Why Should I Add 600 DPI Scanning?

The quick answer is that higher resolutions lead to better scans for reproducing your images. 600 DPI scans produce much larger files but help ensure every detail in your print is recorded in digital form. If you want to be sure as much detail as possible is captured during scanning, add 600 DPI scanning for an additional 10¢ per scan. If you want files that are easier to work with, 300 DPI scans would be a better choice.

600 DPI Scans Allow for Double the Enlargement

Part of the benefit of scanning your old photos, in addition to the added security of backing them up in a digital format, is the ability to create new prints, enlargements and photo products such as photo books. The quality and size of the prints you will be able to reproduce will depend upon both the quality of the original photo and the resolution the photo is scanned at. See the charts below for a guide comparing original print size, resolution and reproduction size. Scanning at a higher DPI will give you more options for reprints and copies to be passed down to future generations.

300 DPI Scans and Reproduction Size Recommendations*

  3x5 Reprint 4x6 Reprint 5x7 Reprint 8x10 Reprint 11x14 Reprint 16x20 Reprint
3x3 Scan Good Fair NR NR NR NR
3.5x5 Scan Great Good Fair NR NR NR
4x6 Scan Great Great Good Fair NR NR
5x7 Scan Great Great Great Fair NR NR
8x10 Scan Great Great Great Great Good NR

600 DPI Scans and Reproduction Size Recommendations*

  3x5
Reprint
4x6
Reprint
5x7
Reprint
8x10
Reprint
11x14
Reprint
16x20
Reprint
3x3 Scan Great Fair NR NR NR NR
3.5x5 Scan Great Great Great/Good Good Fair/NR NR
4x6 Scan Great Great Great Good Fair Fair/NR
5x7 Scan Great Great Great Great Good Fair
8x10 Scan Great Great Great Great Great Great/Good

*Our recommendations are based ONLY on resolution. Final reproduction quality is based on overall quality, clarity and exposure of the original image. Fair Rating based on 150 DPI image resolution/size. Good rating based on 225 DPI image resolution/size. Great rating based on 300+ DPI image resolution/size. NR is not recommended.