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Preparing Image Files For Printing

Some photo labs require you to crop and size each image in Adobe Photoshop to fit their specifications. This is not necessary when submitting digital files to The Camera Shop. We size your files to the appropriate resolution as they are printed. This can save you a significant amount of time.

If you use our Darkroom software, the program has numerous tools to allow quick editing of the color balance, contrast and exposure of each image. You can also enhance your images with one-click buttons for: Black & White, Sepia-Tone, vignette, sharpen or soften. All of these editing tools do not change your original image files (your "digital negatives") that are stored in Darkroom. Rather, they are applied to each image as they are "rendered" to be printed.

If you prefer to edit your images in Adobe Photoshop or other imaging software, please note that our printers use sRGB color space. If you work in any other color space, you should convert your files to sRGB as you prepare to send them to The Camera Shop. JPEG files are preferred for efficient handling both over the internet and within our lab software.

Our Labtricity ordering system allows you to choose from two service levels:

Thrift Service:

Thrift prints are printed exactly as you prepare and send them to The Camera Shop. We do not make any adjustments for color balance, exposure or contrast. Thus, you need an accurately calibrated computer monitor to match the prints you receive from the lab.

Premium Service:

The Camera Shop checks the color, exposure and contrast of each Premium print, and makes adjustments as necessary to produce optimum prints. Of course, these parameters are subjective, so you may have an occasional request that we remake a Premium print.

Digital File Sizes

The resolution of a digital camera is stated in pixels (Picture Elements). Pixels do not directly equate to "dots per inch"--a term that refers to the output of a printer. Rather, they are the total number of picture elements captured by the camera's image sensor as it records the image. Most digital cameras give the photographer the option of choosing between several image resolutions. The higher the resolution you choose, the larger the print can be produced without losing clarity. (Higher resolution also means fewer photographs can be stored on your memory card). If you take a digital photo with a Canon 20D at its second highest pixel resolution (2544 x 1696), the captured image will contain 4,314,624 pixels (4.3 megapixels). Whether you print this image as an 8x10" photo or a 20x30" photo, the image still has exactly 4,314,624 pixels. The 20x30" image will exhibit some "pixelization" when viewed up close, because there were not enough pixels to produce a large print with optimal clarity. If you shoot the photograph again at the camera's highest resolution (3504 x 2336 pixels, or 8.25 megapixels), a 20x30" enlargement will appear much clearer.

The following table shows the number of pixels needed to produce a print with optimum clarity:

Print Size Pixel Dimensions
4x6 1000 x 1500
5x7 1250 x 1750
8x10 2000 x 2500
8x12 2000 x 3000
11x14 2750 x 3500
16x20 4000 x 5000
16x24 4000 x 6000
20x24 5000 x 6000
20x30 5000 x 7500
24x30 6000x7500
24x36 6000 x 9000
30x40 7500 x 10000
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