300 dpi print - the optimal print resolution

What does 300 dpi actually mean and how do I calculate 300 dpi? The term dpi comes from the English 'dots per inch' and denotes 300 dots (pixels) per inch (inch).

A default of 300 dpi is often given for printing.

More details about dpi here: DPI exactly explained

300 dpi for a print

A template (image or document) is completely converted into points. In this case 300 points per inch, or 118 points per cm. These points are barely noticeable when looking at the picture. A homogeneous, sharp image is created from the points.

300 dpi resolution, at 4x4 cm

300 dpi Image for printing with 472 x 472 pixels This picture with the size of 472 x 472 pixels The 40 x 40mm image can be printed out at 300 dpi

30 dpi resolution, at 4x4 cm

30 dpi Image for printing with 47 x 47 pixels This picture with the size of 47 x 47 pixels is only displayed with a very low resolution of 30 dpi at 40 x 40mm.

1200 resolution, at 4x4 cm

1200 Image for printing with 472 x 472 pixels

This picture with the size of 1890 x 1890 pixel becomes practically the same with 1200 dpi at 40 x 40 mm Resolution perceived as the 300dpi image. It no longer makes a noticeable difference to the 300 dpi, since the eye is not capable perceive a higher resolution.

I would like to print the picture larger

If we now want to print the same picture with 300 dpi larger, for example 400 x 400 mm, we need a significantly larger digital image. In this case a size of 4724 x 4724 pixel.

How do I calculate an image so that it can be printed correctly in 300 dpi?

In order to calculate an image with the desired resolution (here 300 dpi), we need the following information:

  • How big should the printed image be?
  • How big is the existing digital image in pixels?
  • What is the resolution of my camera (e.g. 24 Megapixel)?

To do this, simply use our online calculator: Pixel calculator

Enter 300 dpi and add any further information.

Why is my picture sharper on the screen?

A normal monitor often only has a resolution of approx. 96 dpi or even less. The eye perceives this resolution with the actively shining pixels which was much sharper. Unfortunately, that's far from being enough pressure. For high quality printing at least 300 dpi are required. Only a few people can then use 600 dpi perceive differentiated with very good eyes.