Photo sizes: All you need to know

Susan Fernandez December 12 2021

What does photo size affect?

The size of a digital photo file affects the quality of the photo. Larger file size will result in a higher-quality photo. In general, you want to use the largest file size possible because it will produce the best results. However, if you're working with limited storage space or you need to email a photo, you may need to reduce the file size.

Types of photo sizes

There are a few different photo sizes that photographers use. The three most common ones are 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10. However, there are many other sizes available as well.

4x6 is the smallest size and is usually used for personal photos. 5x7 is a popular size for family photos or photos that will be printed and hung on a wall. 8x10 is the largest size that is commonly used and is great for printing in a large format or for displaying in a frame.

There are many other sizes available as well, such as 11x14, 16x20, and 20x24. These sizes can be used for special occasions or when you want to print a photo in a larger format.

Standard size for printing a photo

The standard size for printing a photo is 8x10. If you want to print a photo in a different size, you may need to use a special printer or have the photo printed by a professional. However, it's usually not very expensive to print a photo in 8x10 format.

Also, you can print photos in 4R size, it is 100% the same as postcard size, so you don't need to worry about the output.

How to measure photo size?

To measure photo size, you need to use the longest side of the photo. For example, if your digital camera produces 4x6 photos and you want to print them 5x7, you would need to crop the image so that it looks exactly like a 5x7 before printing.

Also, it is important to know that standard picture frame sizes for 5x7 or 8x10 are slightly different than their digital counterparts. A traditional picture frame will be slightly smaller than the final print dimensions so there will be a white border around it. This allows you to easily set up a table with multiple different-sized photos without worrying about keeping everything lined up perfectly.

Resolution and photo size

There's a very close relationship between resolution and size. Resolution controls the size of digital photos and photo sizes determine final resolutions.

Here is a common situation: A photographer shoots an event using a 5-megapixel camera and captures images that are 2048x1536 pixels at a 3:2 aspect ratio. The photographer wants to print these photos as 8x10 prints but doesn't want their customers to view the photos as only 1536x2048 (the full image). They want the customers to see the same 2048x1536 pixel image without having to resize it upon viewing it on their computer monitor.

The simplest way to achieve this would be for them to downsize or resize the original files before printing them at 8x10. This would make the photos print at a resolution of 1600x1200, which is within the printer's capabilities. The photographer could also upsample or enlarge the files before printing, but this would not be recommended because it would result in a poorer quality photo.

Printing at a resolution that is too high for the printer can actually cause problems, such as "jaggies" (see figure 1) and pixelation. Jaggies are the stair-stepping lines that are often seen along diagonal edges in an image, and pixelation is the visible breakup of an image into individual pixels. Both of these problems can be avoided by downsizing the file to a resolution that is appropriate for the printer.

When you're working with digital photos, it's important to understand the difference between resolution and size. By understanding how these two factors interact, you can produce better-quality photos that will look great when printed.


Photo sizes also determine the photo's PPI (pixels per inch). A low PPI results in a poor quality photo, whereas a high PPI will result in a better quality photo. Most printers require a minimum of 300 PPI in order to produce good quality prints. However, if you're planning to print a large-format photo, you may need an even higher PPI.

Printing and aspect ratio

When you're printing a photo at a specific size, it's important that the aspect ratio of the photo is appropriate for the size. For example, if you have a 4x6 inch print and want to print an 8x10 image on it, you will need to use software such as Photoshop to create a "fake" pixel in order to enlarge the image so it fits inside the 4x6 frame.

The same would apply to 5x7 prints. If you wanted to make a 20x30 centimeter print from an 8x10 photo, you would need to expand it by 7 percent horizontally and 11 percent vertically in order for it not to look stretched out when printed.

While this isn't difficult, it can be a little time-consuming. It may also result in a loss of clarity and sharpness if done incorrectly, so it's recommended to do this with a professional photo printing service that would understand the issue.

Image size for different social media

Facebook: 1200x630 px

Twitter: 1024x512 px

Instagram: 1080x1080px

Pinterest: 735x1102px

Tumblr: 500x750px

LinkedIn: Profile photo 200 x 200px, Cover photo 851 x 315px.

When uploading a photo to any of these social media platforms, it's important to keep the dimensions in mind. For example, if you want to post a landscape-oriented photo on Instagram, you will need to make sure that it is 1080 pixels wide.

If you want to post a portrait-oriented photo on LinkedIn, your image should be at least 200 pixels tall. And if you want to create a cover photo for your LinkedIn profile, the image should be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.

How to resize your photo?

There are a number of ways to resize your photos, but the simplest way is to use the "Image Size" function in Photoshop. This will allow you to change the height, width, and resolution of your photo. You can also change the pixel dimensions by entering specific values in the appropriate fields.

When resizing a photo, it's important to keep the aspect ratio in mind. If you're downsizing a photo, you may need to crop it so that it maintains its original proportions. And if you're upsizing a photo, you may need to use the "Scale" option instead of the "Resample" option in order for it to be enlarged without losing quality.

When resizing a photo, it's important to use a high-quality resampling algorithm. Photoshop's "Bicubic" option is a good choice for this, but you can also experiment with the other algorithms to see which gives you the best results.

It's also important to remember that when you're resizing a photo, you're changing the number of pixels in the image. This means that you may also be changing the resolution and the file size. So if you need to print the photo at a specific size, it's important to make sure that the resolution is high enough to produce good quality prints.

Steps on how to reduce photo size

There are many ways of reducing the size of a photo, with varying degrees of difficulty.

  • Change format to jpg or gif
  • Reduce resolution from 300dpi to 72ppi for web use
  • Scale photo if you want to reduce its size but maintain its amount of pixels
  • Resample  a photo only when you need a file type that isn't supported by your desired output measures
  • Use a lossless method such as bicubic smoother rather than a lossy method such as resample, which will result in quality loss

Different types of photoshop reduction methods: - remove JPEG artifacts (Photoshop CS6+) - scale photo non-proportionally (4+, Mac OSX Only) - use the Image Size dialog (all versions)

  • Use guided image resolution adjustment (CS6+, Windows Only)
  • Use content-aware scaling (CS6+, Mac OSX, and Windows)
  • Downsample with nearest-neighbor interpolation (All versions)
  • Using a script or plugin to automate the process

Steps on how to make your image size larger

  • Resize the image with an algorithm that retains quality while increasing size (Photoshop CS4+) - scale photo proportionally (all versions)
  • Enlarging the canvas and adding pixels to an image in Photoshop CS6+

Different types of photoshop enlargement methods: - use content-aware scaling (CS6+, Mac OSX and Windows) - upsample with bilinear interpolation or bicubic smoother (All versions) - using a script or plugin to automate the process such as " Ben Bella Scripts Upscale ".

Steps on how to change pixel dimensions:

  • Use the Image Size dialog box. Check both Constrain Proportions and Resample Image checkboxes for non-proportional resizing (all versions)
  • Enter specific values into the W (width), H (height), and Resolution fields. For non-proportional resizing, make sure to check both the Resample Image and Constrain Proportions boxes before changing these values (Photoshop CS6+) - use this YouTube video for help on how to do this with Photoshop CS6+

Bottom line

Photo size is an important consideration for photographers, whether they're working with digital or traditional photography. Different photo sizes are suited for different purposes, so it's important to understand the various options available to you.

In this article, we've looked at the most common methods of resizing photos, and we've provided step-by-step instructions on how to use them. We've also looked at some of the factors you need to take into account when resizing photos, such as resolution and file size. So if you're looking to resize your photos, be sure to give these instructions a try!