newbie question : picture dimension vs print dimension

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Rene Wong, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Rene Wong

    Rene Wong Guest

    Digital pictures seem to have dimensions of 640 x 480, or multiples of it
    (2048 x 1536 etc.), but these dimensions don't seem to correlate with
    standard size prints of 4 x 6, or 5,7 or 8 x 10. Does this mean that every
    time I get my pictures developed or printed, that there has to be some sort
    of cropping done?

    Rene Wong, Sep 28, 2003
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  2. Rene Wong

    gr Guest

    Yup. It's probably better to crop the picture yourself, before you print.

    However, many of the better digicams have optional 3:2 aspect ratios you can
    shoot in, which perfectly fit your 4x6 prints.
    gr, Sep 28, 2003
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  3. Yes. It's no different than printing them yourself.
    There is one possible benefit to not cropping. You may be able to print more
    images per sheet if you can live with a non-standard length or width and
    still retain the full frame. But if you mix, for example, 5 X 7's and 5 X
    6.125, your collection may look like a scrap book instead of a standard
    Welcome aboard Rene.
    mark_digital©, Sep 28, 2003
  4. On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 17:38:58 GMT, Tom Thackrey wrote
    Well....I'd say it's not just like film.

    Admittedly, it took many years for bog-standard commercial developers
    to go to a standard of 4x6 prints, but allowing for minor edge-
    cropping, that does give a full-frame print from a 35mm neg. (2 1/4
    square was another matter, but I can't speak from experience with that

    I shot 35mm slides for years -- good discipline, since what you take is
    what you show -- and I'm finding it difficult to adjust to the square-
    ish format of digital.

    Compositionally, I still *think* in terms of strong
    horizontals/verticals; given my druthers, I'd prefer to shoot what I
    intend to print, rather than shoot something with the prior intent of
    cropping before printing.
    Harvey Van Sickle, Sep 28, 2003
  5. Rene Wong

    Don Stauffer Guest

    There are two (actually probably three) types of 'dimensions' of a
    digital image. One is in number of pixels.

    Really, digital images have no physical dimensions, per say. They can
    be displayed or printed any physical size.

    However, most people would say that if you print a picture with fewer
    than 200-300 pixels per inch, you will notice poor resolution and
    pixelization. So in effect the number of pixels does limit the physical
    size that make sense to print.

    As far as aspect ratio, there is nothing magic about them. Forget the
    aspect ratio of popular print sizes. For instance, while 4 x 6 prints
    DO match the aspect ratio of 35mm film, the 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 do not. If
    you order an 8 x 10 print of a 35mm image, the printer will crop for

    BTW, the third 'dimension' I mentioned is file size. However, various
    formats compress images different ways, and different amounts, so there
    is actually very little correlation between image size in pixels and the
    resultant file size.
    Don Stauffer, Sep 29, 2003
  6. On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 23:21:24 GMT, Bay Area Dave wrote that Harvey

    I haven't yet; I'll certainly try it out, though.

    Digital is pretty new for me -- I'm just getting the feel of my first
    digital (a point-and-shoot, dipping-toes-in-water affair which I picked
    up to play with before exploring more expensive kit). I'm certainly
    not yet comfortable with the proportions of digital in terms of how I
    view potential compositions.

    (FWIW, the reason for going with a P&S to fool around with is because
    with all technical kit -- photography, computers, etc. -- I lean
    towards the approach of starting with basic-to-intermediate stuff so
    that I can discover what features are missing that I want to have; I
    then selectively upgrade. I've never been hot on starting with an all-
    singing-dancing outfit -- even if I can afford it -- that has so many
    features that I can't get my head around, and will never, ever use. I
    realise that the mileage of others differs a lot on this approach.)
    Harvey Van Sickle, Sep 29, 2003
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