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Can You Make Large Prints From Phone Photos?

It is generally accepted that phone photos are fine for sharing on the web or on Instagram, but for larger applications, you need a dedicated camera. But with modern phones making great leaps in image quality, you might wonder if you can actually get acceptable or even good larger prints from a phone image. This great video examines the sort of print quality you can expect from images shot on a modern smartphone.

Coming to you from Nigel Danson, this great video examines the sort of print quality you can expect from phone photos. Up until a few years ago, phone photos were fine for sharing on social media or capturing memories, but were generally not something you would use for much else, particularly serious prints. However, in the last few years, smartphones have made tremendous strides in image quality, and images (particularly those shot in good light) have started to become high enough quality to be used in more professional applications, even taking the place of a dedicated professional camera in some scenarios. If you like to print your photos, but do not always like to drag your full kit along with you, check out the video above to see what you can expect. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I cannot help but reflect upon contributers here who argue phones are simply no good for anything bigger than a postcard.

Hahaha, thats a very loose use of the word 'contributers' too Edward :)

Really cool to see this experiment!

My DSLR still offers me lens and off-camera lighting options I don't get from my phone. But honestly, for many quick shots that I used to insist I needed a big sensor for, I now admit my phone will do pretty much as well with less work. The phone's HDR even gets good dynamic range without me needing to post-process.

Corollary, imagine the image quality if big camera makers would include options to leverage more computational photography!

I have printed photos from my phones and they almost always are top of the line.

Even 4x6 they can't hold a candle to 10 year old Rebel series with kit lens.

Maybe there is a way to make then look good, but aside from full sun light (which makes even a pinhole camera superb) they will look worse (not bad, just worse).

Full sunlight I could make a soda can pin hole camera look gorgeous. I could make smartphones from 10 years ago look gorgeous. I'm pretty sure anything that focuses light on a developing medium will look superb with enough light. And what about the other 99% of the time?