I have a question regarding the large format printing and the image sent to the printer. This is not a duplicaten, I've checken the other possible questions and did not find the response there. I'm interesten in a large print for in a house, what resolution to take and where to find those kind of images.

Imagine I found a photo on internet which I would like to print out in a large format => 150cm x 120cm.

The photo itself is 70cm x 50cm, 250dpi, 9Mb, type: jpeg

What will happen if I force the image to print in 150 x 120cm or even larger size, will I see the pixels or some other abnormalities in close range? If I'll upscale the image the DPI will be dropping and having a photo with 150x120cm and 75dpi is not good for honing it on the wall.

What the minimal original size of an image can be so that it can be scaled to larger size without any distortion?

Another point is, I want to print on matte cotton canvas ...

And where can I find that kind of photo's, as even on paid stockphoto's sites the resolution is around 4000 / 5000px with 300dpi.

Thanks for the reply


1 Answer 1


In general, the closer you are going to be to the print, the higher its resolution should be.

With your particular image, if you enlarge it without resampling (and crop a little off the width to account for the slightly different proportions), you get a resolution of around 104dpi.

You will see pixelation up-close. If you are going to use it as a poster on the other side of the room you might get away with it. If it's as a poster for the side of a building (it's a little small) or a bus stop, you probably will get away with it.

It does also depend on what the image is. If it's a fairly complex photo with lots of visual noise, you are more likely not to notice the pixels. If it is simple (almost vector-like - like a sports team logo) then you are more likely to notice the pixels as edges will be 'fuzzy'.

If you resample the image you are even less likely to notice the pixels. However, how effective resampling is really depends on the original image. It's worth testing out on your live (hypothetical) image and seeing how well it works.

As an aside, I'm always wary of the line "I found an image on the internet" - always consider, and check copyright.

You've mentioned canvas printing. This might actually allow you to get away with a lower resolution. Many canvases are textured which adds visual 'noise' to the resulting print. I would still recommend resampling the result (scaling it up within Photoshop or another image editor where you have control over the process) rather than simply printing it bigger.

  • I totally agree with you, but what kind of photos (with what dimensions) should it be to be able to print to hang it on the wall in your house. And where do you find them? I mean even stockphotos sites where you have to pay the demensions are mostly 4000 x 5000 etc with 300dpi/ppi, so when i say ok make it 120cm x 90 cm the dpi/ppi will be around 75 - 90 which is not good for close ranged print. Where do you get the correct images?
    – Alnedru
    Jan 27, 2017 at 13:31
  • @Alnedru "where do you get the correct images?": Some stock sites offer 'XXL' or large size photos, and working directly with a photographer is another option. Again, it depends on what the photo is and is of. Very complex and very simple images can potentially scale really well as with complex ones the artefacts of scaling are harder to spot, and with simple ones there may be fewer artefacts (and retouching might be a real prospect). The easiest approach is to try it out - try enlarging an image you have in mind and see what happens. Jan 27, 2017 at 16:37

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