Frequently Asked Questions - ScanCafe

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Q1: Which dpi should I choose for photo scanning?

 

The short answer is that higher dpi leads to higher quality, and our belief is do it right the first time and you'll never have to worry about it again. You can scan photos at a lower dpi and pay less, but the photo scan quality will not be as good and there usually are zero post scan services such as color correction and cropping - so be wary. At ScanCafe, we want you to have the highest quality so we scan at 600 dpi. You can see some specific examples on our quality comparison page. Is 300 dpi just as good? Unfortunately, it is not. You can take a look at our side to side quality comparisons of 150dpi, 300dpi, and 600dpi. 600dpi simply picks up more information from the print. Furthermore, you can scan and print a 4x6 photo at 300 dpi, but you will never be able to enlarge the print at a later time to a 5x7, for example. As technology gets better, you'll find more value in the 600 dpi. Again, when it comes to photo scanning, do it right the first time, and you'll never have to do it again. Furthermore, if you want to get the most out of post-scan services like photo restoration, you will definitely want to scan your photo at 600dpi.

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Q2: Should I scan photos or scan negatives?

 

We recommend scanning negatives first because negatives provide the best resolution and quality. Negatives contain the maximum information about your image since they are fundamentally analog - and we scan negatives at 3000 dpi. When we speak of "information" we mean: clarity, sharpness, color depth, etc. Similarly, we suggest scanning slides over photos if the image is the same. Again, like negative scanning, you scan at a higher resolution with slides than with photos.

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Q3: What kind of photo scanners do you use?

 

We use top-rated Epson 4490 flatbed scanners.

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Q4: Why are my scanned photo files so large after scanning? Is TIFF bad?

 

The more information that you capture in a scan, the larger the file size will be. Information is defined as clarity, sharpness, color depth etc. A high resolution scan at 600dpi would give you a file of 5-7MB in jpeg and 30MB in TIFF format. Therefore, we do not recommend TIFF for the average customer. At the lower jpeg file size, you will be able to share images online and take up less space on your computer hard drive.

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