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Quality of scanned picture

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Quality of scanned picture

Postby mcdon47 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:12 pm

I have a large coloured portrait photo (9x7") that I need to return to my friend. I scanned it (and saved PSD format; it asked 100 or 300 DPI? I chose 300 DIP because I wanted a good quality picture. I understand that RAW is better. What is it and how do I obtain the best quality?
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Peru » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:29 pm

mcdon47 wrote: I understand that RAW is better. What is it and how do I obtain the best quality?


RAW is the unprocessed image that the camera sensor sees.
See here:
https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=c ... =RAW+files

You can't make a true RAW image from a a printed photograph.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Steve Grisetti » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:40 pm

Peru is right. RAW has nothing to do with the "quality" of the picture.

Quality in fact can mean anything from resolution to color reproduction to clarity to level of compression. And of those those qualities have to do with how the photo will ultimately be used. A high-quality photo scanned for use in a print publication is very different than a high-quality photo scanned for a video project.

But that said, a 9" x 7" 300 ppi photo saved as a PSD is high-resolution scan that will show little compression artifacts.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Chuck Engels » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:22 pm

There are scanners that will scan an image at higher dpi, 1200, 2400 and higher.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Bob » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:33 pm

Scanning at 300 PPI is a good rule of thumb if you are intending to make prints close to the original size. 240 to 300 DPI is generally considered a sweet spot for quality ink jet printing. If you scan at 300 and print at 300, you'll match image sizes. You can scan at a larger PPI setting if you want to make prints larger than the original, but, remember, you aren't going to get higher resolution than the original source -- if the detail isn't in the original, it won't be present in the scan. Higher PPI scans will have smoother gradations from pixel to pixel than lower PPI scans which can come in useful in some circumstances. For example, I'll often scan photos that require extensive restoration at 600 ppi or higher to have more latitude in retouching and then print to the original size.

If you are scanning for use on a web page or video project, only the dimensions, in pixels, of the scanned image matter.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Peru » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:26 pm

Chuck Engels wrote:There are scanners that will scan an image at higher dpi, 1200, 2400 and higher.


Yes, but not only does that increase file size substantially, it can take a long time or lock up the computer if too high a resolution is chosen, depending upon your computer specifications, of course.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Steve Grisetti » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:36 pm

Once again, it all comes down to how the client is planning to use it and at what size.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby Kent Frost » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:20 am

Peru wrote:
Chuck Engels wrote:There are scanners that will scan an image at higher dpi, 1200, 2400 and higher.


Yes, but not only does that increase file size substantially, it can take a long time or lock up the computer if too high a resolution is chosen, depending upon your computer specifications, of course.


This can be true to an extent, but unless you're scanning at 48-bit, it doesn't happen that often. I'm on a 7 year old Windows 7 Dell computer and actually currently doing a lot of scanning for my family's old photo collection from the past 60 years (almost 4,000 prints/negatives - it's taken me over 3 years in some of my spare time), and while the larger files do take a moment to load, they haven't frozen anything up on my machine. I'm talking 11x14" prints that I've scanned full-bed in 2 halves and then stitched the halves together in Photoshop to end up with an image that weighs in at over 44MB with a resolution of 12,000 x 9,600. Yeah, that's huge, but considering what it is I'm scanning, I want as high a resolution scan as I can get for archiving purposes. I'm sure that's overkill for many people, but I love scanning large prints like that because it means I'll get the best scan possible outside of having a high-dollar film negative scanner (if the negatives are available in the first place).

In short, my ideal scanner is one than can out-pace the film grain of the image I'm scanning.
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Re: Quality of scanned picture

Postby mcdon47 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:54 pm

Thank you all, very helpful. Getting to understand it all better.
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