What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes

Basic terms for understanding the topic

Pixels are small square dots, colored in a certain light, that make up a single whole – an image.

When you look at a photograph, the eye does not notice specific dots of the raster, since they are very small and their number can reach tens of thousands; they merge to form one picture. Only with magnification will you be able to see them.

There is a peculiarity: the higher the number of raster dots, the more details are drawn and the better the quality of the photograph.

Linear size is data on the width and height of the printed image, expressed in millimeters. They can be recognized using a regular ruler. For example, the linear size of an image with parameters 10*15 cm is 102*152 mm.

Parameters in pixels are data on the width and height of a digital image.

There is one peculiarity. Digital cameras take pictures of the same sizes: 640*480, 1600*1200, but on the monitor we see 800*600,1024*768,1280*1024. That is a significant discrepancy.

Let’s look at examples. If the picture has a size of 450×300 raster pixels, then the picture will be rotated to fit the album, that is, positioned horizontally. What does this depend on? The width of the image is greater than the height.

If we take the picture size as 300*450, then it will be located in portrait orientation, that is, vertically. Why is this so? The width is less than the height.

Resolution is a number that relates values ​​in millimeters and pixels, measured in dpi (from the English “dots per inch” – the number of dots per inch).

Experts advise setting the resolution to 300 dpi, intended for obtaining high-quality photographs. Minimum resolution – 150 dpi.

The higher the indicator, the better the quality of the photo.

But it’s worth noting that if you take a photograph larger than the original, that is, “stretch the raster points,” then the quality drops.

Resolution may vary depending on different camera models. What’s the secret? Manufacturers of photographic equipment indicate an inaccurate number of megapixels, for example, 12 MP. In fact, it may turn out to be 12.3 or 12.5 MP. But the print quality will not deteriorate due to this fact.


  1. Another method requires Photoshop. Look on the control panel on the left for an icon that looks like two crossed corners and a diagonal dotted line. Right-click on it and a list of available functions will appear. We are interested in the top one – “Frame”. It has the same icon.
  2. Open the desired file for editing in Photoshop. As in the case of Paint, this can be done through the “Open” menu item, or by dragging a picture into the program’s working field.
  3. By default, the picture will be protected from editing. To remove protection, pay attention to the right menu in the program. A picture appeared there and to the right of it was an image of a closed castle. Double-click the left mouse button on the lock icon. You will be prompted to create a new layer – click OK. The image can now be edited.
  4. Using the “Frame” tool, which we looked at in point No. 1, select the desired part of the image. This is done by stretching the frame in the same way as in the case of the Paint program. Frame dimensions can be dragged and stretched left/right/diagonally. As soon as you mark the desired area with a dotted line, press Enter on the keyboard. The program will generate a separate fragment based on the selection. What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes
  5.   Using the “Save As” menu item, save the file. Please note that by default, Photoshop suggests saving the image with the extension *. PSD. If you need a different permission – *. JPG or *. PNG – Manually select other options when saving.


The Paint utility is available in any Windows OS.

  1. Open the desired image in the program through the “Open” top menu item, or drag the image with the mouse into the utility’s working window. At the bottom of the program the dimensions of the image in px are shown.
  2. Next, use the “Select” function (stretching the frame) to select the area that you want to leave. Click the “Crop” button – only the selected fragment will remain. What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes
  3. Using the “Save As” menu item, save the new image. We recommend that you do not re-save the source files, but leave them just in case. If the cropping was unsuccessful the first time, then you can always make a new one based on the source file.

What is the difference between 10 x 15 and 11 x 15?###

Initially, print formats were calculated for the most common frame formats. At the dawn of the film era, most amateur cameras shot with 135-type film in a 24 x 36 mm frame format. The aspect ratio of such a frame is 2:3 – it was for this that print formats 10 x 15, 20 x 30, 30 x 45, etc. were created

With the advent of digital cameras, manufacturers began to focus on the format of computer monitors, which in most cases is close to the 3:4 aspect ratio. Today, cameras of both types are common: * with an aspect ratio of 2:

If you print a 3:4 frame in a 10 x 15 format, a significant portion of the image will either be left out of print or wide white margins will appear on the image (depending on the print mode). To eliminate this misunderstanding, photo laboratories began to actively offer clients a new print format – 11 x 15, the aspect ratio of which is close to 3:4. Today it has already become standard – photo albums, frames, envelopes, boxes, and various accessories are made for it.

If you print photographs without preliminary cropping, then to select the most optimal print formats you need to find out (calculate) the aspect ratio of the frame in your camera.

Below are some common print formats based on aspect ratios:

Aspect ratio 2:3 Aspect ratio 3:4
10 x 15 cm 11 x 15 cm
15 x 20 cm 15 x 22 cm
30 x 45 cm 30 x 40 cm

How to calculate the correct image size and resolution for printing and displaying on the screen

One of the most confusing things for a new photographer can be understanding the difference between file size and resolution for printing or displaying on a monitor. In this article, photographer Helen Bradly helps you understand and shows how to resize images depending on what you want to do with them: print or display on the screen of an electronic device
. Let’s start.

What resolution do digital cameras have?

When it comes to digital cameras, resolution refers to the number of megapixels produced by the image sensor. This in turn usually corresponds to the amount of detail the camera can capture. So if your camera has 20 megapixels (often referred to as 20 MP), it will capture less detail than a 30 megapixel camera, which in turn will capture less detail than a 40 megapixel camera. But what is a megapixel, really? ? And how does this affect your ability to print and display photos?

Megapixels and photo size

Как рассчитать правильно размер и разрешение изображения для печати и отображения на экране

Technically, a megapixel is equal to 1,048,576 pixels; in fact, camera manufacturers round this number to the nearest 1,000,000 when talking about what image size the camera will capture.

Helen’s camera, for example, captures 14.6 megapixel images, which is about 14,600,000 pixels per image (14.6×1,000,000). This information doesn’t tell you anything about the actual pixel dimensions of the image, it only tells you the total number of pixels that make up the image.

Its camera, like most DSLRs, shoots images with an aspect ratio of 1.5. Thus, the ratio of the number of pixels along the long edge of the image to the short edge of the image is 3:2.

Each of the full-size RAW images
photographer has a size of 4672×3104 pixels. So, by multiplying the number of pixels in the width of the image by the number of pixels in the height of the image, we get the actual number of pixels in the image (4672×3104 = 14,501,888). We could call it 14.5 MP, but camera manufacturers have rounded up the number and call such a camera 14.6 MP.

You can check the width and height of the image using photo editing software. In Photoshop, you can open an image, then choose File > File Info > Camera Data. The image above shows the dialog box with the information received.

So, a pixel itself is a single element of an image – and for our purposes, it is the smallest element into which a photograph can be divided. A pixel can only be one color, but a photograph is made up of a grid of thousands of pixels, each with a different color, that together make up the final image. You can see the pixels if you open the photo and zoom in until you see individual blocks of color (as shown below). Each of these blocks represents a separate pixel.

Как рассчитать правильно размер и разрешение изображения для печати и отображения на экране

Why size is important when printing

When printing images, photographers come across the term PPI/DPI or pixels per inch. D PI refers to the number of dots contained in one inch of an image printed on paper by a printer. P PI refers to the number of pixels contained in one inch of image displayed on a computer monitor. Most print services and your own printer will require a certain pixel density in the image (PPI) to be able to print a photo that looks good (that is, with smooth color transitions so you don’t have to look at every single pixel).

Typical print PPI values ​​range from 150 to 300 PPI, although some high-quality magazines may require 1200 PPI images. So, for example, if you want to print a 4×6-inch image at 300 pixels per inch, you’ll need a file that is at least 4×300 (1200) pixels on the short side and 6×300 (1800) pixels on the long side. In other words, it must be at least 1200×1800 pixels in size.

To print an 8×10 inch image at 300 PPI, use the same math.

Multiply the width and height of the printed image in inches by 300 pixels. The result is 2400×3000 pixels, which is the image resolution needed to print an 8×10 image at 300 pixels per inch. So when cropping and resizing an image for printing, you need to know what the PPI of the image should be. This should be stated in your printer manual or printing service.

Below is a screenshot from the MpixPro.com website showing the optimal and minimum image sizes for standard print sizes. The printer prints them
at 250 PPI (but can handle 100 PPI images), although other services may vary, so always check before preparing images for printing.

Use the crop or resize function in your software to resize the image to the desired width and height and desired PPI resolution.

Here, an image cropped to 3000×2400 pixels is adjusted from 72 PPI to 300 PPI in preparation for printing at 300 PPI. No resampling is required since the image is already at the correct dimensions and only resolution is required.

Как рассчитать правильно размер и разрешение изображения для печати и отображения на экране

Photoshop, like other applications, will also crop an image to a fixed size and resolution if you enter the desired values ​​in the Options Bar when you have the Crop Tool selected (see below). If your image is smaller than the specified dimensions, it will be enlarged using the default resampling method. While it is generally not recommended to enlarge images, provided the image is already close to the desired size, enlarging it slightly usually does not cause a noticeable loss in quality.

Как рассчитать правильно размер и разрешение изображения для печати и отображения на экране

Fit to screen

When it comes to displaying images on screen, you need far fewer pixels than when printing. This is because the pixel density on the screen is much less than what is required for printing. For example, the size of a regular FullHD monitor is 1920×1080 pixels. To fill your monitor, you only need a 1920×1080 pixel image. This is about the same image size needed for a 4×6 print at 300 PPI, but still displays a 1920×1080 pixel image perfectly on a 23-inch monitor.

Review of popular photo formats for printing

There are generally accepted international ISO formats that define standard sizes for photographic paper. However, terms such as A3, A4, Whatman paper, etc. have become more familiar to us. The aspect ratio of the main photo formats is similar to the matrices of modern digital cameras and is 1: 1.5 (2/3) or 1: 1.33 (3/4), and standard international paper sizes are 1: 1.4142.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the table, which shows the main photo formats for printing.

Основные форматы фото для печати

Let’s take a closer look at the main options and compare them with standard ISO formats.

Соотношение формата A4 и фото 10х15

One of the most popular photo formats for printing is 10×15. It differs from the standard A6 in that it is 2 mm smaller on one side and 5 mm larger on the other. This is perhaps the most common format and is suitable for almost all photo albums and frames. The photo shows how the 10×15 image compares to A4 photo paper.

Соотношение формата A4 и фото 15х21

An equally popular photo size for printing is 15×21. The photo is slightly larger than A5. The difference is very small: on one side the difference is 5 mm, on the other – 1 mm. Vertical photographs are ideal for creating portraits.

Соотношение формата A4 и фото 20х30

The photo format for printing 20×30 is close to A4, the difference is that on one side the image is 6 mm smaller, on the other – 9 mm larger. The peculiarity of photographs of this size is their high detail and clarity. That is why images are often used to create posters, which are an excellent interior decoration.

Соотношение формата A3 и фото 30х40

Using a 30×40 photo for printing is an excellent option for creating a highly artistic wall composition. The difference between the format and A3 is that on one side and the other the image is larger by 9 mm and 1 mm, respectively. Photographs are often placed in a wooden frame or stretched on a stretcher.

Соотношение формата A3 и фото 30х45

Photo format for printing 30×45 is one of the favorites among users of the Mimigram application. This size is ideal for making posters
. The printed images are incredibly clear and colorful. That is why posters are often used to organize photo exhibitions. The format is slightly larger than standard A3.


Пиксели изображения

To understand the sizes and form factors of images, select them correctly, and then print them, you first need to understand several important concepts.

One of these concepts is the pixel. In every modern photograph there are hundreds or thousands of them of square, less often rectangular, shape. A pixel is the smallest component of a photo that represents a specific color. The dimensions of the image can be indicated using them, but it is important to understand that they do not determine the size of the frame, but only its resolution.

A3 sheet size in centimeters and millimeters

The ISO 216 standard is based on the metric system of measures. It comes from a sheet of paper with an area of ​​1 square meter – A0. Other accompanying formats have the same aspect ratio of 1:1.4.

The most famous is A4, followed by A3 and A2. The following figure shows the dimensions of the A series in millimeters. Even lower, in the table, you will find information about width and height in other units of measurement.

What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes

Table of paper sizes in millimeters and centimeters.

format mm cm
A0 841 × 1189 84.1 × 118.9
A1 594 × 841 59.4 × 84.1
A2 420 × 594 42.0 × 59.4
A3 297 × 420 29.7 × 42.0
A4 210 × 297 21.0 × 29.7
A5 148 × 210 14.8 × 21.0
A6 105 × 148 10.5 × 14.8
A7 74 × 105 7.4 × 10.5
A8 52 × 74 5.2 × 7.4
A9 37 × 52 3.7 × 5.2
A10 26 × 37 2.6 × 3.7

Where is whatman paper? In Russian, Whatman paper is usually called a sheet of A1 paper.

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Modes for automatically cropping photos when printing

  1. When printing photographs, it is common to crop the photos because the print size does not always match the original frame size. For example, if the aspect ratio of your camera’s matrix is ​​3:4, and you ordered a 10×15 print (aspect ratio 2:3), then a small cropping of the image inevitably occurs during printing.
    When an order is received, the print operator looks at the image, and if important elements of the photo fall into the cropping zones, a decision is made to crop manually to avoid cutting off important elements of the photo. In other situations, cropping is done automatically when printing.
    What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes

    In the figure, dark stripes indicate parts of the frame that will be cropped during printing.

The photo was taken with a Canon PowerShot G5 digital camera, image size 2592×1944 pixels. A 10×15 print with a print resolution of 300 dpi has a size of 1795×1205 pixels. Accordingly, if the original image was not previously brought to the required size, then the print will only produce a fragment of the image relative to the center.
What are the sizes of photographs for printing? Standard sizes

The light area in the photo is the part that will appear on the print. The area highlighted in dark will be cropped.

Print Quality Chart

Resolution Mpx Size
9×13 10×15 13×18 15×20 20×30 30×40
640×480 0.3 Very bad Very bad Very bad Very bad Very bad Very bad
1280×1024 1.3 Good Normal Poor Bad Very bad Very bad
2048×1536 3.1 Excellent Excellent Good Good Poor Very bad
2304×1729 4.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Normal Very bad
2592×1944 5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Normal Poor
3000×2000 6.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Bad
3200×2200 7.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Normal
3600×2300 8.3 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Good
  • Photo printing
  • T-shirt printing
  • Print on cup
  • Photo puzzle
  • Large format printing

Photo printing sizes and formats

Our professional equipment makes it possible to process and edit files only with the JPG extension; other formats are not accepted. In order for the image in the photo to be contrasty and clear, the resolution must vary from 72 to 300 dpi, in other words, the quality of the print depends on the number of dots per inch.

The size of the photo matters; sometimes a minimum number of pixels is enough, but for large-format printing of large sizes (a1, a2, a3) the optimal number is required. The sizes and formats of photo printing do not always correspond to the frame format in a digital camera, therefore, in order to avoid cropping the main elements of the overall plot, you should take into account the aspect ratios.

When placing an order, the print operator previews the image and, if necessary, crops it manually. For the convenience of consumers, on our website the sizes and formats for printing photographs are presented in table form. The standard format is a clearly defined linear dimension.

In one order, you can choose a completely different print format for each photo.

The color rendition of the client’s monitor and our equipment may differ significantly, so it is better to entrust color correction to professionals or order a test print to adjust the balance of brightness and color.

Photos for documents

Фото на документы

Often people prefer to take ID photos themselves rather than have their photos taken at a salon. Such images often turn out to be unattractive to the owner, because the photographer shoots as required by the rules, without thinking about the fact that a person can use this photo for many years. But you can take a photo of yourself without violating certain requirements, while emphasizing the best contours of your face. After the photo is ready, all that remains is to send it to print or do it yourself, but here the question arises, which aspect ratio to choose. Different documents may require different form factors, here are the most popular ones:

  • For a Russian or foreign passport, the aspect ratio of the photograph must be 35 by 45 mm;
  • The photo for a pension and driver’s license, medical record, student card, work permit, etc. has dimensions of 30 by 40 mm;
  • The photo parameters for a personal file are 40 by 60 mm.