Resolution for Scanning Family Photos

Sometimes overlooked by individuals when they are scanning family photos, but you do need to know the different necessary resolutions to scan a photo.

First, the higher the resolution (measured in dpi, for dots per inch), the more you can enlarge the image without getting that grainy, pixilated look. Depending on how you plan on using photos can help determine the needed resolution.

If you are doing the photos for a family web site- use the stand 72 dpi size. If you want the photo printed to its original size, then do 300 dpi.

If you are doing handwritten or printed documents or records us 300 dpi. This is a good dpi also for scanned photos that will be shown on a HDTV screen.

For enlarging photos up to double in size whether for printing or HDTV screen, then scan at least at 600 dpi up to 900 dpi. If you have a very small photo to scan (which does happen) then scan at 1000 to 1200 dpi. Scanning a vintage tintype or daguerreotype you must scan at 1200 dpi.

If you are not sure when you scan, how the photo will be used, scan at least at 600 up to 1200 dpi.

If you have photos that are in poor condition, starting to deteriorate, get those scanned right away. That is why it is good to organize what is to be scanned.

Photos: Collection of family photos; 1860s children, soldiers and couple in 1930s

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