Recommended maximum print sizes for scanned media

So why should you care about high resolution?

It depends. If you have 4×6 snapshots, then 300 dpi scans are fine for archiving. You can still print a good looking 7×10 enlargement.

For a small wallet-size picture, scan at 600 dpi so you can enlarge it and retain more detail. Got a photo of a group of people? 600 dpi will allow you to zoom in and crop.

Slides and negatives are smaller so they’re scanned at a higher dpi rate. Better to have too much resolution. You can always go down in size; you can’t go up without losing quality.

We copy your prints at 6000 PPI

Scanned Media300 DPI – Excellent200 DPI – Good150 DPI – Acceptable
4×6 photo: 300 dpi4″x6″7″x10″10″x14″
4×6 photo: 600 dpi8″x12″13″x20″17″x26″
8×10 photo: 600 dpi16″x20″24″x36″32″x40″
35mm slide: 2000 dpi7″x10″10″x15″13″x20″
35mm slide: 4000 dpi14″x21″20″x30″26″x40″

A scanned photo has more resolution than you will see on a computer monitor or TV

A pixel is an individual dot on the screen. More dots mean higher resolution. Monitors cannot resolve at the same sharpness as a printed photo. This chart shows that the pixel density increases as the monitor gets smaller. However, you will view the image at a greater distance as the monitor size increases. You’ll view your iPhone (326 ppi) at about 15 inches. You’ll watch that HDTV (48 ppi) on a couch ten feet away.

Digital Media = PPIDimension (pixels)Resolution
40-inch HDTV1920×108048 ppi
24-inch monitor1920×108092 ppi
21-inch monitor1920×1080105 ppi
Laptop: 15″ monitor1920×1080141 ppi
iPhone: 4.7″ screen1136×640326 ppi