Old Best Resolution for Scanned Photographs

  • Tuesday January 19, 2021
  • Admin

  • Family

If you just discovered a huge pile of old family photos and want to display them, stop there for a while. We recommend you scan, digitalize and print the old pictures before displaying them either physically or digitally. DIY scanning is a possible thing to do.

We will help you discover more about the basic terminology and what resolution will work the best for photo scanning based on the particular purpose. However, if you are a first-timer scanner, the process might be quite overwhelming. It is not a good thing since old photos are very vulnerable to deterioration.

When you should scan the photography as soon as possible meanwhile no time and energy left to do it, a reliable photo scanning service in Perth can help you a lot. Whichever your choice is, it is a must to learn the basics of photo scanning. Read on more below to understand more about photo scanning and the best resolutions you should choose.

Understanding the Basic Terminology in Photo Scanning

Before doing a DIY photo scanning, it is essential to learn a bit about basic terminologies used in photography. Once you understand their role, you will understand what makes high-quality photo scanning or photo print. 

  • Pixel
    All digital objects consist of pixels meanwhile printed images consist of dots. Briefly, a pixel is the smallest element or unit of the digital graphic or image. Those pixels together create a visible format on the electronic display.
    The greater the pixels per inch of an image, the better the quality is. If you zoom in on an image, you can see the coloured squares, which are the pixels. However, it’s not a good sign if you are not zooming the image and can see those squares (called pixelated).
  • DPI
    Dots Per Inch or DPI is a term for printed images even though some people also use it for digital images. In DPI, we use the CYMK colour model to control the colours printed on the white paper. CYMK is short for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key/black.
    When printing a digital image, you need to focus on the DPI to get the result you want. The photo scanning service Perth commonly uses DPI to describe photo quality.
  • PPI
    PPI is Pixels Per Inch, a term you may rarely hear, specifically used by printing and design experts. Similar to DPI, PPI has the number per pixel to control the image quality. However, PPI uses RGB colour mode; a short for red, green, and blue; to show the image in an electronic display. 

Best Resolutions for Scanned and Printed Photos and Documents

If you planned to scan the old family photograph, print important documents or even only want to share your old picture on social media, you need to learn about what resolution is. If you wonder what resolution will work the best for your project, we have the list you need to follow on. It is essential to understand each scanning project needs a particular resolution to get a perfect result.

Here, we will measure it in DPI to explain the suitable resolution you should choose for your project. As explained before, we know that an image with a higher resolution has a higher quality. You can zoom in on the image without getting the pixelated look.

However, files with higher resolution will consume a bigger space in your device or cloud storage. That is why you shouldn’t scan everything at the highest DPI. Check on these rules to get the suitable resolution for your scanning project:

  • Blog or Website
    The standard digital image resolution for blog or website posting is 72 dpi.
  • Photo or Document Printing
    For image and document printing in original size, you can scan it a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • Archiving Photo and Document
    Scanned important documents or old letters for archive, you can use 300 dpi.
  • HDTV Screen View
    To view scanned photos on an HDTV screen, you can use in a minimum of 300 dpi for the 4×6-inch originals (use higher dpi for smaller originals).
  • Enlarging a Photo
    To enlarge a photo up to double of the original size, you can scan it a minimum of 600 dpi. Raise the dpi number if you want to make it more than double of the original size. For instance, a 4×6-inch printed photo can turn into a 16×24-inch digital image at 900 dpi.
  • Photo Scanning for Unknown Use
    Scanning photos for unknown use, you can scan it minimum in 600 dpi up to 1200 dpi.


That is all our tips and trick for the best resolution you should choose for your project. Always remember you can scan the photos with a lower resolution. However, the only way to get a higher image quality is only by re-scanning the original one.

If you feel this job is overwhelming, you can always contact a reliable photo scanning service in Perth. You can get a suitable photo scanning service cost at your local.

Read also: DIY: How to Digitize Family Old Photographs