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Old Dec 23, 2004, 10:43 AM   #1
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I have read a few comments that the higher inkjet printer resolutions areoverkill for photos. Anyone know of tests or comparisons reagarding the various resolutions on printers? Is there an "enough is enough" point? 2880? 1440? 4800?

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Old Dec 23, 2004, 11:33 AM   #2
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As the dot size has gotten smaller the resolutions have increased to compensate. 8 and 10 picolitre dot printers used 16 dots maximum for a pixel. 4-5pl dot printers used 32 dots. 2pl printers can use 64 dots and I think 1pl printers can use 128 dots to make a pixel. If you do the math you will see that the maximum input PPI hasn't changed much. Generally speaking smaller (and more) dots give smoother pictures but not necessarily higher resolution. More ink colors make for a smoother color transition and in some cases more saturated colors.

The printers seldom use all of the dots they are capable of except maybe to mix colors to produce black. But the DPI rating is based on the maximum number of dots it can put down.

I don't know of a consumer quality printer that can be considered overkill on the resolution. Some people are coming up with absurdly high input PPIs – I have no idea what they are basing them on. But even with reading glasses or good near vision it is hard to see significant improvement with most photos over about 150 PPI input viewed at normal viewing distances. And with a loupe there isn't improvement over about 240 PPI input. What you can see with the naked eye at normal viewing distance is the smoother output with more and smaller dots per pixel and the better colors with 8 color printers.


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