Resolution is one of the biggest factors determining the quality of your digital images. Resolution means how much "information" or dots/pixels are in your digital image. The more dots/pixels, the sharper your image will be and the higher quality digital image you will get.
It's the same concept as Megapixels and digital cameras. The higher the Megapixels, the higher quality your image will be.
DPI = Dots Per Inch. -- Dots meaning pixels.
Slides & Negatives:
We offer three resolutions to choose from, 2000 dpi, 3000 dpi, 4000 dpi.
2000 DPI - A 2000 DPI scan is equivalent to 4.6 Megapixels. This is a medium resolution scan that we recommend for customers who only want to create printed photographs of up to 5"x7", post online, e-mail to friends or view on their TV. If you want to make larger printed photographs, crop out portions of the image, or have a higher quality image, we would recommend a higher resolution.
3000 DPI- A 3000 DPI scan is equivalent to 9 Megapixels. This is a high resolution scan that we recommend for customers who want to create larger photograph prints up to 11"x14", post online, e-mail to friends or view on their TV. If you plan to make larger printed photographs, use in a professional capacity such as publishing, or want a higher quality image, we would recommend the 4000 DPI.
4000 DPI- A 4000 DPI scan is equivalent to 18 Megapixels. It is the highest scan resolution scan for transparent film. This will allow you to crop out portions of your image, create large photograph prints, upload online, use professionally, pretty much whatever you want. If it fits within your budget we always recommend going with the highest resolution, because you are capturing more data, which means you are getting a higher quality image.
Because photos are significantly larger than slide & negative film, they do not need to be scanned at such high resolutions. Photos technically can be scanned at 2000 DPI (or higher) but it will not yield a higher quality picture, just wasted pixels and large files.
We scan our photos at 300 dpi or 600 dpi. If you plan to create larger reprints, you will want to choose the 600 dpi. Please note that photos are lower quality than the slide or negative it originated from, so you are limited with how large of a reprint you can create. If you have the original slide or negative, we recommend you scan that instead.
Here is what the entire image looked like.
Which Scanning Resolution is Right for You?
Resolution & File Type Resources