How Big Is A 4×6 Photo?

Jeff Picoult

By Jeff Picoult

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4x6 photo

4×6 images can be considered a universal choice: walk into any print shop, and you’ll see countless albums of this size. Plus, most photographers recommend it to their clients, making it a standard photo print size. But have you ever wondered about the size of a 4×6 picture and the reasons for its popularity? This article will unveil the answer!

The Origins Of 4×6 Photos

In the early days of roll film 135, introduced by Kodak in 1934, the 3.5×5, also known as 3R (“R” stands for “rectangular”), was the standard. The famous manufacturer utilized this size for most of its prints until the late 1980s.

4×6 photos came on the scene alongside the first 35mm cameras from the 20th century. It aimed to accommodate the 24x36mm frames with a ratio of 1:1.5 (or 3:2). Over time, it gained traction in the photography industry due to its great compatibility.

Today, most photo printing services, both film and digital, are optimized for 4×6 images. This size fits a variety of cameras and smartphones, facilitating the post-production process for both photographers and casual users. Cost-effective production and the availability of photo frames and albums contribute to the global popularity of the 4×6 size.

How Big Is A 4×6 Photo?

The 4×6 photo measures 4 inches wide and 6 inches high with an aspect ratio of 2:3. This converts to 0.33 x 0.5 feet and 10.16 x 15.24 centimeters. Its pixel size varies with resolution, the most common being 1200 x 1800 pixels at 300 ppi.

photo and picture frame size

Scroll down to learn its detailed measurement!

In Inch

The precise dimension of a 4×6 photo is 4 inches in width x 5 ⅞ inches in height. The difference is pretty negligible, so you can consider it 4 inches x 6 inches for practical purposes—equivalent to the viewfinder frame of early digital cameras.

In Feet

It is uncommon to convert 4×6 inches to feet because this unit is often used for large objects, such as banners and projection screens. However, if you want to make a comparison, the dimensions of the 4×6 photo equals 0.33 x 0.5 feet.

In Centimeters (cm)

Using the available conversion formula “1 inch = 2.54 cm”, it is easy to calculate the measurement of 4×6 frames in centimeters. Here’s how you come up with the dimensions:

Width = 4 inches * 2.54 = 10.16 cm

Height = 6 inches * 2.54 = 15.24 cm

To sum up, the dimensions of 4 by 6 in centimeters are 10.16 x 15.24.

In Millimeters (mm)

The conversion from inches to millimeters entails:

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters

1 centimeter = 10 millimeters

1 inch = 25.4 mm

Based on this ratio, it is effortless to calculate the overall dimensions in millimeters:

Width = 4 inches * 25.4 = 101.6 mm

Height = 6 inches * 25.4 = 152.4 mm

In Pixels

The pixel measurement of a 4×6 picture depends on the chosen resolution. The first thing you need to do is select the desired number of megapixels for your display. Next, multiply each side by the ratio of pixels per inch.

For instance, the recommended setting for web display is typically 72 ppi. Consequently, the required pixel size for a computer screen would be 288 x 432 pixels.

However, it would be best if you aimed for a higher resolution for a high-quality 4×6 print size as follows:

ResolutionImage QualityPixel Dimensions
180 ppiMedium720 x 1080 pixels
240 ppiGood960 x 1440 pixels
300 ppiHigh1200 x 1800 pixels

Aspect Ratio

This term refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. In general, you reduce the measurement of two sides to the smallest fraction. In the case of 4×6 photos, we divide both sides by 2, and the aspect ratio is 2:3.

Common Uses Of 4×6 Photo Dimensions

Common Uses Of 4x6 Photo Dimensions

4×6 is a standard size that allows for both convenience and flexibility. Professional photographers and average users often prefer this size, making it a popular choice for various applications:

Scrapbooks and photo albums

It is easy to find a frame for 4×6 images. People who love making scrapbooks also find this option flexible, letting their creativity run wild to organize their albums.

Educational and business purposes:

Businesses and schools often use 4×6 photos for ID cards, information displays, or promotional materials. Many countries require 4×6 passport photos, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Syria.

Decoration or gift-giving

4×6 is the perfect size for framing and display. It is large enough to accommodate all the important details while still compact enough to fit into various spaces. It also applies to personal cards or as a gift accompaniment, adding a personal touch and value.

Digital display

4×6 pictures are compatible with most online networks. Though standard sizes vary between platforms, this option is well-suited for digital photos, avatars, etc. It ensures a balance between maximum size and full display on digital platforms.

How To Resize 4×6 Photos

Some cameras on smartphones defaultly produce larger images than 4×6. Here is how to reduce its size without compromising its resolution:

  • Step 1: Head to Photoshop and upload your image.
  • Step 2: Tap on Image, then select Image Size.
  • Step 3: Adjust the current size of the photo to the desired dimensions. If you set the measurement in inches, enter “4” in the Width bar and “6” in the Height bar.
  • Step 4: Uncheck Resample and click OK.
  • Step 5: Return to the menu and tap Image > Canvas Size.
  • Step 6: Modify the technical parameters as in step 3 and the cutting direction to your preference.
  • Step 7: Click OK and let the tool do its work.

How To Print 4×6 Photo

  • Step 1: Maintain the image resolution of 300 ppi (equivalent to 1200 x 1800 pixels).
  • Step 2: Check for the standard aspect ratio of 2:3. If your current project displays different dimensions, use editing tools to crop the image.
  • Step 3: Input the appropriate paper type. It is advisable to use glossy or semi-glossy paper; however, opt for the ones that suit your printer best.
  • Step 4: Adjust the printer to accurate color and paper size.
  • Step 5: Hit the Print button and wait for the output. If you are unsure about the photo quality, do a test print using normal paper first.

Comparing 4×6 Photo Size With Other Sizes


This option is slightly smaller than a 4×6 photo. Therefore, there is little room to show the intricate details well. So, it is compact and ideal for small albums or frames.


A 5×7 photo provides extra space for display, enhancing visual impact. It has become the top choice for portraits or panoramic images intended for medium spaces.


The 8×10 size is almost twice as large as its counterpart. Thanks to its large dimensions, it is widely used for portraits or any formal photo where users want all the focus. It often appears in galleries or professional award ceremonies.


This size is often chosen for works of art, posters, or landscape photos. It requires additional spaces in showrooms or villas, offering a visual highlight to capture the attention of any visitor.


Do Smartphones Use A 2:3 Aspect Ratio?

Unfortunately, NO. Most smartphones automatically feature an aspect ratio of 4:3, and this size option is also not available in most camera settings. Hence, it would help to utilize a third-party tool to crop it to the desired 4×6 size.

What Is The Best Resolution For Printing 4×6 Photos?

Most professional photographers recommend at least 1200 x 1800 pixels, equivalent to 300 ppi, for printing 4×6 photos. These resolution settings ensure a high-quality and sharp display.


The 4 by 6 photo size remains forever popular in photography and everyday keepsakes. Its portability, flexibility, and affordability are all competitive advantages, contributing to its popularity. 

So, experiment with this size next time you want to capture your great moment at hand. Whether you keep it in a wallet or hang it in a frame, it is an exceptional visual touch to preserve your everyday memories.

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Jeff Picoult

Jeff Picoult


Jeff Picoult is a seasoned photographer, who blends artistry and innovation. With a humble approach, he captures moments resonating with depth and emotion, from nature's beauty to the energy of sports.

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