200 dpi vs 300 dpi for best in larger size

Started Mar 30, 2003 | Discussions
Frank Vigil Senior Member • Posts: 2,578
200 dpi vs 300 dpi for best in larger size

In the February issue of Popular Photography magazine, there is an article on pixels, dpi and optimal printing combinations. Everything made perfect sense and was pretty basic until I got to their chart. In the chart, they imply that (prior to interpolation, essentially) with a photo that is 2560 x 1920 in size, The maximum, photo quality print size at 300 dpi is 8.5 x 6.4 " Yet, at 200 dpi, the maximum, photo quality print size is a much larger, 12.8 x 9.6" I'm confused, I can get a better print in the larger size by using a lower dpi ??

Whimsy is salvation for a life taken too seriously.

Tricia Veteran Member • Posts: 5,370
Re: 200 dpi vs 300 dpi for best in larger size

The chart is only showing the size print that a 2560x1920 image will give you at each resolution, without software interpolation . If you divide 2560 by 300, you'll get 8.533; 1920 by 300 is 6.4; 2560 by 200 is 12.8; and 1920 divided by 200 is 9.6.

For most non-Epson printers, these are considered the optimal settings because the basic printer resolution is 600 (or 1200) and 300 and 200 are even fractions of that resolution (1/2 and 1/3, respectively) - therefore there is less interpolation used in the printer itself, and the prints have fewer "jaggies" or printer-induced artifacts.

For Epson printers, the basic printer resolution is 720, so the magic numbers are 360 (1/2) and 240 (1/3).

Having said all that, I don't think it's as important as it used to be when printers were lower resolution - it used to make a huge difference with 300 and 360 dpi printers, but it's not something you'll notice with the 1200, 1440, 2880, etc. printers we use today. I think that people who use the dye sub printers that print at 314 dpi can still see the effects if they don't interpolate to that resolution.

Personally, I just pop my images into Qimage and let it handle getting my photos to the proper resolution for printing at every size.

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Minolta Dimage D7(UG), Epson 2200, PS7, Qimage

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