4x6 Digital Prints

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  #1  
Old 08-29-05, 08:33 AM
deankubiak
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4x6 Digital Prints

Hi,
My wife and I have a debate going. When we order digital prints using online services there is always on option to order a true 4x6 print or a 3.55 x 6 print (or something similar to that size. I don't remember the exact size). The 4x6 print is a cropped image due to the aspect ratio of digital cameras while the 3.55 x 6 print is the actual uncropped photo just a little smaller. Is this true in all cases? Will digital prints always contain cropping if the picture size is 4x6? I believe it is. If there are digital photo processing sites out there where you can get a true 4x6 print without cropping can you share?

Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-29-05, 05:54 PM
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Sorry to burst your bubble, but ALL film processing cropped photos unless one specifically stated otherwise. In 99.99% of the cases, this made a better picture.

The uncropped image you refer to is indeed a result of being digital. Its related to the number of pixels.

Sound like you are using premium photo services. Many of the sites I've visited do not offer the choice at all.
 
  #3  
Old 08-29-05, 06:30 PM
deankubiak
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Thanks BobF

So if I understand you correctly you are saying that the picture is always cropped regardless of whether you order 4x6 prints or the 4x5.3? I just want to clarify if possible.

The website I use is called www.snapfish.com. They claim that if you order the 4x5.3 that the photo, while smaller in size when printed, will be the entire image that was taken. They offer the option to order a true 4x6, but the disclaimer is that the edge on the 6" side will be cropped.

Thanks again!
 
  #4  
Old 08-30-05, 06:18 AM
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Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to film, not digital, pictures. I would hope that processors would not crop digital images. The film images were cropped because so many people did not know how to fill a frame and had a lot of wasted space in the image (too much background like sky and grass). The cameras most people used didn't allow for accurate framing, either.

With digital images, more and more people do the editing on their home computers before sending them off for printing. I would be extremely upset if a lab cropped my images after I spent time doing it myself. In fact, I have a good SLR and got pretty good at framing. I had more than one print ruined because of the automatic cropping. At least the negatives were ok so I could get proper reprints made.

Unless you are a serious amatuer, I wouldn't worry about the differences between the two sizes. Its only going to matter if you have a) filled the frame and want everything or b) have already done the cropping yourself.

The prices are cheap. Select a few you want to give mom and dad a copy of and have them printed in both sizes. Then compare the results. You may find the slight cropping does nothing or even helps a bit. I doubt you find the cropping hurts the pics.

Of course, you can always do the cropping at home using good photo software. In fact, on images you really like, I recommend it. That way you can do a little enlarging too and really make the image pop! By that, I mean enlarge the image to roughly 5x7 and crop to a 4x6. You eliminate extra background stuff. This allows you to cut out what you don't want (or need) in the image.
 
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