What's a good size/resolution when showing pictures to client using a online tool for proofing ?

I've noticed that 1350x900 and 72ppi is pretty good, considering image quality and size on disk.

What more do you suggest?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is not one size that will work for everyone. It depends on what size you are comfortable posting, if you have a watermark or not, what screen size and resolution is being used, your website design and your intended sales. This is an opinion of course and depends both on the circumstances as well as the current technology to display images(and even the device to which the image is being served). If that resolution is working well for you, I don't see a reason to change. If your clients are complaining they can't see the images, then change it. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Jan 8, 2014 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


Short answer: it depends on lots of things...

  • Is the client choosing which shots to pay for? Too high resolution and they might just steal them
  • Does the client need to check for minor focus misalignments? Too low and this isn't possible
  • Does the client always have a good internet connection? If lots of non-professional/non-technical clients, they may not appreciate having to download hundreds of MBs of photos
  • Does the client want to spend a lot of time on this? If not, they may be happy to glance at low-resolution thumbnails
  • How many photos would typically be in a set?

To me, proofing suggests not zooming in to 100%, or even zooming in at all larger than screen size, so a typical screen size (which may depend on the client/proofer) seems like a good starting point to specify an absolute upper limit.

Since it's online, my advice would be to have two viewing modes:

  • Thumbnails, say 300 max dimension, which can be viewed as a group, and
  • Previews, no more than 1200 max dimension (e.g. 6x4" at 300 PPI)

Have a look at how, say, Flickr sets up their users' photostreams; rows of photos around 300px high, which can be clicked on to view as a single large image. Facebook does something similar with albums (though both thumbs and 'full size' are quite a bit smaller on there). I'll bet 500px, imgur, and the countless other image/photo hosting services have similar album vs single-shot views and default sizes, so see how they do it, and what sizes they've chosen, and what upper/lower limits you think fits your application.

If you care about potential lost revenue by clients using the previews directly, you'll want to watermark the Previews quite noticeably, and/or limit images to say 600 px max dimension so they won't be usable as high-resolution prints or wallpapers. Even at 600px you can easily see the content of an image (all photos on Facebook had a max dimension of ~650 up to a year or so ago), if that's all that's required.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you do much for the clarification. Users will spend some time using ans browsing, but they won't have a good connect, actually I can't count on it. I chose 300px for display and 1350 for full screen, it is quite fine, I guess. To take this sizes, I went to that sites u said and make a benchmark, anyway, Thank you for suggesting it. I'll take some screenshot and post here later for you. Best regards. \$\endgroup\$
    – jlucasps
    Jan 28, 2014 at 5:22

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