What is DPI? | Photography Definition, Tips, and Examples

This is a guide covering DPI.

The concept of DPI is the measurement used to describe the details generated by the printer, like video and image scanners. The art of taking a picture and producing a high-resolution image on a photosensitive surface also describes DPI.

And the increment in DPI means the more information we can get in print; also, we get high-resolution results that are more detailed and sharper. Meanwhile, the quality of the image generated from the printer is more acceptable than printer DPI.

That’s why most people are confused between dot per square inch (DPI) or pixel per inch (PPI). To be clear, DPI is a measurement of that physical relationship only,

So here we elaborate these terms with some essential features, so let’s get started,

What is DPI in photography?

DPI or dot per inch is the measurement of the resolution of the image during photography. The higher dot density means higher resolution and will get an acceptable image with high DPI; meanwhile, the lower DPI gets low-resolution power, and the image appears with few dots.

The best result you will get with paper photos is between 300 dpi to 600 dpi, while professional photography wants higher resolution, which is in the range between 2880/1440 dpi or more.

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 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 list bar, you can see two options of your image DPI: “Horizontal Resolution” and “Vertical Resolution.”

Image colors

The measurement of the DPI printer has to be higher than the PPI measurement to generate a similar quality image. This is because of the specific availability of colors on a printer.

Every color has a fixed volume of ink, and a most short range of colors can make a dot at a specific point and sometimes no point. This strategy is applied to prevent overlaying or combining with another color in color mode.


This limitation means you can get a good photographic image by using high resolution, lower color depth, and delicate patterns

· Lower resolution from standard 200 to 300 dpi makes text and image somehow rough.

· A single page needs three to four passes, and every pass needs single dye color the process is generally quicker and take 15 second at least.

· For confidential documents, it has a wasteful dye film cartridge system.

· Color registration error occurs mainly for large images

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, and the distance from the observer must be at the 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 the 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.

If you do not clearly understand the concept of DPI and PPI, then it cant help you to get how fine your digital image is. Most designs that become in print begin existence on a computer.

If we need a high-resolution bring about print, we want a high-resolution virtual photograph to begin with. The trouble with high-resolution virtual imagery is that it desires a massive quantity of information.

This ends in massive documents that soak up space, require quite a little processing energy for changing, and are bulky to transport around. So, the balancing act will become how we accommodate photograph documents that don’t overburden our computer systems however still result in superb print.

What is a suitable DPI for photos?

When you want to find how ‘big’ your digital image is, you might be following these three points:

· The resolution or pixel density will measure through PPI

· The total counts of pixels in the image (which will be seen in the file size)

· The physical appearance of the picture is shown, which will be the total number of pixels divided by the PPI


  • You can change your DPI image by clicking a single button, especially the gaming mouse and another modern mouse. Many mice have physically appeared buttons on the body. Each setting has physical indicators so you may recognize at a glance what your DPI settings are.
  • There are many advantages to being able to switch DPI on the fly. For example, consider the famous Corsair M65 RGB ELITE gaming mouse, with a relatively high maximum DPI of 18,000. With the press of a button, you can cycle through DPI profiles until you find the correct settings for you— from 18,000 down to 100 DPI, which is probably too low for most people. By cycling between the highest and lowest settings, you can find the perfect DPI. However, you are using your mouse at that moment.
  • DPI is a standard term used to determine the density and quality of an image and the size of a digital image by counting the number of dots per inch. It’s an essential value to printers as it affects various factors they measure their business by.
  • It works differently for printing, as it directly measures a print’s density and quality – and is not refer to the physical appearance of the image. Moreover, as you change the DPI, the number of dots used to create the printed image certainly changes how digital images work.


Now that you have read the whole article, you can now clearly understand the concept of DPI and how it effectively communicate with printing machine and photography. We elaborate on various features and resolutions that work best for better results.

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.

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