Before starting their photo-scanning projects, our customers frequently ask what is a DPI good for scanning photos. Learn what DPI means so you can choose the best resolution level for your images. 

When you decide to digitize your family photos, you want to preserve them in their current form. However, you also want to save them in the highest possible quality. No one wants to receive grainy scans that look like the images were digitized with a low-quality app.

You have multiple resolution choices when you scan your photos with Memory Fortress. Get to know your DPI options, what this acronym even means, and the pricing that comes with various DPI levels.

DPI Stands for Dots Per Inch

Before you can find a DPI good for scanning photos, it helps to have a clear understanding of this concept. DPI refers to the resolution of an image and is measured in dots per inch. It refers to the number of dots of ink packed into one inch of space. If you have a lower DPI, then there are fewer dots used in a space. The higher the DPI, the higher the perceived image quality. 

At first glance, you might not notice whether a photo has a high DPI. However, the difference becomes abundantly clear when you start to expand, edit, or print your images. When you expand a low-DPI image, it can look blurry or pixelated. This is because the dots have to spread out over a larger surface. With a high-DPI photo, the image is more likely to retain its quality and hold its shape because the dots aren’t under as much stress.

You don’t need to get into the technicalities of this measurement to identify a DPI good for scanning photos. The main thing to know is that the higher the DPI, the higher the quality on average.

Is 600 DPI good for scanning photos?

The simple answer is yes, 600 is a DPI good for scanning photos. It is actually the best DPI for scanning photos that we offer at Memory Fortress. When you start your photo scanning project with our team, you can choose whether you want to receive your images in 300 DPI or 600 DPI. The 600 DPI scans are considered an upgrade and can give you more flexibility with the images you want to use. 

If your photos are newer – which means they were taken after 1980 – you should be fine scanning them at 300 DPI. The resolution will still be high quality and you can share your images across the web. We also recommend 300 DPI scans if you mainly want to look at your photos online. These images can be displayed on TVs, digital picture frames, phones, and desktop computers. 

If you have older photos that need to be digitized – which means they were taken before 1980 – then we recommend 600 DPI. This is also a good option if you have pictures that are smaller than three inches by three inches. The higher DPI will allow you to maximize the quality of the photographs and potentially resize them to meet your needs. 

We believe 600 is a DPI good for scanning photos if you want to reprint them or display them on large projections. This higher resolution will protect their quality.

What is the cost to digitize photos at 600 DPI?

For most customers, the DPI good for scanning photos depends on their budget. Most people opt to scan their images at 300 DPI because it means they will save money, especially if they have a larger project. It costs seven cents more per photo to scan it at 600 DPI compared to 300 DPI. If you have 1,000 photos to digitize, opting for the 300 DPI level can save you $70. 

This price increase is a standard practice across photo digitization companies. Our team at Memory Fortress tries to help customers save money by starting the base scanning price at a low rate. This allows our customers to upgrade their scans to 600 DPI without breaking their budgets.  

Even if you don’t know exactly how many photos you need to digitize, you can use this information to set a budget for your project. You can decide whether 600 DPI is worth it to enjoy high-resolution images of your family memories.

High-Resolution Images Require More Storage

As you evaluate the age of your images, their size, and what you plan to use them for, there’s one more factor to consider when choosing a DPI good for scanning photos. Larger photos take up more space. If you have thousands of memories that need to be digitized, you might need larger storage options if you plan to get high-resolution scans.

High-resolution images will be slower to load on a website and will take up more space as email attachments. Sending a few pictures will not be as easy if they are all 600 DPI or higher. 

If you have a lot of digital photos and they come in 600 DPI, you might need to invest in extra storage space in the cloud or buy an external hard drive to keep all of your memories in one place. While this isn’t a significant inconvenience, it’s important to know what you are getting into when you opt for the high-resolution scans. 

Your resolution choice could also make your digitization project more expensive if you need to buy a larger USB drive or external hard drive for us to send your photos over. Your 600 DPI photos won’t cost more, however, if we deliver them to you via the cloud

Start Your Photo Scanning Project Today

Once you have a clear picture of what counts as a DPI good for photo scanning, you can start your digitization project. You don’t even need to know the exact number of photos you have, a ballpark estimate is fine. All you have to do is tell us to expect your memories and pay a $29 deposit to reserve your spot in our digitization queue. We will do our best to scan your images, return your photos, and deliver your digitized memories within 5-10 business days. 

Learn more about the process of working with Memory Fortress and start your photo digitization project. When you are ready, click the Order Now button and protect your photo memories for generations to come.