Recently I have been doing a lot more work with my LX5 simply because it’s fun to use. I can also carry it around with me at times when having a 5D with me would be out of the question. The question that had been worrying me was however how large these images could be printed before the fact they were printed on a 10Mpixel compact camera became a problem.
To date I have been printing images from the LX5 at either A4 or A3. At A3 I have to admit they look absolutely superb and I am sure they could stand further enlargement. Not wanting to waste money but still wanting an answer to my question I decided to resize some of the images and them print out sections of the image at A4.
For my first test I used the Llanddwyn Island image you see above which produces a good A4 and A3 print. I then resized this to 24“ x 18“ using Genuine Fractals. I would like to point out that if I were going to produce a print of this size I would use a slightly smaller image to allow for a small boarder with which to mount the image. I then printed the section of the image with the rock in the left foreground onto A4 gloss paper. The result was excellent and I would have no hesitation making a print of this size.
My next test was to resize the starting image to 30“ x 24“. This time I could see the image was slightly softer and there was less detail in the image than I would have liked. This however was with the image close to me. If I placed the image at arm’s length, which is still too near for a print of this size, the image looks perfectly acceptable.
Now this was a crude experiment but it showed just how flexible these images can be. I also think that if I restrict all sharpening (including capture sharpening) until after the image has been resized, I might be able to achieve an even better result. For the time being however I am confident that I can produce high quality 24“ x 18“ prints to gloss paper using the LX5.
If you want to see the A4 section of the 24“x18“ print here is the link to download it (9.5Mb). If you view it at 100% in Photoshop it will look dreadful as it has been sharpened for output on my HP printer. To get a better idea of what the print would look like view it at 50% or better still print it at A4.