Most of us, who have not been exposed to quality prints, just “go down the road” to the nearest photo processing shop and spend 40¢ on a 4R print. We typically ask for locations that give the best price and being a highly competitive field, prices have come down to 35¢ and even at shopping malls, they are at 40¢.
For those who have invested in high megapixel digital cameras, including compact digital cameras, you may be wondering why bother with the high megapixels as your prints would come up looking similar anyway.
Even if you are not into high definition photography, wouldn’t it be great if your holiday photos are sharp? What are the print resolution used in a typical photo processing shop? When I ask, most of the shop assistants wouldn’t know and some even go on and talk about minimum megapixels is best for a 4R photo. They seem to miss the point about sharp prints. The answer is that they normally print between 200 - 300 dpi (dots per inch).
As such for a 4R picture, even a camera with 2 megapixels is generally good enough. But wait, that’s the wrong way to look at it! If I have a 10 megapixel digital camera, can’t I request for a higher dpi 4R picture?
At the moment, I can only think of 2 solutions; (1) go to a commercial banner/poster printer who generally use printers that can do 720 dpi or higher or (2) get a home photoprinter such as the Canon Pixma range. Either way, it will not cost you 40¢ but more.
If anyone else have any other options, please recommend.