Jennifer, from Oakville, ON, Canada, asks:
I’m a bit confused about resizing images. I’m not exactly sure about color space terminology and what a good "DPI" is for MLS. It’s my sense that MLS requirements for web pics are different from region to region across my area (I’m in central Canada) and I’m assuming it’s the same in the US. And then there’s the print requirements for those clients who want to do hard-copy cards/brochures. I’ve tried doing the Google thing but after going down a few rabbit holes, I’m even more confused. Hoping you can help!
Thanks for the questions, Jennifer. I’m not fully-versed on the finer points of printing and resizing, so I’m really hoping that others in our great community will chime in with their knowledge/advice. However, to get the conversation going, I will share what’s worked for me. First, I think your statement about there being regional differences in MLS requirements is an accurate one. It’s also my sense that each MLS makes their requirements pretty clear to real estate agencies/brokerages. It’s important to be aware of what these dimensions are because if you don’t follow them, you’ll be opening up your images to being manipulated by the MLS. So, probably the easiest thing is simply to ask the office manager of a brokerage/agency you’ve done some work for and get the straight goods on their specific requirements regarding dimensions. As for resolution, it's my understanding that these are only affected by file dimensions, DPI/PPI (dots/pixels per inch) and compression. My web administrator once told me that anything over 72DPI, for use on the web is a waste. So, I’ve always stuck with that advice and I’ve used that number for resizing my images (whether it be for resizing my client’s MLS photos or for those images I place in my website galleries) and I haven’t had a problem.
As for your question about print, it will depend on what’s at play. If you’re doing printing for your client, and you’re using your own home printer or perhaps a printer at Staples (or some place like that), then I think using sRGB is the way to go. However, whenever I’ve used a commercial printer, they’ve required CMYK--apparently, it’s the industry standard to do 4-color printing in magazines, newspapers, and various types of flyers. Keep in mind that color space/profiles do not affect the resolution of an image; they only affect how the colors are handled/encoded. Commercial printing shops almost always require 300DPI photos for best quality.
Anyway, I would love to hear from the community on this one. Please chime in and give Jennifer some input... and me, too! I’d love to learn more about this topic.