How to Understand the Exact DPI Resolution of an Image / Picture?
DPI stands for Dots per Inch and it is a common term to determine picture quality (DPI Resolution of an Image). The term itself has nothing to do with taking a good image. But once you can an image several algorithms and factors get associated with it. Often DPI is misplaced with PPI or Pixels per Inch. If someone is asking for a picture with 300 DPI, they mean 300 PPI. The PPI arithmetic is very simple. It indicates the picture dimension of the image to be printed in a given paper size. A digital image itself does not have a PPI but the PPI comes when it gets printed.
To be precise, the resolution of the digital picture is calculated in pixels. People commonly say it Megapixels or MP. Each megapixel implies to the horizontal pixel dimension multiplied by the vertical pixel dimensions of an image. But the question is why it’s so important to know about DPI or Megapixels. Well, when you are dealing with digital pictures and post-editing procedures DPI is the first thing you need to check. The image resolution determines the picture quality. So if you want to resize the image exceeding the limits of the picture resolution will cost.
Image Resizing and Resolution
The image size has a direct link with its resolution. When you are resizing the image, you are either making it large or small. The quality is not a problem when you are reducing the size of the image. But when you are making the image large or expanding it the image resolution gets affected. In a digital photo, the resolution is determined through the pixels.
The first mistake people make is they start editing directly with the original picture. In this process, you will lose the original picture quality and never get it back. So when you want to edit an image and change its resolution, always work in a duplicate copy.
When working with DPI, you will come across high-resolution pictures and low-resolution pictures. A photo with 300 DPI is often considered as a high-resolution image. Once again this term is also not used correctly. The pixel dimensions determine the picture quality of a digital image. Technically, the high resolution of an image refers to the resolving power of the pixels. But when someone requests for a high-resolution picture they mean high PPI when it gets printed.
Other factors to Determine High Resolution
There are other factors in determining image resolution. The most important being the quality of the pixels. The image you are printing should have good quality pixels. The components that determine pixel quality are:
- The recording device quality. The camera sensor and optics play an important role in determining the quality of the output.
- The megapixels of the digital image. This factor is also dependent on the camera. If the camera has greater megapixels, the image quality will be naturally fine.
- The photographer’s ability plays an important role to display picture quality. For example, the photographer must have proper knowledge about light setup and a steady shot.
- Finally, the digital image file format is another important factor to determine picture quality. We will discuss this point in detail below.
Image File Format
The image file format is always in the hand of a photographer. A professional photographer will know the importance of saving the image in RAW format instead of JPEG. A good file format is all about storing as many details as possible. In digital photography, you can save images in two file formats: JPEG and RAW.
Jpeg is often referred to as the lossy format. When the image quality is not your priority, work with Jpeg. It will not take up a lot of space. This happens because the JPEG file format compresses the digital image to make it smaller. This throws out a lot of image data. Jpeg compressions come with ratings from 0 to 100. The lowest quality means the worst quality while the highest rating is the best. However, the highest jpeg rating will also have some compression in it.
This is the file format used by professional photographers. The raw file format will take up a lot of space and the files are heavy. However, this drawback gets compensated with the fine image quality you get. Since the file takes up a lot of space, it uses the space to store every image detail. This is beneficial during the post-production process. Capturing and saving images in the RAW file format will make the post-production process easy. Moreover, when you are editing the image with Photoshop, you can resize it to a certain extent without affecting the quality.
DPI in Videos
Just like still digital images, DPI plays a major role in video picture quality. DPI in simple terms means dot of colors to fit within each square inch of the design area. Every video you have seen to date is on the basis of this theory. But in videos the picture calculation method is different. For example, when you set the video at 1080p, you want to see the video in high quality. For this, you should have a compatible device along with good internet connectivity. A weak internet connection can also affect image quality. But this does not necessarily mean the video quality is poor.
Videos come with a series of consecutive orders. The common order is 24 or 30 images per second. It all depends on the type of video you are making. But here also the image quality matters. A good quality image will make a better video.
How to Modify Image Resolution?
There are many ways you can modify or change image resolution. But to maintain the image in its best form, avoid changing resolution unless required. Changing the resolution will affect the picture quality. There is professional software like Photoshop that allows you to change picture resolution. If you do not know how to use Photoshop, there is other software too. Whenever you are modifying the image resolution, always use professional software. Using any random software will hamper the image quality easily.
How to change Resolution with Photoshop?
Follow these steps to modify image resolution using Photoshop:
- Open Photoshop and select the image you want to edit.
- Let the file load completely. Larger files may take longer loading time.
- Click the image from the top layer of the menu tool.
- Click image size from the dropdown of options.
- You can select the appropriate resolution between 72 and 300. These resolutions are standard for pictures.
Photoshop is a professional software; hence you can notice the change in pixel ratio with the change in resolution. This way you can immediately notice the effect on the image with a change in resolution. You can choose the DPI resolution with a different measurement too. For example, you can choose centimeters instead of inches.
Changing Resolution with MS-Paint
Another way of changing the image resolution is with MS-Paint. Follow these instructions to change resolution with MS-Paint.
- Open paint on your windows computer.
- Once the application opens go to the Tools menu and click resize.
- Change the image resolution by expanding or reducing the image size.
In painting, you will not find any DPI resolution tool. However, when you are changing the image, the same effect takes place like any other software.
Instruction for Other Online Tools
Start your search online for the best online application for resolution change.
- When you find the right application select your desired DPI on top of the page.
- Next, you need to upload the image you want to edit.
- The next steps should happen automatically. Once done the changed image file will download on its own.
There are a lot of applications online that can change image resolution for free. You cannot trust every online tool. Hence, use the ones that are mostly recommended by other users. Check for the ratings and reviews so that you know which the right application is. But one thing that you cannot avoid is the image quality. No matter how professional the application is, the edited picture comes comparatively grainy. This is when you compared it with the original picture.
DPI of Printers
As mentioned above, the printer does not have any direct link with the digital image pixel. Yet the printer dot matter during the printing process. The first thing that is in your hand is to choose the right printer. Depending on the type of printer, each machine provides a separate output. When purchasing a printer, remember to choose the best if you want quality output.
Each printer has its unique custom algorithms. So when you start with the printing process the software uses the digital image to remap it into printer dots with its custom algorithms. At the same time, the printer will also convert the image color space from RGB to CMYK. Print output is heavily dependent on the quantity of digital data delivered to the printer during the conversion process. Other factors that determine the print output are:
- The quality of the printing software. Good software will manage the printing task efficiently. It will perform its setup and manage the correct printing algorithms.
- Every printer comes with different physical attributes. These also determine print quality. For example, the type of printing head, paint rollers, and the ink quality are all part of the physical attributes.
- Last but not least, take note of the paper quality. A bad paper will not soak the ink fast and prevent it to dry quickly. Printed copies should dry immediately after printing.
The Bottom Line
DPI is an important factor that determines the print output. You cannot print a good image without considering the right dimensions and image resolution. Managing the technical part is very important. Good printing software will ensure a good conversion process. This is very much responsible for creating a good print on paper.
When it comes to the physical properties of the printer, choose the best printer in the market. If quality is your main priority, you need to compromise the budget. A good printer will ensure to deliver enough pixels onto the paper. In the end, you can enjoy a good printed digital picture.
Resources on finding the dpi resolution of an image or picture:
- Chimi Printing