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Understanding DPI: Guide to Quality Document and Photo Scanning

Written by Anna on . Posted in Blog.

Digital technology has revolutionized the way we store, share, and archive documents and photos. Scanning, the process of converting physical documents or images into digital format, is a crucial part of this revolution. One of the most important aspects to consider when scanning documents is the resolution, which is measured in DPI (dots per inch). In this article, we'll break down what DPI is, the differences between various DPI levels (200 DPI, 300 DPI, 400 DPI, and 600 DPI), and which DPI is most appropriate for different types of scanning jobs.

What is DPI?

DPI stands for 'dots per inch', which is a measure of spatial printing or video dot density. In simple terms, it's the number of individual dots that can be placed within the span of one linear inch. A higher DPI means more dots per inch, resulting in a higher resolution and more detail.

Understanding Different DPI Levels

  • 200 DPI. 200 DPI is often sufficient for less detail-oriented tasks where the final output isn't expected to be enlarged. It's commonly used for scanning text documents for web use or for archiving where high-quality reproduction isn't a priority. The advantage of 200 DPI scans is that they take less storage space and scanning time.
  • 300 DPI. A resolution of 300 DPI is perfect for professional document scanning, providing a clear, crisp image that's ideal for printing or viewing on high-resolution devices. Often considered the standard for professional document scanning, 300 DPI maintains a balance between file size, scanning speed, and image quality. This resolution level is perfect for documents that need to be archived, shared digitally, or printed.
  • 400 DPI. 400 DPI provides a higher level of detail than 300 DPI, making it suitable for scanning artwork, detailed diagrams, or maps. This resolution is often used when the scanned image is enlarged or when the original document contains intricate details that need to be preserved.
  • 600 DPI. 600 DPI is typically used for photo scanning or for creating photo books. This high-resolution scan ensures that every detail of the original photo is captured and maintained, making it ideal for photo restorations or professional printing tasks. It's also used for scanning small items like stamps or jewelry, where every minute detail counts. However, the trade-off is that 600 DPI scanning takes longer, requires more storage space, and costs more than lower DPI scans.

ScanHouse America's Advantage

While many competitors scan at 200 DPI for the same price, we at ScanHouse America provide scanning services at 300 DPI, offering our customers superior image quality without additional costs. We believe in offering value and quality to our clients, and we know that the extra detail provided by 300 DPI can make a significant difference in the clarity and usability of digital documents.

Choosing the right DPI depends on the nature of the document or image, the purpose of the scan, and the balance between quality, time, and cost. We hope this guide provides a clear understanding of different DPI levels and helps you make the right decision for your scanning needs.

At ScanHouse America, we're committed to providing high-quality scanning services Seattle to meet all your needs. If you have more questions about DPI or our services, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you navigate the world of digital document and photo preservation.

We are experts at scanning your documents in Seattle. To get a free Quote Request today, fill out the form on our site or give us a call at (425) 818-1221. We’ll be in contact to help you with your project. 

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