Printing photographs can be a true art form, but one of its trickiest aspects lies in understanding the ideal number of pixels to size your images for a print. It’s a puzzling conundrum that has left many photographers scratching their heads.

Today, we’re diving into the fascinating realm of print dimensions, focusing on the most prevalent size: 4×6 prints. Prepare to embark on a journey of discovery as we unravel the secrets behind finding the perfect number of pixels for breathtaking 4×6 prints.

Get ready to unlock the key to image perfection and witness your photographs come to life in a way you never thought possible. Are you ready to delve into the captivating world of print sizing? Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways

  • DPI (Dots Per Inch) determines the level of detail that a printer can reproduce in a square inch of a print.
  • Most standard photo prints have a DPI of 300, which is considered ideal for good quality prints.
  • Using a DPI setting of 240-300 is recommended for obtaining high-quality photos.
  • In certain cases, smaller pixel dimensions can be acceptable, depending on the intended application and the printer’s capabilities.
  • Increasing the pixel dimensions beyond what is required for a print size does not necessarily result in higher quality photos, as the printer may not utilize all the extra information, and the human eye may not perceive the added detail without magnification.
  • Resolution requirements for screens and prints differ significantly due to viewing distances, with print resolutions being much higher for close observation.
  • When editing photos for printing, it is crucial to resize the image to match the desired pixel dimensions and pixels per inch for the print.
  • Adjusting tone, color, brightness, contrast, and applying subtle sharpening can enhance the photo for optimal print results.

4 x 6500 x 750720 x 10801200 x 1800
4 x 8500 x 1000720 x 14401200 x 2400
5 x 5625 x 625900 x 9001500 x 1500
5 x 7625 x 875900 x 12601500 x 2100
5 x 10625 x 1250900 x 18001500 x 3000
5 x 15625 x 1875900 x 27001500 x 4500
6 x 8750 x 10001080 x 14401800 x 2400
6 x 9750 x 11251080 x 16201800 x 2700
8 x 81000 x 10001440 x 14402400 x 2400
8 x 101000 x 12501440 x 18002400 x 3000
8 x 121000 x 15001440 x 21602400 x 3600
8 x 161000 x 20001440 x 28802400 x 4800
8 x 241000 x 30001440 x 43202400 x 7200
8.5 x 111063 x 13751530 x 19802550 x 3300
9 x 121125 x 15001620 x 21602700 x 3600
10 x 101250 x 12501800 x 18003000 x 3000
10 x 131250 x 16251800 x 23403000 x 3900
10 x 141250 x 17501800 x 25203000 x 4200
10 x 151250 x 17501800 x 27003000 x 4500
10 x 201250 x 25001800 x 36003000 x 6000
10 x 301250 x 37501800 x 54003000 x 9000
11 x 111375 x 13751980 x 19803300 x 3300
11 x 141375 x 17501980 x 25203300 x 4200
11 x 171375 x 21251980 x 30603300 x 5100
11 x 221375 x 27501980 x 39603300 x 6600
12 x 121500 x 15002160 x 21603600 x 3600
12 x 181500 x 22502160 x 32403600 x 5400
12 x 241500 x 30002160 x 43203600 x 7200
12 x 361500 x 45002160 x 64803600 x 10800
15 x 301875 x 37502700 x 54004500 x 9000
16 x 162000 x 20002880 x 28804800 x 4800
16 x 202000 x 25002880 x 36004800 x 6000
16 x 242000 x 30002880 x 43204800 x 7200
18 x 242250 x 30003240 x 43205400 x 7200
20 x 202500 x 25003600 x 36006000 x 6000
20 x 242500 x 30003600 x 43206000 x 7200
20 x 302500 x 37503600 x 54006000 x 9000
20 x 402500 x 50003600 x 72006000 x 12000
22 x 282750 x 35003960 x 50406600 x 8400
24 x 243000 x 30004320 x 43207200 x 7200
24 x 303000 x 37504320 x 54007200 x 9000
24 x 363000 x 45004320 x 64807200 x 10800
30 x 303750 x 37505400 x 54009000 x 9000
30 x 403750 x 50005400 x 72009000 x 12000
30 x 453750 x 56255400 x 81009000 x 13500
36 x 486000 x 45008640 x 648014400 x 10800
40 x 607200 x 480010800 x 720018000 x 12000

Understanding DPI

The quality of your print is actually going to be determined by the DPI setting that your printer uses. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch.

This is essentially the amount of detail that your printer can reproduce in every square inch of your prints. Most standard photo prints are 300 dpi, so you need to multiply the inches you want to print by the DPI setting to get the optimal resolution.

300 DPI is an ideal setting for getting a good quality print. You can get away with 240 DPI too, but you don’t want to use anything less than that. Consider 240-300 DPI to be the standard for good photos.

Can you get away with smaller pixel dimensions?

Maybe, depending on the application you are looking for. I’ve managed to blow up 640 x 480 sized Whatsapp images that had a decently high dots per inch count into an 8 x 10 canvas print.

It printed fine on canvas because the textured appearance of canvas hid any potential graininess in the images from really popping out at you.


What about using extra pixels?

Suppose you have a really large digital image from your camera but you want to make a really small print. So instead of 1200 x 1800 resolution for your 4 x 6 print, you decide to double it to 2400 x 3600 and try a 4 x 6 print size.

At this point, you’re sending 600 DPI worth of data to the printer. Does this necessarily mean higher quality photos?

Not really, and here’s why.

First off, can the printer even manage to make use of all of that extra information?

Secondly, even if the printer pulled it off, can your eye really make out the detail without the help of an external tool like a magnifying glass?

Resolution on screen vs in print

Here’s where things get really interesting. If you own an HDTV, you’ll know that the resolution for full HD is 1980 x 1080 pixels. On a digital screen, 1980 x 1080 is considered very high quality and full of detail.

However, the 1980 x 1080 video resolution you see on a 50 inch screen is quite similar to the 1200 x 1800 resolution for 4 x 6 print!

One of the reasons for such a striking difference is the way in which you view screens vs the way you view photos. Screens are meant to be looked at from much further away(indeed, even computer screens) than photos, which you generally hold in your hand and observe very closely.

How to edit your photo for best results

Since the screen and print resolution is so different, here’s the best way to edit your photo before printing it.

  1. Resize your photo to match the pixel dimensions and pixels per inch that you need for your print
  2. Adjust the tone/color/brightness/contrast as you see fit
  3. Slightly sharpen the image since the resolution on screen vs the resolution in print will be much different. Don’t overdo the sharpening, though.


As we come to the end of our exploration into the captivating world of print sizing, we hope you’ve gained valuable insights into the art of creating stunning 4×6 prints. Armed with the knowledge of finding the ideal number of pixels, you are now equipped to breathe life into your photographs like never before.

So, what will you create with this newfound wisdom? Will you seize the opportunity to immortalize cherished memories in vibrant 4×6 prints that evoke emotions and transport you back in time? Or perhaps you’ll embrace the challenge of pushing the boundaries of your artistic vision, experimenting with different pixel dimensions to unlock a whole new level of creative expression.

Remember, the journey of perfecting your prints is ongoing. Embrace the process, learn from each attempt, and continue to refine your skills. Share your experiences, exchange ideas, and inspire others on their own print sizing quests.

Now, armed with the key to image perfection, it’s time to unleash your creativity. Dive into the vast world of print sizing, explore different dimensions, and witness the transformation of your photographs into tangible masterpieces. Let your imagination soar and your artistry shine.

So go forth, photographers, and make your mark. Unleash the power of pixels and create wonders that will captivate and inspire for generations to come. The realm of print dimensions awaits your vision. Happy printing!