How Large Can You Enlarge Different Megapixels?

A lot of people using digital cameras want to know how large they can blow up or enlarge their photographs based on different pixel settings. This article is aimed at teaching you how much you can enlarge your photographs depending on what type of digital camera you’re using and what the pixel settings are on your camera.

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As a general rule of them here is the chart that outlines how big you can blow up your digital pictures.

To use this chart find the resolution of your image and multiply it to find out how many megapixels the image is. For example a 1024 pixel by 1024 pixel image would be a 1MP image because 1024X1024 is about 1 million pixels.

1MP = 1 Million Pixels and so on.

This chart was prepared for us by one of our students.

  Quality Comments Digital Camera PPI Range
Superb
Superb
Just about the finest quality possible!
200+ PPI
Excellent
Excellent
The casual photographer will see no difference to a slight difference when compared to Superb.
150-199 PPI
Better
Better
Better than Good, but not as good as Excellent. The typical photographer will be very happy with prints of this quality.
100-149 PPI
Good
Good
Quality that your typical photographer will be happy with.
80-99 PPI
Fair
Fair
Quality will depend on the individual picture. For larger size prints the typical photographer will find them acceptable, but the sharpness will not be as high as a Good quality print. Compelling subject matter may trump the loss of sharpness.
79 PPI or less

Here is another table for your reference

CCD Size

Maximum Image Resolution

Printing Size (inches and cm)

1.3 Megapixel

1280 x 960

4.27″ x 3.2″ (10.9cm x 8.1cm)

2.11 Megapixel

1600 x 1200

5.33″ x 4″ (13.5cm x 10.2cm)

3.34 Megapixel

2048 x 1536

6.83″ x 5.12″ (17.3cm x 13cm)

4.1 Megapixel

2272 x 1704

7.57″ x 5.68″ (19.2cm x 14.4cm)

5.2 Megapixel

2560 x 1920

8.53″ x 6.4″ (21.7cm x 16.3cm)

6-7 Megapixel

3000 X 2000 – 3240 X 2160

8×10 (see notes below)

8 Megapixel

 

8×10 (see notes below)

10 Megapixel

 

11×14 (see notes below)

It should be noted that the image enlargement size recommendations above are on the conservative size and will allow for optimal enlargement capabilities with the best and crispest possible picture.

However, you can still blow your photographs up further if you don’t mind loosing a little bit of crispness.

For example you can enlarge a 6-7 megapixel print to 16.20 or an 8 megapixel print to 17×22. Better yet, you can blow up a 10 megapixel print to 20×30 for a good quality print.

If you’re interested in learning more about this. Have a look at our online course.

Note: The chart on this page was created by one of our students and is entirely subjective.

13 comments

  1. Scott says:

    Um, I have no idea what the top chart is supposed to be. What do the numbers in the colored boxes mean? Where did they come from? Is a high number good or bad?

  2. Jim says:

    Whilst the information here is generally correct, it does have one glaring error. My biggest gripe about your page is the totally incorrect use of dpi. Dpi is a PRINTING term – it measures the number of dots of ink/toner etc. placed on the print itself. Dots have a physical being. They exist.

    Your printer determines the dpi of your print based on the machines they use and you have no control over dpi. If you print at howme you do have that control and you set it based on the quyality you want. Epson offer Maximumn Quality, Best Quality etc and that is in effect amending the dpi of the print.

    However what you are talking about here are digital images and digital images are measured in PIXELS and the term you should be using is PPI PIXELS PER INCH. Pixels are the smallest part of a digital image and how close you place them will determine only the size of the print.

    PPI and DPI are not the same. Photoshop gets it right. Wikipedia gets it, so why do so many (decent) web sites providing good information like this get it wrong? All it does is add further to the confusion.

    Anyway other than that, the information here is good. You can easily get a 20″ print at pretty decent (good) quality from a 2Mp image. That may surprise many but it’s true.

    I generally don’t go lower tha 100ppi but have a very large print sent at 75ppi that was printed at 3m x 1m! Looked amazing

    So I do like the page…. Just needs correcting :)

    Cheers
    Jim

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