Choosing the Right Resolution for Scanned Photos - PassionForPixels

Choosing the Right Resolution for Scanned Photos

Choosing the Right Resolution for Scanned Photos

When it comes to preserving old photos or digitizing physical copies, scanning is a popular option. However, one crucial decision to make is choosing the right resolution for your scanned photos. The resolution you select can significantly impact the quality and usability of the digitized images.

Understanding Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels or dots per inch (DPI) in an image. A higher resolution means more detail and clarity. However, higher resolution also results in larger file sizes. Therefore, it's essential to strike a balance between image quality and file size when choosing the resolution for scanned photos.

Consider Intended Use

One of the key factors to consider when selecting the resolution is the intended use of the scanned photos. Are you planning to display them on a website or social media? Or do you need them for high-quality prints? The purpose will dictate the optimal resolution required.

Web Use

If you intend to use the scanned photos for web purposes like online galleries or social media, a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch) is usually sufficient. This lower resolution helps keep the file sizes smaller, allowing for faster loading times on websites.


If your goal is to print the scanned photos, a higher resolution is necessary to ensure sharpness and clarity. The recommended resolution for printing is typically between 300 DPI and 600 DPI. This level of detail ensures that the printed image looks crisp and professional. If you want to reprint a photo that is more than twice the size of the original photo, we recommend a 1200DPI printing resolution. 

Consider the Original Photo Quality

The quality of the original photo is another important aspect to consider when determining the appropriate resolution. If the original photo is low quality, increasing the resolution during scanning won't magically enhance the details. In such cases, it's better to scan at a lower resolution to match the original quality of the photo.

Storage Space

Another factor to keep in mind is the available storage space. Higher resolution scans result in larger file sizes, requiring more storage space. If you have limited storage capacity, you may need to compromise on the resolution to save space.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right resolution for scanned photos is crucial to ensure optimal image quality and usability. Consider the intended use, original photo quality and your storage space. With the right resolution, you can preserve cherished memories and share them with others for years to come.

At Passion for Pixels, we scan all photos at a minimum of 600DPI which ensures that your photos will have an excellent resolution for social media as well as for printing!