Photo Sizes for Printing, Posting, and Viewing

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 a variety of 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

1:1 – Square format. From the oldest Kodak Brownie camera, to new low-fi Holga film cameras and Instagram today.

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:

On Garden Stairs Grandpa Built 1
My father buit these stairs inexpensively out of cinder block decades ago.

The table below should help get these sizes and ratios in order for you.

Photo Dimensions
Table of typical dimensions for photographs. The controls on top will sort the table.
Print Size Width Length Ratio
4" x 4" 04" 04" 1:1
4" x 5" 04" 05" 1.25:1
4" x 6" 04" 06" 1.5:1 (3:2)
5" x 7" 05" 07" 1.4:1
6" x 9" 06" 09" 1.5:1 (3:2)
8" x 10" 08" 10" 1.25:1
8" x 12" 08" 12" 1.5:1 (3:2)
10" x 13" 10" 13" 1:3
10" x 15" 10" 15" 1.5:1 (3:2)
10" x 20" 10" 20" 2:1
11" x 14" 11" 14" 1.2727:1
12" x 18" 12" 18" 1.5:1 (3:2)
16" x 20" 16" 20" 1.25:1
16" x 24" 16" 24" 1.5:1 (3:2)
20" x 24" 20" 24" 1.2:1
20" x 30" 20" 30" 1.5:1 (3:2)
24" x 36" 24" 36" 1.5:1 (3:2)

And this table gives the alternate perspective.

Photo Size Ratios
Table of typical ratios for photography and imaging.
Ratio Prints Film / Sensor / Social Sites
1:1 4" x 4" up to 20" x 20" and beyond 120 or MF film
Instagram images
Profile pictures such as LinkedIn
1.2:1 20" x 24" -
1.25:1 4" x 5", 8" x 10", 16" x 20" -
1.2727:1 11" x 14" -
1.3:1 10" x 13" -
1.4:1 5" x 7" -
1.5:1 (3:2) 4" x 6", 6" x 9", 8" x 12", 10" x 15", 12" x 18", 16" x 24", 20" x 30", 24" x 36" 35mm film
APS-C digital camera sensor
"full-frame" digital camera sensor
2:1 10" x 20" -

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 just upload them now to a print service, how will they look without any extra work. My wonderful Canon S110 is in the table, too.

Digital Camera Sensor Sizes
Table of sensor sizes and ratios for modern digital cameras.
Manufacturer Model Sensor Size Sensor Dimensions Sensor Ratio
Canon 5D Mark III 36 x 24 mm (a.k.a. 'full frame') 5760 x 3840 pixels 1.5:1
Canon S110 7.44 × 5.58 mm (a.k.a. 1/1.7") 4000 x 3000 pixels 1.3333:1
Apple iPhone 5 4.54 × 3.42 mm (a.k.a.1/3.2") 3264 × 2448 pixels 1.3333:1

Local Printing of Typical Photo Sizes

Most stores, such as CVS, Walgreens, etc., which offer photo printing with local pickup, use the traditional 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 print 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

Online services from Shutterfly and Snapfish offer these traditional sizes, as well.

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 is a lowly 1024×768 pixels; it seems the brightness and performance is being increased over the years, but that old size is hanging on.

Monitor and Projector Dimensions
Table of typical dimensions for computer monitors and projectors typically used in conference rooms.
Image Size Ratio
Standard Monitor 1.3333 ratio (a.k.a. 4x3)
Widescreen Monitor 1.7778 ratio (a.k.a. 16x9 HD)
Projector (typical) 1.3333:1 ratio for 1024x768 pixels

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