Are iPhone photos good enough quality to print?

 

The answer might surprise you…

 

Now that a large majority of the population have smartphones in their pockets, people have ditched the traditional camera and instead are shooting photos through the camera their phone possesses. With this new evolution of photography, comes the question are iPhone photos good enough quality to print?  

 

My friends ask me all the time how large they can print their iPhone photos.

 

I even have people asking me if I can print my iPhone landscape shots for them on a canvas.

 

I have to be honest before I did research for this post, I honestly didn’t really know the answer.

 

Just like you, I mostly use my iPhone photos online.

 

Of course, like most people, I printed 4x6 prints for family at Christmas and other events, but the question of how large can you realistically print the photos before you start losing quality remained.

 

I decided to dig in, do some research, and create this resource for myself and my fellow photographers to grab when they want to print photos of their iPhones.

 

Resolution and Pixels Per Inch

 

Unless you understand resolution and pixels, the chart is going to just seem like a bunch of numbers. In order to fully understand what the chart is saying, you need to understand how pixels and resolution affect the quality of an image.

 

When it comes to resolution in a photograph, we talk about pixels.

 

Specifically, how many pixels per inch are in the photograph. Pixels are the tiny dots of information and color that make up the photograph.

 

The more pixels per inch you have in your photograph, the higher the resolution the photograph will be. When talking about resolution, we are referencing how focus sharp the image is.

 

So how do pixels and resolution affect the quality of your photo?

 

The higher the pixels you have means the higher the resolution of a photograph you have right?

 

 

Well, the higher the resolution your photo is, the larger the photo can be printed. When you have a higher resolution, your photo can be printed larger without the image looking soft and pixelated. When it comes to printing photos, the higher pixels per inch you have, the better.

 

iPhones and Photo Resolution

 

As time has progressed, so has the iPhone and its camera. Older iPhones have cameras with a lower amount of megapixels while new iPhones have cameras with a larger amount of megapixels.

 

The larger the megapixels your phone camera has, the larger number of pixels per inch your photograph will have. So, the newer the iPhone, the larger amount of pixels per inch, and the higher resolution of your photo.

 

Now that we have gone over pixels, resolution, and iPhone cameras, lets’ go over the sizes of photos you can print from your iPhone.

 

Recommended iPhone Photo Print Sizes and Resolutions

 

HOW TO USE THE CHART:

The qualities of the photographs are broken down into 3 types, Good, Better, and Best. For instance, if you are shooting an iPhone 10, the largest recommended size you can print for “Better Quality” is at a 21.44” x 14.24”.

This means you could print a full resolution iPhone photo at a typical 8″ x 10″ or 11″x 14″ (and probably larger) with no problems. Check out the chart below for more specific sizes and resolutions.

Note: these numbers and recommendations are based on full quality iPhone photos that have not been reduced in size.

 

It is important to remember that if you shoot at a lower quality or edit in a third party app like Instagram, it may not be saving the full resolution image and therefore the sizes above are not relevant.

 

The same goes for if you crop the original photo. Cropping the photo down reduces the size and resolution of the original image.

 

App Recommendation:

 

For taking photos I suggest you shoot with Camera+ (in this app you are able to control aperture, ISO, and shutter speed too) at full resolution or the native Camera App.

 

For editing I recommend editing in Snapseed or VSCOcam.

 

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HAVE YOU EVER PRINTED AN iPHONE PHOTO TOO BIG? Where do you print them to get great quality prints?