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What is DPI?

By Katy Sommerfeld

If you’ve been interested in getting your analog media digitized, you may be curious about how Southtree goes about the scanning process. Maybe you have questions about formats, or prices, or digital image resolution. We get tons of questions on these topics, so you’re not alone.

In fact, one of the most common questions we hear from customers is about resolution.
Lots of folks are unsure what resolution is, or what PPI and DPI mean. It can all seem really confusing, but we’re here to clear things up for you! 


So what is DPI? Let’s find out.

Each printed image you look at is made up of loads of tiny dots. These dots, when zoomed in at, look like a mess of colors, but when you zoom out, an image appears. This is how printing photographs, for instance, works. 

DPI stands for dots per inch and refers to the amount of dots per inch in an image. DPI is a measurement of the resolution of an image. The resolution of an image is, essentially, the amount of detail in an image. The higher the resolution of an image, the higher the detail. So when an image is made up of a lot of tiny dots, the image will be sharp and clear. When it has fewer dots per inch, it will be blurry and unclear. 

DPI is helpful when scanning various forms of media because it tells us just how detailed the image is and how detailed the scan can be. This is why DPI is very important in digitization. It’s a good thing our digitization professionals pay close attention to each photo they scan so that they can create the best digital copy possible. DPI plays a huge role in this. 

We hope this article answers your questions about what DPI is and why it’s important to digitization. When you send in your photos, film, tapes, and more to Southtree, we’ll always make sure your digital copies are created using the best DPI possible. 

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