Photography Glossary

What is DPI in Photography?

March 20, 2023 by

This is a guide covering DPI in photography.

You might be wondering what it is and how it related to photography and what a good DPI is.

Well, we’ve got you covered!

Table of Contents

What is DPI in photography?

DPI refers to the number of printed dots within one inch of a printed image.

The best result you will get with paper photos is between 300 dpi to 600 dpi.

How Do I Know the DPI of an Image?

There are many ways to check the DPI image or change it.

Like file explorer in windows, you can see the DPI of an image while the photo editing app allows you to change the image size or DPI resolution.

The window file explorer app is the easiest way to check the DPI and resolution of an image, so let’s see the step-by-step process.

  • Click the window logo in the bottom left corner and write file explore on the text bar. You can also open the file explorer app to click the window and E button on your keyboard simultaneously.
  • You can also search for the location of the image which you want to check by using file explorer.
  • Place a right-click on the image, then click on properties at the bottom of the list.
  • In the properties list, click on the Details tab.
  • Scroll down to the “Image” section of the menu.
  • In the last bar, you can see two options for your image DPI: “Horizontal Resolution” and “Vertical Resolution.”

How does DPI affect resolution?

The matrix of the dots is enough to make fool the human eye because digital print is just an optical illusion.

A fine dotted pattern makes a beautiful image, and viewers think that they might see an image in real life.

To get that fine image, you must meet the following conditions:

  • the density of dots
  • the size of the image
  • the distance from the observer must be at a suitable range for our illusion to work

It’s basically an accurate measurement to judge how finely we have to print so that our image comes smooth and detailed.  


DPI is doing well when it comes to the printer, but when we are talking about digital graphic designs and image sizes, then the confusion begins between two different concepts PPI (pixel per inch) and DPI (dot per inch), because all the image files, digital camera, and electronic screens work in pixels. DPI is all about how we calculate the density of pixels.

In other words, DPI refers to the number of printed dots within one inch of a printed image. PPI refers to the number of pixels within one inch of an image on a computer monitor.

To learn more about DPI vs PPI, we also recommend this video by David Bergman:

What is a Good DPI for Photos?

Generally, a 600 DPI scan is the best image resolution and pixel count for photos printed on paper.

Final Remarks

In the end, we can say that even the best design image can ruin just because of poor resolution. That’s why DPI is very effective in photography.