What are image sizes

Image sizes: you have to know that about aspect ratio and Co.

What image sizes are there, what are the aspect ratios and what does the resolution say? We'll give you an overview of everything you need to know about image sizes. So that in the future you will always be able to choose the perfect frame size for your pictures and print your pictures in the correct resolution.

So many memories can be preserved in so many different formats and sizes.

Whether 3: 2 or 10 x 15 cm - picture sizes can be confusing. However, those who are familiar with the subject know exactly how their own photographs are taken in the perfect detail and how pictures fit into the selected frame. So that you too can find your way around the jungle of image formats in the future, we have summarized the most important information on aspect ratios and the like in four sections below:

  1. The aspect ratio
  2. Image sizes in pixels and dpi
  3. Choose the right aspect ratio
  4. Image size FAQ: The most important questions summarized

So that you always know which image size fits which resolution, you will find an overview below for printing.

1. The aspect ratio

3: 2 and 4: 3 aspect ratios produce different image sections.

The aspect ratio is used in photography to determine the format in which pictures are taken. To get a better understanding of the page format and how it relates to the image sizes, it is worth taking a look at the past:

In analog photography, that became Aspect ratio 3: 2 used, which resulted in common image sizes such as 10 x 15 cm (the classic "postcard size"), 20 x 30 cm and 40 x 60 cm (poster size). Take nowadays Digital SLR cameras (DSLR) still prefers 3: 2 format images. However, the aspect ratio can be set on many SLR cameras. So you can decide individually which ratio you want to choose.

Most modern compact digital cameras and smartphones have sensors in the 4: 3 aspect ratiowhich is more square compared to the 3: 2 aspect ratio. The difference in format means that if the desired format is 10 x 15 cm, 20 x 30 cm and 40 x 50 cm, the image must be stretched or cut. You should therefore be aware when taking pictures that a section of the picture may be lost or white borders may appear if you choose a different format for printing.

2. Image sizes in pixels and dpi

For digital images, the image size is in Pixels specified. The more picture elements (pixels) an image contains, the more detailed it is and the higher the resolution. If you want to print a photo in large format, you should pay attention to a high resolution, i.e. a high number of pixels. However, it only depends on the absolute number of pixels, not the size of the pixels themselves.

When one speaks of resolution, what is usually referred to is the so-called dpi number. The dots per inch (dpi for short) indicate how many pixels are contained within an inch. The rule of thumb of applies to print products 300 dpiso that the result is of good quality. For images that are not printed, but used digitally, these days at least 100 dpi or more well suited. It depends on the device on which the picture can be seen. If you are unsure, you can easily convert the values ​​online.

3. Select the appropriate aspect ratio

The standard formats: from passport photos to posters.

In contrast to digital images, analog images are in Centimeters measured. For this reason, it is important to know which digital size will fit your desired analog size when printing and framing an image. So how many pixels are perfect for a 10 x 15 cm or 13 x 18 cm image?

Overview of image sizes

The following table shows you which analog image sizes, so-called standard formats, are available:

You are welcome to download the table as a PDF and print it out so that you always have it to hand. (Source for the numbers: focus.de)

You can use the overview to find out which image size fits the corresponding pixels. For example, if you want to print a 13 x 18 cm image, you should take the picture with an aspect ratio of 4: 3 and select an image size of 2048 x 1536 pixels.

Photo development: the choice of frame

Our overview of image formats gives you a good orientation for developing your photos. But watch out! Because during photo development, paper is printed in inch format. This is normally completely exposed and the result is a width that deviates from the cm information. What used to be no problem with analog photos now leads to crooked formats.

For this reason, you will also find formats with information such as 10 x 14 cm, 11 x 15 cm, 13 x 17 cm or 23 x 30 cm in photo laboratories, for which there are no frames in standard format. Choosing the right frame is even more difficult because even this information is never entirely accurate. For example, a picture with the format 10 x 14 cm is 10.2 x 13.6 cm and a picture with the information 15 x 20 cm actually measures 15.2 x 20.3 cm.

If you now want to frame your selected photo, it may happen that it does not fit into the selected frame or that you have to cut something. The best way to solve the problem is to order a passe-partout with a cutout. You can also fit your picture into a standard frame. In our magazine you will find a tutorial on how to calculate the correct mat size.

Tip: When taking your photos, always make sure that important details are not on the edge. In an emergency, you can always cut a few millimeters from the edge so that you can fit your pictures into the selected frame without any problems.

4. Image size FAQ: The most important questions summarized

What does the aspect ratio mean?
The aspect ratio describes the ratio between the height and the width of your picture. For example, an aspect ratio of 2: 3 means that your picture is 8 "x 12" or 40 x 60 cm.

What does the resolution of an image mean?
The resolution means the so-called dpi number (dots per inch). It indicates how many pixels are contained within one inch.

In what resolution should I print photos?
You should always print out your pictures in at least 300 dpi so that they are of good quality.

Why does my picture not fit into the appropriate picture frame despite the correct aspect ratio?
Nowadays, photo development is printed in inch format, which differs slightly from the cm information. For example, a 10 x 14 cm image can be 10.2 x 13.6 cm. So never put important motifs on the edge in case you have to crop the photo again.

The right frame for your picture size

Hopefully, you now have all the important information about image size, resolution, aspect ratios and pixels. With the right frame you can now skilfully stage your pictures or photographs. You will not only find picture frames in standard formats in our shop, but also a large selection of custom-made frames in special formats and passe-partouts.

Special tips for making the perfect own Family admission read in our article "Take a family photo yourself". In addition to photography itself, the storage of pictures is also an art - learn the most important things about the correct storage of pictures in our article "Storage of photos". In addition, you will find many tricks and instructions for everything to do with photography on the pages of our online photo course.

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