(Closed) What is “high resolution”?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

99% of professional photographers shot in high resolution. I wouldn’t use a “low resolution” photographer. It may be someone who got a kit from a store and calls themselves a photographer. 

Photography was way too important to me to even consider a photographer like that. 

Most likely a “low resolution” would be 6mp before editing, cropping might lower it some. A good high resolution would be using at least 12mp. 

Post # 4
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Low resolution is 72 dpi – which is sufficient for online viewing, but is not good for printing at all – the printed images won’t look good.  For DVD only viewing, it’s fine though.

For printing, high resolution is 300 dpi or higher – and then you can print up to whatever size the image is.

Post # 5
36 posts

as a photographer….actually it can be a complex answer and I have known plenty of photographers who don’t even know the real details about resolution and printing unfortunately.

@blazer – what they are doing is most likely giving you a downsized file. Personally it’s a little weird to do that. They might be “out-putting” their final files at 8×10 by 300dpi. Photogs don’t need to do that.


@Aqua and Miss – dpi numbers on their own do not mean anything unless attached to an image size too. Sometimes you might “pull up” a file in an editing program and you see the default dpi set at 72. Even though you might have a 10mb file size and a pixel dimension of 4288×2848 for example, some people see the 72dpi and freak. In reality the file is more than large enough – so when you go to print that beautiful 20×30 print – you change the dpi to 300 and it’s just fine. Also – more than 300dpi does not mean a better print. That’s a function again of the output machine. 600dpi will do nothing on a machine set at 300dpi….your “normal” photo lab style prints – whether pro or consumer are usually set up for 250-350 dpi.

Also…the 6MP camera – used properly – does more than what most people even really need. In the hands of someone who knew what they were doing – when that was the top end of MP available – you had photographers who made beautiful oversize prints. So…these days…10MP vs 12MP vs 21MP does not mean you automaticly get a better 8×10. You don’t – especially when most people never print anything larger than 8×10. You could have a sports car with 400 horsepower – it doesn’t mean you’ll make full use of it backing out of your driveway… 🙂

Unfortunately – there have been way too many photographers jump into the game without learning some of the things you really need to know in the digital age…and more than enough info is available for free out there – it’s not like you need to take a class or anything. Hopefully you’ll be able to sort through things and be confident enough in your photographer that you won’t need to worry about it. Just as an example – I do shoot in Raw on a 12MP camera, 14bit, edit the photos – then the client gets an “output” of a “full resolution” Jpeg. They average 10MB in size. (4288×2848) Plenty for oversize printing. 40×60’s have been a piece of cake.

Hope this helps a little bit anyway…

Post # 6
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Many photogs offer “low resolution” for up to 8×10 simply to require you to go through them for larger sizes. Say you want a 16×20 for your house? Well, you’ll have to get it through them. I usually rec. you do that anyways, as its something that should be of upmost quality to be displayed like that, and the photog can optimize the image for best prints, the prints are printed through pro labs, etc… It’s not that they “shoot” in low-res, it’s basically just a way of getting a few extra bucks in the backend if you want a larger size. Essentially, they’re letting you have the images for online use, 4×6’s, christmas cards, the bulk of what you need. But if you want a substantial “heirloom” print, then it will be quality assured by them.

MP is completely useless. For a long time people used 6mp cameras and created billboards. Only a few short years ago (under 2), a 6mp camera was a standard for a wedding photog and as mentioned above, large prints were perfect. Essentially MP’s are a running joke in the photog community. We always get a chuckle when a gear head (who doesn’t know what they’re doing) asks the whole “How many MP is that?” 🙂

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