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While you’re not a photographer, someone has taken notice of your stunning shot of the parade, albeit accidentally. And they requested to print your photo in their newspaper! However, they asked for a 300 Dots Per Inch (DPI) copy. What should you do? Are your iPhone photos 300 DPI?
Your iPhone can’t directly take 300 DPI photos; however, it can take photos that have higher megapixels, which means you can print them into photos with 300 DPI. For example, the iPhone 8 allows you to take pictures with more than 12,000 megapixels or 4032 x 3024. With that number, yes—you can print iPhone photos with 300 DPI.
In this post, we’ll discuss DPI, your iPhone photos’ DPI, and why 300 DPI is important.
What is DPI?
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch which refers to the print quality and resolution of photos. It’s called “dots” per inch because back then, most printers print dots in every square inch in a paper.
Different types of DPIs
- 72 DPI – The standard for web photos. It’s not as sharp as the others on this list. Photos or graphics with 72 DPI look pixelated.
- 102 DPI – This the correct resolution you can use when you’re presenting something in class.
- 300 DPI – This is the minimum required DPI for any digital photo that needs to be printed. It’s the industry standard for magazines and artwork.
- 400 DPI or higher – The recommended number if you want higher quality images. People use this for line art images.
The truth about DPI
DPI is surrounded by some misconceptions that can change the way you see and use it. DPI is typically used today, but is often mixed up with PPI or Pixels Per Inch—which is actually the more appropriate term! When people request for a 300 DPI photo to get printed, they actually mean PPI.
Moreover, when someone asks for a 300 DPI (or PPI) photo, they should include the photo print size as well. By knowing the print size, you can calculate your photo’s PPI. And once you do, you can already provide the photo with the correct PPI.
DPI Vs. PPI
Now that you know the right term is PPI, let’s talk more about their differences. A few years back, DPI was the term used when printing digital photos. Today, it’s not really accurate and relevant anymore since newer wireless printers such as the HP Envy 5055 use blended, tiny dots that appear like a seamless tone to our naked eyes.
Plus, even though some photo editing tools have DPI and PPI, PPI is still the more accurate term. It’s what you use when you’re working with digital images.
For example, if you will use the KODAK instant photo printer, you should also determine the PPI of your iPhone’s photo. By knowing that, you will also determine the printed photo’s resolution, which will change, depending on the size of the paper. The KODAK instant photo printer uses 4×6” photo paper, so your iPhone photo’s PPI should match that.
How to calculate your iPhone photo’s PPI
- First, you need to know the megapixel size of your photo.
- If it’s 16 Mp, for example, convert it to pixels. You will get 4920 x 3264 pixels.
- Next, know the intended print size of the photo. Let’s say it’s 8” x 10”.
- Now, divide the pixels by the print size.
- For the longer dimension, you will get 492 PPI. As for the shorter dimension, you will get 362.4 PPI.
- In this case, you will usually get the smaller PPI since it’s closer to the requested PPI.
- There you have it. Your 16 mp iPhone photo can be printed with 362.4 PPI.
So, where can we still use DPI?
Today, most clients, publishers, or employers only use DPI because they might not be properly informed about it. As mentioned, they actually refer to the quality or resolution of the image or the PPI. However, DPI is pretty useful if you want to increase the resolution of a bitmap image.
A bitmap image is made of pixels, unlike vector images that are made of lines and curves. Compared to bitmap images, the details in vector images don’t appear pixelated when zooming in. They look just as clear as to when you’re looking at the original size.
To make sure a bitmap image will come out more detailed when it’s printed, you can check its DPI on Paint. If it meets or surpasses 300 DPI, then you can have a clear, detailed output when you use a wireless printer like HP OfficeJet 3830 to print it. Now, if someone still wants iPhone photos 300 DPI, you can always change it using Photoshop.
How to change the DPI of your iPhone photo
- To create iPhone photos 300 DPI, open your Photoshop application on your PC.
- Click File and then Open the image you want to tweak.
- Next, go to Image and then the Image Size.
- Under the Resolution, untick the Resample box.
- After that, type in your preferred Resolution in either pixels or inches.
Use your Mac’s preview tool.
- Open your image in the Preview tool.
- Click Tools and then Get Info.
- Check if the DPI is higher than 180.
- If it’s not, go to Tools again and then click Adjust Size.
How about 300DPI Printers?
Are you printing other materials besides iPhone photos? If you want to save time, you can opt for 300 DPI printers that use 4×6″ photo papers. You can get the LabelRange Label Printer, a thermal desktop printer for barcodes, receipts, labels, and more. It can print 300 DPI materials without ink through a USB port connectivity.
Improving the resolution of your iPhone photos
Blurry photos look unprofessional and make you appear careless. Assuming you work in the media industry, and even though you’re not a photographer, you should take elements like resolution more seriously.
So, besides the DPI, how can you improve the quality or resolution of your iPhone photos? If you want to take your mobile photography to the next level, just start following the tips below.
1. Tinker around your iPhone’s camera settings.
Even in older iOS versions such as iOS 9, you can improve your rear camera settings. Here’s how you can do it.
- Go to Settings.
- Click Photos & Camera and then Record Video.
- Click the resolution you prefer when capturing photos.
- If you’re low on memory, tap the lower resolution for recording.
2. Learn how to use the focus tool.
With enhanced portrait features on the latest iOS versions, it would be a mistake not to use the focus tool on your iPhone camera. The focus tool will help you get the lovely details, especially on your close-up photos. So, if you want a quick solution to boosting your photos’ quality, just play around the focus tool!
On the other hand, if you want better quality macro shots, you can also invest in macro lenses for iPhones. You can get an iPhone lens like the Apexel Professional Macro Lens. It’s an aluminum clip-on lens that we would use to take photos of minute living creatures like snails, butterflies, ants, or ladybugs.
3. Use the Smart HDR feature.
You won’t need to change the DPI if you’re already capturing high-quality, detailed photos. Therefore, turn on your iPhone camera’s Smart HDR feature to “On” at all times. Every time you need to capture a scene—whether you’re in a poorly lit place or an overexposed area, you can—you can get all the details!
4. Change your photos’ formats.
You can make iPhone photos 300 DPI by adjusting the resolution. To improve your photos’ resolution, you can also change the format in which they’re saved. Here’s how you can choose other formats:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Click the Camera tab and then select Formats, which is above the HDR setting.
- Under the option Camera Capture, select Most Compatible if you want higher quality photos.
- Meanwhile, if you want video clips with higher resolution, select High Efficiency.
5. Turn on the Preserve Settings feature.
This will save your favorite camera settings. Now you can take a pic with the same filter, format, resolution, etc. every time! Here’s how to turn it on:
- Go to Settings.
- Click Camera and then Preserve Settings.
- Turn on the Camera Mode if you want to take square photos every time you open your camera.
- Turn on the Filter option if you want the same filter for all the pictures you will take in the future.
- Meanwhile, turn on the Live Photo to avoid automatically resetting it.
6. Use artificial lighting.
You could also use a good selfie ring light to improve the brightness and clarity of your photos. When choosing a ring light, remember to look for products with variations in lighting options. You can check out UBeesize 10″ Selfie Ring Light, which has 3 lighting options—warm, cool white, and daylight. Each of them has 11 brightness levels, so you can play around with 33 types of brightness in your photos.
DPI may already be outdated; but to publishers and people who still love to read the printed word, it still matters. If the readers will see pixelated, blurry pictures on their newspapers and magazines, it will make them trust the publication less. Therefore, in the print world, DPI continues to be significant.
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