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Nov 212018
 

To use a phrase I’m known for: Well yes and no.

There is no doubt that nothing quite beats a huge (A3+ or bigger) print of a really good quality landscape photo. But what proportion of all the world’s photographic images are available as such a print?

Probably a tiny minority; in the past when everyone shot film, most photographs were developed as prints 5″ x 7″ (or similar) which is tiny. At an estimate of 200dpi (which is probably an overestimate of the average print), that is a resolution of 1000×1400.

Now if I compare this with pictures shown on the web on my laptop screen (a rather titchy display), it compares rather favourably – a Facebook photo capture was around 850×850, and an EyeEm photo capture was 1212×900. Of course it is also shown somewhat larger – the laptop screen is 13″.

And on my main desktop screen (a very elderly 30″ screen), the same two pictures are far bigger and in a higher resolution – 1028×1300 for the Facebook picture and 1200×1800 for the EyeEm photo.

And finally, on my 4K TV, the photos are shown at only 2/3 (very roughly) the resolution of the original files, and far, far bigger.

Yes the display pitch is less, but the size is far larger and unless you have spectacular close vision you will be able to see far more detail with a screen image than an average print.

Again I say that this is not intended to bash prints – in many ways a photographic image isn’t finalised until it has been printed, and a really good print at 300dpi and printed large is far better than the screen. Even before you consider the permanence of the print.

This is aimed at those who snootily dismiss low-end photographic equipment as being “only suitable for the web” – they may be surprised that even relatively modest screens can compare favourably with 5×7 prints and it won’t be long before even larger prints are surpassed. 

Hill Conquered
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