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What camera do I need to shoot a large poster?


vicstone 6 5
12 Nov 2013 4:39PM
I need a high resolution poster 115cm x 172cm. Photographer used Canon 5D Mark II. Photos were about 50Mb each. They looked very grainy on a large poster. The person at the print shop told me that it was the wrong camera. Photos should be around 300Mb in size each and with 300 dpi. Could anyone please tell me what camera can do this type of photo?
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2013 4:49PM
The person at the print shop may be an expert on prints but it seems he knows squat about cameras. The 5DII will be fine if you know what you are doing with the camera and post-processing.
Do you intend to buy a 5DII just for this poster?
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
12 Nov 2013 5:12PM
This wouldn't have been a problem 10 years ago, let alone with a 5D MK II. A printer usually uses RIP software to upsize the photo - the need to fiddle with interpolation and file sizes yourself should be redundant. Obviously the camera choice doesn't dictate 'graininess' in itself, but that's odd advice, nonetheless.
vicstone 6 5
12 Nov 2013 5:47PM
I still don't understand what the answer is. Was there anything wrong with the camera setup? If it was then what should the setup be?
I intend to use a different photographer, but I want to make sure that this mistake will not happen again.
Actually, the print shop person has been in business for 40 years, they also sell different cameras and she does know what she is talking about. She mentioned something about white or wide lenses. I can't remember what it was. That "print shop" is an understatement - it is a large factory that prints majority of all advertisement posters in Bangkok on various materials.
I know nothing about cameras, and I do not want to buy any of them. I just need an advice on what went wrong and how to prevent this for the next time.
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2013 5:53PM

Quote:I still don't understand what the answer is.


It depends what the question is.

Have you employed a professional end ended up with grainy photos because the wording you first post is very vague? Was the screw up made in taking the photo or in post-processing?
When employing a professional photographer the question should not be 'what camera have you got' because I can certainly screw up a photo if you gave me a $20,000 Hasselblad. Your question should be 'have you done this sort of job before and show me an example' and payment should be dependent on results.

If the print shop does the work you say they do, why not ask them for a recommendation of a good photographer?
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
12 Nov 2013 6:15PM
Something is being lost in translation - no photographer or printer would tell you that a 5D MK II is intrinsically incapable of a high-quality poster-sized print.

However, the settings the photographer used (possibly by constraint), how he/she treated the file after the event, and whether or not the image was cropped, for instance, will all affect the apparent graininess of a print. These things, coupled with fairly substantial upsizing (I make it 787MB by the way), are going to affect how the print looks - and inevitably if you use an absurdly expensive camera it'll improve matters.

The bigger a print is, the more obvious technical imperfections are, though it helps if the quality is evaluated at a reasonable viewing distance. There are far too many variables for anyone here to tell you exactly what has gone wrong - you'd have to tell us what type of picture it was, and/or in what light, for a start.
vicstone 6 5
12 Nov 2013 6:17PM
The print shop woman told me that the photographer made a mistake and took photos in a magazine resolution, and they were not suitable for a poster. It was 72 dpi or ppi. She asked me to provide at least 200 dpi photos. I asked the photographer to do that. He sent me photos with 200 dpi, but the size of photos remained the same 50Mb. The woman at the print shop told me that he changed dpi, but the quality of photos was exactly the same. She told me that she could not print a better quality than the photo was. The original photographer shoots for fashion magazines and was recommended to me.

I have asked the print shop for a different photographer.

I don't know anything about any of this photography terminology. I do not own any expensive cameras, and I don't take any photos. I am not a photographer. I just want to prevent another costly mistake. Therefore, I am asking for an advice about what I should watch out for, or perhaps, to remind a new photographer to setup his/her camera in a certain way.
discreetphoton Plus
16 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2013 6:24PM

Quote:I have asked the print shop for a different photographer.


Might be better to ask the photographer for a different print shop.
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
12 Nov 2013 6:32PM
A 5D MK II produces a 60MB 8-bit file, or thereabouts, and merely changing the ppi doesn't alter that. The print shop person is asking that the file be upsized at the same time, presumably, but it's an unusual lab that can't do that itself.
Steve_S Plus
14 183 3 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2013 6:47PM
Ask the 'photographer' to size the image to 115cm x 172cm at 200ppi. You should end up with a file around 9055 pixels x 13543 pixels. Presuming that the image is not a big crop from the original it should print fine. Did he know what you were going to do with the photo?
whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2013 7:09PM
I think I understand. 72dpi or ppi is fine for screen viewing, but for printing, you need 300.
I had some images printed by a coffee shop at 1m x 1.5m from a MkII & they are as smoot as a baby's bum. But I gave them a file with the image set to print at that size at 300 dpi.
vicstone 6 5
12 Nov 2013 7:11PM
Thank you Steve_S. This is the answer that I was looking for.

The photographer did know exactly what the photoshoot was all about. Out of 250 photos only 1 photo was chosen for a poster. The poster does not look sharp. Photographer provided photo sized at 3387x 5086 200dpi in tiff format. He said that that was the best he could do. It does sound like he made a mistake and set up his camera for a magazine photoshoot instead of a poster.
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
12 Nov 2013 7:14PM
It's nothing to do with the camera setting - everything to do with the photographer's interpretation of the lab's needs (though they are a little pitiful).
vicstone 6 5
12 Nov 2013 7:18PM
Thank you all. I understand that the photographer has made a mistake and not the print shop.
GlennH 15 1.9k 1 France
12 Nov 2013 7:19PM

Quote:I think I understand. 72dpi or ppi is fine for screen viewing, but for printing, you need 300.


Nothing you do to an image's ppi pixel density affects how it looks on screen - that is influenced only by the display's pixel pitch and the pixel dimensions of the image (i.e. horizontal x vertical).

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