Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

Started Jun 7, 2009 | Discussions thread
Mark VB Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Re: Resizing images with Genuine Fractals boosts image size by 1000%?

Genuine Fractals is but one of many software applications used to "upsize" an image by interpolation (i.e., creating pixels based on information from surrounding pixels to increase the dimensions of an image). Photoshop has a similar function using its image resize function. You also can upsize an image in Camera RAW. There are several others as well.

I have used the Photoshop Camera RAW resizing function to print photos from a Maxxum 7D (6 MP resolution of about 2000x3000 pixels) at 16x20 and 16x24 inches at 300 ppi (dpi). Doing the math, that results in an image size of 4800 x 6000 or 7200 pixels, a 140% increase in image size. These prints (done by mpix.com using an optical printing process on "traditional" photographic paper) are absolutely sharp and to my eye show no digital artifacts when viewed close-up (much closer than one would normally view a print of that size). If you wanted to print at 200 ppi (dpi), that would result in a print size of 24 x 30 or 36 inches, from a 6 MP camera.

Applying a similar processes to an A700 or A900 file, you can easily see how large a print you can do, depending on the print resolution you want to use (e.g., 150 ppi, 200 ppi or 300 ppi). For example, increasing an A700 file (native 2848 x 4272 pixels) by "just" 100% results in pixel dimensions of 5696 x 8544, which can print to about 19 x 28.5 inches at 300 ppi, or 28.5 x 42.75 inches at 200 ppi.

An A900 file is 4032 x 6048 pixels, which interpolated up 100% would give you a pixel dimension of 8064 x 12,096. This is suitable for about a 27.8 x 40.3 inch print at 300 ppi, or a 40.3 x 60.5 inch print at 200 ppi.

Note that these A700 and A900 examples are only 100% interpolations (and done at print resolutions higher than the 150 ppi that the original poster suggested), whereas my personal experiences using 6 MP Maxxum 7D images involved 140%. Yes, I have printed 16x20 images from A700 and A900 files, which look beautiful, but that's not really the point - I have not yet done any prints larger than 16x20 from these sources, but I easily could (and may yet do so).

The bottom line is that a well shot A900 image (sharp and well exposed) can easily be printed 40 inches wide, and in reality can be printed much wider if you are so inclined.

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Mark Van Bergh

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