How Big Can I Print, Really?

You probably know the resolution of your phone’s camera. But what does that mean in real life? Can I make this big enough to live on my wall? Or just on my bookshelf?

You’ve probably heard the detailed answer before, or at least the first few sentences before your eyes glazed over. It’s the one where we start dividing the number of pixels by the desired print resolution to… are we losing you already?

Here’s a much simpler rule of thumb: MP = IN, or megapixels = inches. If your iPhone has a 12MP camera, stick to prints no larger than 12”. A square 12×12 or a rectangular 12×16. It’s a rough guide and there are some exceptions, but the math works out to about 300 pixels per inch. Here’s an example (skip this if the details bore you):

The camera(s) on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X capture 3024 x 4032 pixel image. Multiply to get 12,192,768 pixels, or 12.1 megapixels. If we instead divide them each by 300 (the threshold for photo-quality prints), we get 10.08 x 13.44 inches. That’s the largest size you print that will technically be considered photo-quality.

If, like us, you’re a stickler for quality and only the highest resolution will do, we’ve got you covered. We can diagnose any image you throw our way. But this quick tip will get you in the ballpark without any unnecessary math anxiety!