England Pixelate

How to Avoid Pixelated Photos

A Guest Post by: Dan R.

Who prints photos anymore? Aren’t we all just sharing them online? Things have changed so much in the past few years. Gone are the days when the only way of sharing pictures was to print them and show them in an album. Well, this is only partially true. Even if we, the photographers, don’t print our photos, it doesn’t mean that people who we share the photos with won’t print them. Let’s say you go to a family event, take some pictures, share them with everyone and someone decides to enlarge a few prints. There is a chance that the wonderful photos you took will be not as wonderful when printed or enlarged.

Do you still print your photos?

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Here are some areas to consider if you want to avoid pixelated photos and prints.

1. Do you have control over the resolution in megapixels?

If so, how many megapixels is your camera set for? Check that you are taking photos at a high setting such as the maximum megapixels for your camera.

2. Do you have control over the ISO?

Try setting the ISO to 200 or 100. Some cameras perform better than others at higher ISO settings. For example, on my Canon 5D Mark II , I can shoot great quality photos at ISOs over 2000. This is not the case for the many compact cameras as their sensor size is much smaller. If you are not familiar with this topic, check out one of my older blogs: ISO In Photography.

3. Are you taking pictures with a digital zoom?

This affects the quality. Try taking pictures without digital zoom. There is a big difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. Read more about this topic here.

4. Can you control the shutter speed (F stop)?

A faster shutter speed such as 250 is good to avoid camera shake. This prevents your picture from being blurry.

5. Are you shooting outdoors or indoors?

It is usually easier to use natural sunlight outside. If indoors, try using a flash. I would recommend you invest in a flash such as a Canon Speedlite. An external flash can produce shots that are more flattering than a built-in flash. Read one of my older posts here: Should I Use Flash?.

6. If viewing on a computer, is the photo a JPG file and how large is the file?

The size of the image also helps determine the print quality. You want to make sure that your image is at least 900×720 pixels for a good quality print size up to 8×10 inches.

Most cameras can produce reasonably sized print enlargements and views of the photos on the screen. Some older cameras may not enlarge pictures as well. However, if you keep in mind the points mentioned above, you have a much better chance of creating not just beautiful pictures, but also beautiful prints.

Happy high resolution shooting!

For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photographynow available at Amazon.


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