There are many acronyms associated with photography, and it is easy to get confused between them. Such as what is DPI? What is PPI? What can DPI be used for? Is PPI or DPI helpful to me?
If you’re looking to learn what DPI is and learn the difference between DPI and PPI, look no further because all of them will be introduced in this article.
What is DPI?
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and it refers to the resolution of the printer you use to print your images. These machines create your image by spraying tiny dots onto paper. The DPI (Dots Per Inch) number represents your print quality and print size.
These DPI (Dots Per Inch) color dots are printed specifically to allow the human eye to see color patterns. They are fixed-size and give you more detail and resolution, depending on the print size.
When is DPI important?
DPI matters only when you decide to print your digital images. Each printer you normally use will have a different DPI, limiting the number of DPI points per inch of resolution.
Inkjet printers can handle 300DPI to 720DPI, while laser printers can handle images up to 2400DPI.
DPI dots on printed paper come in a variety of sizes and shapes. More DPI does not mean better image quality. One printer can produce 300DPI prints and looks a lot better than another with 720DPI.
Newspaper images will use a much lower DPI (Dots Per Inch) than the ones you see in books.
What is PPI?
PPI (Pixels Per Inch) refers to the resolution of an image. Most understandable, this is the number of pixels you can see in every inch of a digital image. This will also relate to the number of pixels your digital display can display.
My computer monitor can display a pixel density of 2560 x 1080. My digital camera has a range of 5184 x 3456. They are fundamentally different in size, but they are related to the same point – resolution or image quality.
If you’ve heard of the term Pixel Count, this deiu962 refers to the density of pixels that you can find along the edges of digital images.
You may have heard of the term HD, Full HD, 2K, 4K, or even 8K. All of these terms are related to the amount of PPI present in your image.
With a 4K still image, you’re viewing at 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160 pixels. This is twice the resolution of 2160p or four times the size of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels).
When you take a screenshot of your computer screen or take a picture with a digital camera, you get two values: width and height. These values are displayed in pixels and give you the resolution of your device.
For example, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV takes an image of (up to) 6720 × 4480 pixels. This means the camera has a megapixel size of 30.1 MP.
When is PPI important?
PPI (Pixels Per Inch) is very important when you work with your digital images. You will use this adjustment when preparing your image for printing, compared to DPI you will choose it for the actual image.
For the image to be of higher quality and increase the print size, we need to provide a larger PPI for the image. The increased pixel density allows more information to be stored, such as color and detail.
The standard for printing images is 300PPI, compared to images displayed on the Internet is 72PPI.
This is because a 72PPI or 300PPI image and a 6720PPI image will look the same on your computer.
Resizing the image PPI (Pixels Per Inch) will give you a larger photo print size. If you don’t need to print large images, there’s no point in increasing the PPI size. Otherwise, your computer’s hard drive will quickly fill up with data.
As well as the print size, the material you want to print will also show up in PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Canvas prints will not need a large PPI as details may be lost depending on the fabric you use.
An image for a customer to hang on the wall will need a standard of 300PPI or higher.
What is Pixel?
Pixels are components of a digital image or computer screen. If you get close enough, you can see that each square will be composed of many small squares. In these small squares will be smaller squares consisting of red, green, and blue light elements.
You will not be able to see these due to the technology used. They all merge into one color and are too small for us to see.
The colors red (red), green (green), blue (blue) are very important. When we edit our images, we capture them using RGB color mode. And most electronic devices, such as television screens, use the same standard.
Having more pixel density means more scenes will be captured or displayed on your screen. 4K has a higher resolution than HD (1080p – High Definition), but 8K has better picture quality.
More pixel density means more RGB elements for recording or displaying digital images.
How to change PPI value
Photo editing software that works with pixel-based images allows you to change the resolution. Adobe Photoshop is a perfect example, a quick access to Image => Image Size will allow you to reset the pixel count.
You can create a New Document and set the PPI there. However, when you import an image, the pixel size changes to accommodate the import process. You will notice that the images have different sizes depending on increasing or decreasing the image’s pixel density.
You can also resample in Adobe Lightroom, but only if you export the image.
Compare DPI and PPI
We can see that although DPI and PPI both process the details of the image through the resolution but in different areas. DPI refers to the image printed from any given printer, while PPI refers to the digital image on your computer or the monitor you are using.
This short article has explained what is DPI, what is PPI and compares the differences between the two. If you find the article useful, please share it with everyone.