/Normal, then you have turned your new 10 Megapixel camera into a 2.5 Megapixel toy. Pictures at this setting will look good on your screen, and are small enough to email, but you will be lucky to get a decent print at any size.

Set your camera to Large/Fine (that's L with the smooth pie-piece next to it) right now, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER set it to anything smaller than that.

Pop quiz: When should you set your camera to something smaller than Large/Fine?

Answer: NEVER!

Memory cards are cheap. There is no excuse for not having enough memory to take large pictures. You can always reduce a picture's resolution if you want to email it or post it on a website. If you take low-resolution compressed pictures, you are very limited in what you can do with them.

Chris A. Vedros

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6/27/2007 2:02:55 PM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  the 72 DPI doesnt mean a thing.. you can print fine images at 72 dpi or 720dpi.. dont even worry about it.. when its gonna be printed, thats when it will help.. but if you send the shot out, the printer will up the dpi to what ever it needs to be..usually aroud 300 or so. I used to up the dpi of every shot to 300.. lol alls it did was make it take 10 times longer to up load to the if your shot looks bad at 100%, it might just be that its not focused correctly or just not a sharp shot. Im not blaming you but it could be.. you should post a pic with exif info so we can better help.
good luck

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6/28/2007 4:25:56 AM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  lol Chris.. I set mine to small jpeg only when I playing around making "movies" in hi speed shutter

Good advice!

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6/28/2007 4:27:52 AM

Sara Mitchell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007
© Sara Mitchell
Canon EOS Digital ...
Hello....I want to thank everyone for their good advice. These images look good on my pc but they were emailed to my daughter and she had them printed at either snapfist or costco and I did see the prints and the resolution was bad.I'm enclosing one of the images. Once again thanks for the advice.

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6/28/2007 4:48:12 AM

Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
  Sara I think the answer may be in what you just wrote---You took the pictures, they looked good, then you emailed them---and the recipient took them from the email, for printing. Very often, email systems will compress image files during transit, to reduce filesize overhead. (If I email anything to my mom's account, this always happens. They look ok on the recipient's screen, but they've been resized behind the scenes, and will not produce as good a print file as what you originally attached to the email.)
You'll need to either find a way to send her the entire original file (full-size---perhaps on CD, or Zipped in an attachment?) without it getting compressed arbitrarily by email, or print yourself, and send the prints to her. You mentioned Costco---if you have an account there, you can edit your files for appropriate print sizing, then upload them to their photo center, and she can view your album there, ordering prints for pickup at her nearby Costco. That would be better than her trying to print from your email attachment, in my opinion.

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6/28/2007 7:46:22 AM

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