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Scanning Quality Levels

Slide and Photo Scanning Quality Levels

DpsDave uses the latest technology in sensors, optics, illumination, computers and software to create extraordinarily high quality scanned images at a reasonable price.

Photo SLIDES sent to DPSDave are always scanned at 6,000 dpi, the optimal resolution for this media type.

Three quality levels are available for photos PRINTS sent to DpsDave for scanning:

ECONOMY: As our least expensive option, these images are scanned at 300 DPI. Our experience is that customers are generally disappointed with this slide and photo scanning quality option. Although it saves people money, you cannot zoom in on an image or print it. If you’re interested, you can save even more by doing some of the work yourself by rotating images, fixing colors, scanning slides in order, and creating custom file structures.

HIGH DEFINITION: Our most popular slide and photo scanning quality option is to scan images at 600 DPI. Color Fix, Image Rotation, Scanning in Order and Custom File Structure are thrown in for free! This option allows you to zoom in, so you can recognize faces and make prints. Our experience is that customers are thrilled with this option.

PRESENTATION: The ultimate in scanning quality, preferred by our professional photographers, museums, restoration experts and graphic artists is the Presentation option. This slide and photo scanning quality option maximizes the quality of all digital images compared to other options.

Please visit our Resolution page under Photo Scanning to see the differences between these various quality levels.

TECHNICAL DETAILS FOR SLIDE SCANNING: Back in the day, most people viewed their photo slides using a slide projector. These projectors create a very large image from a very small piece of film. When you turned the lights out and watched a slide show, you saw crisp images, and this is what people expect when they convert their slides to digital.

Today, when people use a slide or photo scanning service to convert their slides to digital format, they view them on a TV or computer screen. But, people don’t turn the lights out and they often sit a lot closer to the computer screen than they did to the projector screen. Since it’s a computer, people can zoom in as well. People look at digital images differently than they did projected images, and these differences require that the slide scanning process make changes to the images to compensate.

Finally, a TV or computer screen is a limited display device. Our eyes capture images with 5 million DPI resolution and with a million to one dynamic range. By contrast, a computer screen is a much lower performance device, with perhaps a few hundred DPI resolution and a dynamic range of 64 thousand to one.

Looking at a backlit slide with a magnifying glass reveals the true image quality of the slide and more detail than looking at a projected image. Looking at a slide under a magnifying glass and comparing it to the scanned image of that slide displayed on your computer can be disappointing, unless the slide was scanned and processed in a manner that compensates for the difference.

Scanned image quality is a result of the quality of these six basic slide and photo scanning quality elements:

  1. Resolution
  2. Dynamic Range
  3. Contrast
  4. Saturation
  5. Color
  6. Fade restoration

When slides are scanned with modern equipment and processed appropriately, the image displayed on your computer screen almost matches what you would see looking at the backlit slide with a magnifying glass. Slide and photo scanning quality service companies must pay attention to all the parts of image quality to deliver high quality conversions of your slides to digital images–and DpsDave does!