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Confused By DPI?

Hi,

Ok, I am confused by DPI.

If I take a picture with my digital 3MP camera on highest quality setting and import that into Photoshop Elements 2, it shows the DPI as 72, but as far as I can gather to get the best prints the DPI should be at least 300.

So, if I change the DPI to 300 in Photoshop Elements I end up with a massive picture which I then resize down to A4. Is this correct, I am doing it right? If not what tips can anyone suggest, as I want to get the best print quality, I know a lot of it is on the printer, but I need to get this DPI issue sorted once and for all :)

Also can anyone tell me what "bleed" means ?

Oh, I have a HP Colour Laserjet 2550

Thanks
Jon
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jalexan123
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jalexan123
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softplusCommented:
Hi jalexan123,
DPI means Dots per Inch, i.e. the number of pixels you have in the room of one inch. It's easy to confuse with the resolution (the pixels you have in the picture). Take for instance a picture with 1000x1000 pixels. If you print the picture on the room of 1x1 inch, then you'll be using 1000dpi. If you take the same picture and print it in the room of 10x10 inches, then you'll be using 100 dpi. Normally the monitor is set to something like 70-75 dpi (hence the 72 dpi Photoshop Elemeents is showing). For best print quality you'll want to keep the image at the resolution (number of pixels) that you took it in. "Normally" your printer will be able to print at a much higher DPI-Setting, so you're doing the best you can. It does not help to enlarge your picture to make it print better (as there is only enough data available for the resolution you took it in).

Bleed referrs to the colors in adjacent areas, sometimes - depending on the setup - the colors can "bleed" into the other area, i.e. you have a red dot in a white area that looks like it's leaking red color to the area next to it (sort of like water colors).
John
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jalexan123Author Commented:
Hi John,

Ah, Ok. Right, my image is 72dpi, the printer at best prints at 2400dpi, so that would be OK? I wouldn't need to adjust the original image?

Also, and out of interest, if I was to sell A4 prints, when you print on the printer there is a 2-3mm gap around the edges. Do printshops when they sell A4 images have a gap around the edge.

What I am trying to say is, if I sell images as A4 is it OK to have a small gap or do proper print shop's print full A4 size?

Thanks
Jon
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softplusCommented:
Hi Jon

Yep - if you're printing the file with the full resolution. A4 at 2400 dpi would be about 19'800x26'400 pixel = 522 MPixel (compared to the 3MPixel your camera is capable of). So you still have lots of room :)

Regarding borders: It depends :) - the border is usually from the printer making the print, i.e. some printers can print to the borders, some can't, some act like they can by printing with a border on a slightly larger sheet of paper (like B4) and then cutting back to A4. Usually the borderless printers cost a small bit more than the ones with border. Just make sure you mention the border when selling the prints and it should be ok.
John
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jalexan123Author Commented:
Hi John,

Many thanks for your time. Another great mystery cleared up!!

Thanks
Jon
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softplusCommented:
Glad to help :)
John
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