Resolution requirements for printing

  • Updated

SmugMug prints through different labs. Fortunately for all our customers, the recommended workflow is the same: add your full-resolution images to SmugMug. The number of pixels they have when they come out of the camera should be the number of pixels they have when you add them to SmugMug. We'll send the full-resolution photos to our print labs, and they'll optimize the image for their specific printer to make sure the quality is top notch.

Wondering about DPI? You don't have to. It won't matter at all for displaying on SmugMug or for printing.

How do I speed up uploads?

If you find that adding photos to SmugMug is prohibitively slow, consider compressing your image files. It sounds tricky, but it's pretty simple and can really get things moving without compromising print quality. See our speed help page for details.

Note: This doesn't change the pixel count of your images. It simply makes your files smaller.

Is there anything else I can do for high volume?

If you're uploading hundreds or thousands of images a week, it might be necessary to speed up uploading even further. In addition to compressing your images (see above), you can reduce the pixel count to further shrink your file size. However, this will reduce the quality of your images, so we highly recommend coupling this tactic with our proof-delay feature.

You can compress your images and resize to 2200 pixels on the longest side. That will be a high-enough pixel count to sell any of our print sizes. The crucial last step is proofing each order before it goes to the lab. At that point you'll want to replace the images ordered with your full-resolution images that are less compressed. More tips.

Minimum requirements.

To help customers, SmugMug's shopping cart only shows a print size if the original image meets our minimum resolution requirements for that size. Keep in mind that these are minimums. Please read "recommended settings" below.

Size Pixels Size Pixels Size Pixels Size Pixels
3.5x5 438x625 8x20 750x1280 12x24 1024x1536 20x50 1280x2750
wallets 240x320 8x24 750x1536 12x30 1024x1920 20x60 1280x3300
4x5 460x610 8x32 750x2000 12x36 1024x2160 20x80 1280x4400
4x5.3 460x610 9x12 825x1100 12x48 1024x2640 22x55 1406x3300
4x6 470x705 10x10 925x925 13x19 1100x1280 24x24 1536x1536
4x8 470x940 10x13 925x1100 14x14 1024x1024 24x30 1536x1920
4x10 470x1175 10x14 768x1024 14x20 1024x1280 24x36 1440x2160
5x5 575x575 10x15 768x1024 14x22 1024x1400 24x60 1440x3600
5x6.7 575x770 10x16 768x1152 14x30 1152x1920 30x30 1920x1920
5x7 575x805 10x18 935x1152 15x20 1024x1280 30x40 1650x2200
5x10 575x935 10x20 768x1280 15x27 1024x1920 30x45 1650x2476
5x15 575x1024 10x25 768x1600 15x30 1024x1920 30x50 1650x2750
5x20 575x1280 10x28 768x1800 16x16 1152x1152 30x60 1650x3300
5x30 575x1536 10x30 768x1920 16x20 1024x1280 30x90 1650x4950
6x6 705x705 10x40 925x2200 16x24 1024x1536 30x120 1650x6600
6x18 705x1152 11x14 768x1024 16x40 1024x2200 36x36 2160x2160
6x24 705x1536 11x16 768x1152 16x48 1024x3072 40x40 2200x2200
7x10 700x935 11x28 768x1800 16x64 1024x3520 40x50 2200x2750
8x8 750x750 11x30 768x1920 18x24 1100x1536 40x60 2200x3300
8.5x11 775x1000 11x33 768x2100 20x20 1280x1280 40x70 2200x3850
8x10 750x935 12x12 1024x1024 20x24 1280x1536 40x80 2200x4400
8x10.6 750x990 12x16 768x1152 20x30 1280x1920 40x90 2200x4950
8x12 750x1125 12x18 768x1216 20x36 1280x2160 43x96 2365x5280
8x16 750x1152 12x20 1024x1280 20x40 1280x2200    

Recommended settings.

Suppose your photo is 2000 x 3000 pixels, and you expect your admirers to order anywhere from 6" prints to 40" prints. What should you do?

Our recommendation is to leave it alone. Our labs will upsample/downsample as needed, and they can do it better than all but the most serious experts.

We can feel your worry and doubt: "But...a 30-inch print is only 100 dots per inch...." We routinely show the following print at 80 dpi, 24" x 30", to passionate and fussy photographers. Their only comment about quality is "stunning":


We've only seen two prints in a million returned for too few pixels, and they were 400 x 600 pixel images from cheap consumer cameras, printed at 8 x 10. Here are the reasons prints are returned.

Was this article helpful?

20 out of 24 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request