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Digital Camera

You may submit your digital camera image(s) over the internet, on disk, or on acceptable digital camera media. This is a 4 step guide designed to help you submit a digital camera image that is high quality.

Step 1 - Determine Camera Quality by MegaPixel:

Image quality can make a huge difference and most of this is determined by the quality of the camera you are using:


Mid-range to
High-end digital camera
  
Low-end digital camera
(good for email and web)

A good indicator of camera quality is MegaPixel. Check your owner's manual or the camera itself for details. We recommend that your camera be at least:

  • 2.4 MegaPixels for Standard postcard
  • 4.8 MegaPixels for Deluxe postcard

The following examples illustrate different resolutions of pixels and the quality of the images from such cameras:

640 x 480 pixels (Very poor)
 •  Uses: email, web
 •  Image quality is poor
 •  Not appropriate for professional printing
1 Megapixel (Poor to Fair)
 •  Uses: email, web
 •  Image quality acceptable on-screen
 •  Not appropriate for professional printing
2.4 Megapixel (Good)
 •  Acceptable for professional printing
 •  Not scalable much beyond Standard size
4.8 Megapixel (Very Good)
 •  Good for professional printing
 •  Not scalable much beyond Deluxe size
5.24 Megapixel (Excellent)
 •  Excellent for professional printing
 •  Quality excellent, scalability is virtually limitless

Step 2 - Use Highest Quality Setting

Set your digital camera to the highest possible quality setting. You may need to read your owner's manual, but more than likely it is available on your camera's display in a menu.

Set it to either "High", "Fine", or "Maximum":

Beware of settings that read "Quick", "Low", or "Email." These will not result in good quality.

The following example shows the camera set to "Email" quality:

image


Step 3 - Set Image Size as Large as Possible

On some cameras, this is a function of image quality (as the image size goes up, so does image quality). On many other cameras this setting is independent of quality and indicates the total area of pixels available in the image - in other words, this is your MegaPixel value. It is best to set this as high as your camera will support.

This may be expressed in pixel width and height or simply "Full" or "Large." Either way, it is best to set this as large as possible.


Step 4 - If Possible, Convert to CMYK

If you have Adobe Photoshop, you should consider downloading our Monitor Calibration and Printing Profiles and converting your image to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black - the 4 inks used on our press).

At the very least, you should be aware that your camera takes pictures in RGB (Red, Green, Blue), but your image will print in CMYK. Because of this difference in color space and gamut (range of colors), the image you see on your camera display or computer monitor may not match our 4-color press.

The following illustrates the difference between RBG and CMYK:

I've been using Modern Postcard more than ten years now, and wouldn't think of using anyone else. Other places may sometimes be a few dollars cheaper, but nobody can touch your service, reliability, lightning speed, the quality of your product, and your total professionalism. You guys are the BEST. Keep up the great work, you set the standard. The postcards were fantastic, as usual; can't wait to see this poster!
Carl Richards
Riverdale Art Center