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I'm planning to scan my photos and I'm not sure what dpi to use. I have the option of 300 or 600. I've gotten different advice - some people say to go for 600, others say it's a waste and there's no real advantage.

These are 3x5 and 4x6 pictures, mostly, and although I plan to use them primarily on my computer, I don't want to rule out printing them if I want to. I only want to scan them once so I want to get it right the first time.


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If you are talking about scanning actual color photographs - not slides, not negatives, not B&W photos, not printer reproductions of photographic images - than 300 probably will be as much as you need.

This is not a simple deal. The bottom line has several critical issues. The two many people fail to accept are:

#1 Scanning cannot give you more quality or image information than actually exists in the starting material. You can however create larger files.

#2 If your scanning parameters do not "capture" all the avaiable data, you will never have or be able to use that uncollected data unless you rescan. So it pays to get as much data as possible in the first scan generally speaking.

If you want to understand the issue go to
The website is the most current information and it changes. But the hard copy you can buy is easier for me us use. (Hard copy is B&W)

I have been using the site for about 15 years - I have yet to find any errors - but it is easy find experts on the internet whose advise conflicts with Wayne's statements.

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