Don’t randomly crop and print your photos! Do it purposefully using thoughtful photo size information – print well, post well, and project well.
Let’s make your images look great in various formats, whether they are printed using your home printer or at a local pharmacy or pro camera store, posted online and viewed on various monitor sizes, or projected in a conference room.
Typical Photo Size Ratios
4:3 – Four-thirds format. The sensor size of modern mirrorless digital cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-E1.
3:2 – 35mm format (also called 1.5:1). Film photography using SLR cameras – now the sensor ratio of modern APS-C DSLR cameras, including, of course, the expensive “full-frame” digital models.
16:9 – Widescreen panoramic format. I.e.: high-definition (HD) television.
2:1 or 3:1 – Panoramic (also called 12:6 or 18:6). Wide landscape photography.
Here’s how creating a dramatic wide crop can help “make” an image:
The table below should help get these sizes and ratios in order for you.
And this table gives the alternate perspective.
Modern Digital Camera Photo Sizes
So, how does all of this relate to the camera or camera phone I have in my hand right now? Here are some modern digital cameras, in a wide-range, and what the sensor ratios are without cropping. That is to say, if you upload them now to a print service, how will they look without any extra work. My wonderful Canon S110 is on the table, too.
Local Printing of Typical Photo Sizes
…And now you know these sizes as the following ratios; none of which are the default on most digital cameras and camera phones:
- 4×6 is a 1.5:1 ratio
- 5×7 is a 1.4:1 ratio
- 8×10 is a 1.25:1 ratio
Prints from online photo galleries such as SmugMug or 500px offer these and many more “artistic” sizes. These services usually have guides – for example, according to 500px, “Photo should be in either 1:1.5, 1:1, 1:2, 1:2.67 or 4:1 proportions to ensure they aren’t cropped when sold.”
Home and Office – Monitors and Projectors
Finally, in the home and office environment, this table should come in handy. Tip: Just about every projector in an office has a lowly 1024×768 pixel resolution; it seems the brightness and performance are being increased over the years, but that old size is hanging on.
Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comment section below!