Size Matters! What size should my JPEGS be? By Joe Fitzpatrick

Peggy Farren 2012-11-08

SIZE MATTERS. Last week I wrote about JPEG quality levels. The look of your prints or on screen images is also determined by the number of pixels your image contains. More pixels means more detail but also larger file size. Large files take longer to upload and download. They require more space on the servers of your email provider, photo sharing and social network sites so those places typically place limits on image size. Using large images in Power Point, Word and other documents also greatly increases the size of the finished document. High quality files are also more likely to be used without your permission.

So what size should you make your JPEGs? There is no right size, it depends on the intended use of the image.

  • If you are entering a competition, many clubs limit images to a maximum size of 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels high.
  • Facebook's maximum is 2048 X 2048 although most people post much smaller images to discourage copying, 800 X 600 is a popular choice.
  • 1024 X 768 or 800 X 600 are also popular sizes for file sharing places like Meetup.
  • Many home computer screens are 1920 X 1080, the same pixel count as a High Definition TV screen. Choosing the same pixel count as the device you are going to view the image on maximizes quality while keeping file size reasonable.To resize with Photoshop choose Image then Image Size on the top bar, with Elements choose image, resize, image size.. When resizing your images with Photoshop or Elements be sure to check the Resample Image and Bicubic boxes for best results.

Printing images has different requirements. Printers provide acceptable images when printing an image sized to at least 240 pixels per inch. 300 pixels per inch is ideal for many printers, Epson can take advantage of 360 pixels per inch. So if you wanted to print an 10 X 8 photo at best quality (300 PPI) multiply the print size by 300 to determine the ideal image size in pixels. 10 X 300 = 3000 and 8 X 300 = 2400 giving you 3000 X 2400 for an 10" X 8" print. In some cases this might mean that you are actually enlarging your image.

All information in this website is copyrighted. If you would like to share, please link back to the post and give credit given to Understand Photography and the writer, in this case Joseph Fitzpatrick.

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