View Full Version : Opinions on scanner resolution

11-25-2009, 04:50 AM
I have the option of buying a cheap new printer with a scanner resolution of 2400 DPI or spend about twice as much for a different printer than can scan at 4800 DPI. Obviously, more sounds better but do I really need more or is 2400 good enough for most needs. I anticipate that I will primarily use the scanner for creating copies of 1 inch scale dungeon tiles so that I can photoshop them and reprint. Does anyone have an opinion on which is the better printer choice?

11-25-2009, 05:12 AM
I seem to get by just fine scanning at 600dpi, though i prefer to scan in my own artwork for archival purposes at 1200. Now that I actually have storage space, I might use 4800 if I had access to it. Unless you're drawing small and want to blow it up a lot, the 2400 should be plenty, i would think (unless you have a printer that can handle it, and are looking to print out 100 dollar bills, lol)

This opinion is based off personal preference and practice for myself, others may have different suggestions. If the price difference is substantial ($250/$500 vs $75/%100) i'd go for the 2400 and use the other money for more memory or an internal terabyte drive :)

11-25-2009, 07:23 AM
How did you know about the $100 bills thing I was planning?

Now that I have done a little more research I have found another printer with a scanning resolution of 9600 DPI. I thought 4800 was high. Most of the other printer/scanner combo's were at 1200 DPI.

Thanks for the input. As always, more people are welcome to chime in. Cheers all.

11-25-2009, 09:39 AM
Just check - of those numbers for scanners are inflated, representing interpolated scanning DPI's. not true DPI. Also check both the x and y. in most cases is it the resolution across the head of the scanner that is the "real" dpi, and in the other direction they will do multi-sample averaging with a slow scan rate to make the number higher.

-Rob A>

11-25-2009, 09:58 AM
Good point!

That reminds me - optical scanning resolution i think is the term for the real numbers. My current scanner does 600 optical but i can can tell it to go 1200 by, i suppose, interpolating. I imagine it wouldn't be much different than just increasing the size after scanning since it's done by software anyhow.

11-25-2009, 01:35 PM
On a scanner, interpolating is pretty much a waste of time cos you can do no worse in gimp or any other raster app. Go for the optical. I scan mine at 600dpi.

Heres another thing tho. When I scan in graph paper you can see that the Y racking motor driven axis is not uniform. Get some fine graph paper out, scan it and then shrink it down with nearest neighbor sampling which most raster apps do by default - y'know the tacky non smooth sampling. Look at the moire fringing on it. If its even then thats good. Mine is all over the shop. Terrible but then it was a real cheap scanner. Getting consistent scan rate is handy if you scan a map with a grid on it and want to import into a map app like a VTT where it has to line up with the grid or you scan a real map and use it in GPS apps.

Another critical point is to take a piccy from something like a magazine, fold it several times, unfold and scan it with the lid up so that the paper does not sit flat on the bed. Mine goes all black in the creases. Some scanners have a longer depth of field where it scans off the glass and stays sharp. Thats important for scanning books and maps where it hangs over the edges or into the spine.

For res get a real high res glossy high fashion mag cover and scan that at max res and look at the halftoning pattern and see how sharp it is. That will be better than any res specs.

So bottom line, take a creased up fashion mag cover into the shops and try them.

11-26-2009, 04:22 AM
Thanks for all the info.