I use Photoshop CS4. I use it a lot, but I don't have any experience with RAW files.

I need a 600dpi image that is about 11 inches high (to be printed on a huge banner). I shot the photo in RAW format on my Nikon D50. I've tried using both Photoshop and Adobe Bridge to open and convert the file. That seems to go just fine, but when I go to change the image size, I end up with a 600 dpi file that is only 3x5 inches. This is the same result I get when I import a jpeg.

I need to maintain a high resolution so that I can import this file into Illustrator. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Which Nikon DX camera do you have? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is a Nikon D50. Sorry, I was looking at the lens when I said DX. \$\endgroup\$
    – Susan
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you need such hi res for a banner? In my experience, most are designed to be read from significant distance, not viewed from inches. 600dpi is higher than you need to view something from arms length \$\endgroup\$
    – cmason
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


Sorry to say but you are confused. I suggest you read this article about resolution. I wrote it a long time ago but it still applies.

The resolution of a RAW file and a JPEG is identical unless you scale it down. Processing a RAW file does not affect its resolution. If you save it as TIFF, you can get the same color-depth too. If you save it as JPEG, then the bit-depth reduces to 8-bit per channel (24-bits per pixel).

The number of details you are asking for is a 600 DPI image of 11", so it needs to have 6600 pixels high. Your camera certainly does not have that resolution, even the 25 MP Nikon D3X falls short.

What you therefore have to do is to scale it up using to 4400x6600 for a landscape image or 9900x6600 for a portrait image using Photoshop's Image Resize function.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much! I did not know that resolution was the same for RAW and JPEG. \$\endgroup\$
    – Susan
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You suggest the Photoshop Image Resize function. I will try that. Is that the same as Resample? I've always heard to never resample up, only down. Your help is so appreciated! \$\endgroup\$
    – Susan
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You do have to watch the conversion resolution if you're going through ACR though. it'll specify what resolution and bitdepth it generates for photoshop. see help.adobe.com/en_US/creativesuite/cs/using/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeb
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that is resampling which makes software invent pixels. That is why you should avoid doing it. It would be much better to send the file as is and ask for an 11" high print. The printer will do its own resampling then to satisfy its internal requirements which is probably not 600 DPI anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Nov 2, 2011 at 15:04
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Susan - Do not resample, just copy it into Illustrator as is. As I said, even the D3X does not reach the resolution, you would need a medium format camera cost about $10K plus lenses to get that. The requirement you state is artificial. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Nov 2, 2011 at 15:08

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