Your Full Guide to Standard Photo Sizes

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Discover standard photo sizes and how best to optimize your photographs for print and web.

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Why resize photos?

There are two reasons why we might want to resize photographs: to print them or to display them online. Small photos (i.e. postcard size) will need to be printed differently to big photos (i.e. poster size), and the quality of the paper also impacts what resize settings we use. The same is true for online use of digital photos, where height and width are restricted by the size and shape of the viewing device and the quality of said image impacts how fast or slow it loads on computers and webpages.

Both print and online photo use are almost identical in every way, but each have their own specific requirements and limitations. Both print and online images are made up of height and width, and contain many points of color to represent what’s in the photograph. For print, these points of color are called ‘dots’, in digital photos they’re referred to as ‘pixels’. A typical dot consists of four colors: Cyan; Magenta; Yellow and Key (Black), aka CMYK. Whereas each digital pixel is made from combining three colors: Red; Green and Blue (RGB). These dots and pixels combine together to create a photograph.

However, neither dots nor pixels have a standardized size. So that means the resolution of an image (how many dots/pixels that make up a photo) is determined by how many dots/pixels are along its width and its height, like this: 1800 × 1200. The more you have, the greater the image detail.

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Standard photo print sizes

Normal photo sizes are measured in inches or millimeters because they’re physical, tangible items. Photo print sizes also have a print resolution (measured in Dots Per Inch) that is determined by the absorption of the paper a photo is printed on. If paper is coarse and the ink bleeds easily, then a lower resolution of, say, 100 DPI may be all that’s required because the bleeding limits how fine the details are rendered. However, if paper is smoother and doesn’t allow the ink to run as much, then a finer resolution can be used. For example, a broadsheet newspaper might be printed at 100 DPI, whereas on glossy photo paper or in glossy magazines it could be increased to 300 DPI to give higher definition.

Standard picture sizes are determined by historical print reproduction and are generally regarded as being measured in inches. Normal picture sizes are as follows: 8 × 10, 7 × 5, 6 × 4, and 2 × 3. Square crop photos can also be used, for example, the smallest usually being 1 × 1.

Standard picture sizes for web

Digital photo sizes are measured in pixels. This is because regular photo sizes on different viewing devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) all have screens made up of individual pixels with red, green and blue lights making each pixel on the screen. The density of the pixels per inch is known as the resolution, and often abbreviated to PPI. Like in printing, a higher PPI equals finer detail in image reproduction.

However, since pixels don’t have an average size, a 50” screen could have the same resolution as a 12” screen. That makes resizing photos a little more tricky as they need to display easily (and load quickly) on any device. Digital photo resolution is measured at 72 PPI universally across any device, so the only changing factor when it comes to preparing your photos for online use is the length and width of the image and how much compression is used to make the file small enough to load quickly on slow internet speeds. Arguably, it’s the file size of a photo that is ultimately more important than the resolution. This is because websites with big files take longer to load. Longer loading times affect search engine optimization, which means they may rank lower in the list on search engines such as Google.

Online, photographs do not have any restrictions on size or shape, but many websites will use standard aspect ratio crops on images. 16:9 picture dimensions are common and display in a letterbox shape, regardless of the resolution of the images. Instagram, for example, run 1:1 crops making square photos and currently use a resolution of 1080 × 1080 pixels, although they also allow for landscape and portrait orientations of rectangular photos now, too.

Photograph sizes for social media

Sharing photography via social media is at the mainstay of modern commercial work and personal photography. So it’s vital to ensure each image looks its best on a given platform. Different social media sites and apps format images differently, so here’s a quick run-down of the best sizes and aspect ratios to format your photos into standard sizes:

  • Instagram
    Square crop – 1080 × 1080, 1:1 aspect ratio
    Horizontal orientation – 1080 × 566, 1.91:1 aspect ratio
    Vertical orientation – 1080 × 1350, 4:5 aspect ratio
    Instagram Stories – 1080 × 1920, 0.56:1 aspect ratio

  • Pinterest
    Profile photo – 165 × 165, 1:1 aspect ratio
    Board cover photo – 222 × 150, 1.48:1 aspect ratio
    Pin sizes (vertical orientation) – 735 × 1102, 0.67:1 aspect ratio

  • Facebook
    Profile photo – 170 × 170, 1:1 aspect ratio
    Horizontal orientation – 1200 × 630, 1.9:1 aspect ratio
    Vertical orientation – 630 × 1200, 0.53:1 aspect ratio
    Square crop – 1200 × 1200, 1:1 aspect ratio
    Facebook Stories – 1080 × 1920, 0.56:1 aspect ratio
    Cover photo – 851 × 315, 2.7:1 aspect ratio

  • LinkedIn
    Profile photo – 400 × 400, 1:1 aspect ratio
    Horizontal orientation – 1200 × 627, 1.91:1 aspect ratio
    Vertical orientation – 627 × 1200, 0.52:1 aspect ratio
    Cover photo – 1128 × 191, 5.91:1 aspect ratio

How to convert between print and web

It’s easy to calculate sizes between print and web use by using multiplication, as long as we know the DPI/PPI required. For example, in a 6 × 4 image that we want to print at highest quality, we take each side and multiply it by the resolution. Here we’ll use 300 DPI/PPI. So, 6 × 300 = 1800 and 4 × 300 = 1200, so a 6 × 4 photo at 300 DPI = 1880 × 1200 pixels in size. The reverse is true for calculating from web to print, just divide resolution lengths by pixel density, e.g. 1800/300 = 6 inches.

Photo size chart: for the perfect image conversions

What size is a standard photo? The International Standards Organization is a governing body that regulates standard print sizes and are categorized into A, B and C Series. However, because A Series is most commonly used, below you’ll find a handy photo size chart conversion guide to convert pixels to inches. Common photo sizes in inches are converted at a resolution of 300 DPI/PPI.

Convert pixels to inches

Print size (inches)

File size (pixels)

3 × 5

900 × 1500

4 × 6

1200 × 1800

5 × 7

1500 × 2100

8 × 10

2400 × 3000

9 × 16

2700 × 4800

10 × 13

3000 × 3900

10 × 20

3000 × 6000

11 × 14

3300 × 4200

12 × 16

3600 × 4800

Check the following conversion chart to learn about A4 paper size in pixels.

Convert ISO standard to pixels (resolution: 300 DPI/PPI)

ISO standard

File size (pixels)

A0

9933 × 14043

A2

4961 × 7016

A4

2480 × 3508

A5

1748 × 2480

A7

874 × 1240

A4 size is 210 mm × 297 mm (8.27” × 11.69”) in pixels at 300 DPI = 2480 × 3508 or 72 DPI = 595 × 842.

Aspect ratio

There are some common aspect ratio sizes of pictures that will pop up again and again, whether you’re formatting photos for print, use on the web, or preparing them ready for inclusion in videos. See our chart below for some common aspect ratios and their uses.

1:1 aspect ratio

Uses: Square crops, usually used for online profile photos but can work equally well on Instagram posts or photos that are inherently symmetrical.

3:2 aspect ratio

Uses: Historically the aspect ratio of analogue 35mm film, digital cameras have inherited this standard in image sensors today and is likely what your digital camera will shoot at default.

4:3 aspect ratio

Uses: Another traditional aspect ratio that has roots in television broadcasting, before the advent of High Definition widescreen, adopted by photographers and filmmakers.

16:9 aspect ratio

Uses: Widescreen television and full HD video recording use this aspect ratio as it offers greater horizontal detail than 4:3 as listed above.

Resize images

Image resizing is necessary if the chosen photo doesn’t fit your intended printing size. To do this, we’ll be using different photo sizes as examples. Let’s figure out what to do if:

  • An image is larger than the printing size and has the same proportions
    Resize the image and constrain proportions.

  • An image is larger than the printing size and has different proportions
    Choose the part of the picture you want to print and crop the image.

  • An image is smaller than the printing size
    Use the resizing tool to make the photo bigger. Note that, in this case, the image quality deteriorates.

Resize pictures in Picverse Photo Editor

  1. Click the Resize tab.

  2. Select or enter the necessary image size:
    - Enter the dimensions into the Width and Height boxes. Click the lock icon to disable the Constrain proportions option if needed. You can also change the measurement unit in the box on top of the tab.
    - Choose from preset sizes.
    - Click AI enlargement to enlarge a photo without quality loss.

  3. Click the Apply button to save the changes.

Crop pictures in Picverse Photo Editor

  1. Open the Crop and Rotate tab.

  2. Specify the size or proportions you want on the right-hand panel:
    - Enter the Width and Height into the corresponding boxes.
    - Select suitable proportions from the Aspect ratio list.
    - Adjust a crop frame manually. Move its edges with your mouse.

  3. Click Apply to save the cropped image.

Summary

Overall, standard photo sizes are used in all manner of applications, from print to web, and vary between websites and social media platforms, as noted above. Editing photos to present in the correct aspect ratio is crucial to maintaining detail and clarity in imagery. To do this, we recommend using Picverse Photo Editor which is also a comprehensive photo editor in its own right.

Jason Parnell-Brookes

An award-winning photographer with more than 10 years of experience. A qualified teacher and Master’s graduate, he also writes for TechRadar, Creative Bloq, and Digital Camera World. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a standard size for a photo?

4 x 6 (also denoted as 6 x 4) is perhaps the most common photo size in print. This size photo fits perfectly into a 3:2 aspect ratio. Since most digital cameras have full resolution sizes with the 3:2 aspect ratio, there should be no need to crop any part of the photo to make it fit this aspect ratio, thereby keeping full detail in the original image. This size is ideal for framed photos, greetings cards and postcards.

What are the standard photo sizes in cm?

  • 2.5 x 3.5 = 6.35 x 8.89 cm

  • 3.5 x 5 = 8.89 x 12.7 cm

  • 4 x 6 = 10.2 x 15.2 cm

  • 5 x 7 = 12.7 x 17.8 cm

  • 6 x 8 = 15.2 x 20.3 cm

  • 8 x 10 = 20.3 x 25.4 cm

  • 10 x 12 = 25.4 x 30.5 cm

What is a wallet-sized photo?

Wallet-sized photos are, unsurprisingly, a little bigger than the bank or credit card in your wallet or purse. They’re, on average, around 2.5 x 3.5 inches (6.35 x 8.89 cm) and are just small enough for taking with you wherever you go.

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