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Thread: Scanning Photos. What DPI?

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    Regular Member lofty's Avatar
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    Default Scanning Photos. What DPI?

    I want to put some more photos on my Media PC, but I can never decide what DPI gives the best quality when scanning.

    Any of you photo guys got any recommendations?

    Cheers

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    Regular Member ScotsDragon's Avatar
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    Default

    Higher the better.

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    Default

    As said above the higher the DPI the better the quality but the file size will start to get stupidly massive. Saving as a jpeg will reduce the size but will remove some the quality too.

    Gazza4

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    It depends what you are planning to do with the pictures.

    If you are just going to view them on screen, then most PCs have a screen resolution of 96dpi (Macs are 72dpi if I remember). If they are going to be printed, then depending on your printer, something in the region of 600-1200dpi should be fine.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Make sure the scanning plate is clean and free from any dirt, debris, etc

    Start at the highest DPI
    Check the quality of the scan
    If it has picked up any defect in the print, then reduce the DPI by about 10% or the next lower setting

    However, most basic printers usually only have three or four such settings, such as 1200, 2400, 4800

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    Whooh boys! 1200dpi?!? what the hell you going to do with that many dots?!?...

    Screen resolution is is dependent on the screen youre using combined with the graphics card and your computers system prefs will be able to detect the available options and display it as WxH (for example my laptop is currently displaying 1680x1050 but will display as low as 640x480) so saying that a screen has 96dpi is wrong.

    Web resolution is 72dpi BUT the internet and those who design for it, dont work in centimeters or inches, they work in pixels and base each image a set number of pixels on a web document.

    Printed media such as brochures and magazines are printed at 300dpi as that is just about the capacity of the human eye (the actual capacity is around 320dpi but most people cant differentiate between 150dpi and 300dpi). You will see reports quoting 500,000,000 dpi as the capacity of the human eye but that allows for the fact that the eye is constantly scanning 180º in 3d so can be disregarded for focusing on one fixed image.

    One thing to remember is that you cannot add resolution to an image. If you have a photograph in your hand and scan it at 5,000,000dpi on the best scanner in the world it will only be as good as the original in your hand and will be no better than a 300dpi scan.

    So in answer to your question, put the photo in the scanner and select scan. If you want to feel like youre influencing the final image select 300dpi but its probably not necessary.

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    Regular Member lofty's Avatar
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    Default

    I've tried using a large DPI, but that seems to find all sorts of imperfections (maybe I just need to clean my scanner lol).

    I'll try a few different settings.

    Cheers

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    What do you actually intend doing with the pictures?

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    I use 300 for general scanning, which I find to be a good balance of quality and size of the created image. If saving as jpg, I would choose 'high quality'.

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    Regular Member bigdave1701's Avatar
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    jpeg files lose quality every time they're opened and saved as most image editing software compresses the jpeg file. Then next time its opened and saved the compressed file is compressed etc... a jpeg is fine if you just want to open the file and look at it but not alter or save it in any way

    .tiff is a sound format and one which most of us in the design industry prefer to use

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