I am working on a single panel screen for a display, 106" x 82" (2692.4mm x 2082.8mm). The highest quality photos I have are 18" x 12" (457.2mm x 304.8mm) at 300ppi.

Of course I don't have to make the Photo the entire board size, but it sure would be more impactful. Would renting out a medium format camera and going to try and get new footage be the best way to go about this? Would that even be large enough or I'd need a Large Format Camera?

Since this is a display backdrop for tradeshows I could get away with doing it at 100ppi so that 18" x 12" would actually be a bit larger. Still a long ways off from the entire backdrop though.

Is it worth it in terms of quality? I mean I could scale up this image and being in an industrial trade show I'm not sure anyone would even notice the quality reduction.

Aside from renting a larger format camera and trying to get new photographs with it are there any other alternatives I might be unaware of? A high end plugin for enlargement perhaps?

3 Answers 3


OK, You have a 20Mpx image. Lets do some math.

  • 18" at 300 ppi

  • 54" at 100 ppi

  • 108" at 50 ppi

50 ppi is TOTALLY FINE for a photo that big.

That is a pixel arround of half a milimeter.

If you are really paranoid Xo) you could double the resolution with a bicubic Sharper option on Photoshop. I mean 200% (Not 123.456% or anithing else) Perhaphs you can aply some sharpen after the resampling.

Yes, you could rent a very expensive camera... you will only get a picture of 80Mpx, probably a sharper image, but you will only get 100 ppi at that size.

Just remember to make your texts and logos in vectors.

A note:

I'm not sure anyone would even notice the quality reduction.

If you are in an art gallery, yes, there is a chance someone could be picky looking at a wall sized image at 90 cm !?. Besides that... No.


Whether it's "worth it" is entirely subjective and will depend on the particular design you have, the particular design of the booth itself, and the needs of the audience looking at it.

In general, no, it's rarely worth it--if ever, as these are just background images that no one is going to be looking at from 2' away with any real scrutiny.

As for a medium or large format camera, those would make sense in the era of film--where physically having larger film was an advantage. But today it's just about the camera resolution combined with the quality of the optics you are using.

  • 1
    Medium format cameras (backs, actually) will allow a single-exposure capture of up to 80 MP at a 4:3 aspect ratio (the PhaseOne IQ series), which translates to about 93-ish PPI natively at the desired display size (modulo crop and bleed). Up-rezzing by a small amount (under 50%) using bicubic and deconvolving is essentially invisible. There's not much to gain going to film (up to 8x10, at least) - scanning will get you more pixels, but it won't get you more detail unless you're doing a process shot (true apochromat lens with no appreciable depth of field requirement). Aug 17, 2015 at 21:10
  • i Want to point out that the current optics arent really up to the highest resolutions. Even my 1000€ lense can not resolve all pixels at times without hitting the noise limit. So in practice the 80 MP is mostly just better interpolation anyway. Unless your ready to get a lense that costs 100,000 or more
    – joojaa
    Aug 18, 2015 at 6:20
  • 1000€ isn't even entry-level at this level. (It's not particularly expensive for a small-format camera, either, unless you're looking at a moderate-speed 50mm prime.) Both Schneider and Rodenstock make lenses that are much better than anything you could get at that price (at an order of magnitude greater cost), and the several of the Fujinons that Hasselblad uses in their H-series will easily use the full resolution of the 200MS backs at middling apertures. Aug 18, 2015 at 12:31

It is possible to compose a bigger image from tiles. Best should prefeerably be done with a tripod, that has a panoramic head. But a normal tripod, works quite well. Sometimes even a free hand photo works ok. Obviously the backdrop needs to be semi static for this to work out. You should probably run this over on phptography.se for best tools (or search actually)

If you want to use a better camera consider outsourcing the whole thing. All cameras have quirks and you do not want to do this in vain.

  • Upvoted cause its a good idea with tiles... won't work for me though. Outdoor photo with lots of moving pieces.
    – Ryan
    Aug 17, 2015 at 20:10

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