If you’re organizing hundreds of old family photos, they can become challenging to sort, store, and backup
The good news is, scanning your photo albums or film negatives is easier than you think! However, those new to digital photos may not know the best file format to use.
In this guide, you’ll learn the best file formats for scanning your photos, how to upload them at home, and additional tips to keep in mind.
When photo scanning, you have two options. First, you can your images professionally scanned. Second, you can scan your pictures yourself. Each has its pros and cons – take a look below.
If you have a scanner, you can save money by scanning the images yourself. Plus, you have total control over the final results – from the scanning resolution to image sizes.
However, scanning old photos yourself is time-consuming and tedious, depending on how many images you want to digitize. Ensure your photos are clean is very important before scanning!
Scanning old photos can also require additional editing skills, such as color correction, cropping, and other adjustments.
Finally, you will need a reliable scanner to produce high-quality images. If you don’t have the time or equipment, you might want to consider getting your photos scanned professionally instead.
The most common file formats for scanning old photos are JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and GIF. However, each come with their ups and downsides. Below, you’ll discover what file format best suits your scanning requirements.
Designed in 1992 by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the reliable JPEG format is excellent for compressing a digital image to a smaller file size without losing quality.
Short for Portable Network Graphic, PNG files were first uploaded in 1996. Creators specifically invented this file type for easy transfer on the Internet.
The Tagged Image File Format by Adobe aims to provide compatibility across all platforms. Like its counterparts, a TIFF file allows for lossless compression, albeit with the ability to keep your images in the best quality possible.
Ultimately, what format you use to scan each image file will depend on your preferences. If you’re after shareability, you might prefer to use a JPEG or PNG format. On the other hand, the TIFF format can work to your advantage if you want to use an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop for printing.
The DPI or dots-per-inch on your digital files refers to how many pixels there are in a single image. The higher the DPI on your file type, the more you can enlarge your file size without losing quality. However, images with higher DPIs contain more image data also take up more space on your device.
The pixel dimensions you select will depend on exactly what you want to do with your digital images. For instance, the sweet spot for archiving images is 300 DPI, while a DPI of 200 will suffice for image-sharing online.
300 DPI is also ideal for electronic display. You’ll want to increase the dots-per-inch on your images if you intend to enlarge file size or print them.
The best way to determine the dots-per-inch on your pictures is to work backward. First, crop the original photo to fit the aspect ratio you want, then compute the resolution you need.
Ultimately, digitizing your old photo albums is the best way to keep your memories safe. What format you use will depend on whether you want to upload your scans online or print them for display.
If you want your images professionally scanned, contact our experts at Image Restoration Center today!