Using 72 dpi image in 300 dpi Photoshop

I have some large images taken with a digital camera that are 72 dpi. I would like to incorporate a couple of them into a brochure that I’m creating in Photoshop. The brochure is 300 dpi. Can I just paste the 72 dpi images into the 300 dpi artwork? When I do paste the 72 dpi image into the 300 dpi artwork, the image is significantly reduced in size as expected. But I would just like to doublecheck with some print experts here so I do not end up with hundreds of copies of a brochure that is all blurry. Am I missing something?

Many thanks all!

Hi Lewis,

No, that shouldn’t cause any problems if you bring it in like that. If you brought it into Illustrator or InDesign at 72 dpi, that would be another story. :wink:

But just to be on the safe side, rather than pasting it in, open the image on it’s own first, and in the Image Size menu, change the DPI to 300, then use that.

Good idea, thank you for the confirmation. By the way, I noticed that about illustrator. That had me scratching my head for a while.

Change the dpi to 300dpi and then change the dimensions so the reported file size on the dialog box is equal to or less than the original file size.

For example, original file is 21w by 15h at 72dpi with file size of 4.67MB. Make sure the constrain proportions checkbox is checked.

Set your dpi to 300dpi. With a size of 5w by 3.57h, you will have a file size of 4.60MB.

The reason for keeping the file size the same or less is that you will keep the image quality at an optimum. If you increase the file size, then Photoshop has to extrapolate (guess and create) the added number of pixels created to increase the size of the image. (Think difference in quality between optical and digital zoom on a camera.) You can probably increase the file size by 120% before the quality starts to noticeably fall off. Actually by using a step interpolation process, you can double the size of the image to 200%, but you probably will start to see that it has been done (loss of sharpness, color artifacts).

Now here’s the kicker. In going to print, you no longer use dpi as a measurement but instead lpi (lines per inch). Agfa’s rule of thumb is that image dpi should be from 1.5 to 2 times the lpi you are printing at. Typically you will have the cover print at 150lpi and the inside of the publication print at 133 lpi. This means that all cover images need to be from 225-300 dpi and the inside guts have from 200-266 dpi to reproduce with quality.

In the case of a brochure being done on a quality offset sheet-fed press, you should be able to hold 150 line output, so your dpi should be from 225-300 dpi. The prepress will tell you it absolutely has to be 300dpi in a lot of cases so you don’t have poor quality images just in case you decided to take a 225 dpi image and pump its size up by 130% in Pagemaker or Quark.

Also as a final tip, keep the original jpeg intact and save the file as a tiff file before doing anything to it. Always do any resizes, transformations, color corrections on tiff files. Jpeg is a lossy compression and starts showing rings in a pond artifacts if you keep opening and resaving. Tiff can use a lossless compression that doesn’t introduce this kind of degradation.

This is great! Thank you guys.

Out of curiosity, do most Digital Cameras shoot @ 72dpi, and if so do SLR’s have the option to sample at higher resolutions? Not that it really matters, I’m just curious for curiosity’s sake.


I was wondering the same thing, but I can add that MY camera (Nikon 4500) is set for 300 dpi.

Using a Fuji S-1 and S-7000 here and they fix the dpi at 72 dpi and change the pixel dimensions depending on the quality of the image you set them to take. Essentially the minimum quality is approximately a 640x480 screen shot and the maximum is a whopping 6 megapixel image that I never use unless I’m doing an 8.5 x 11 cover shot on the S-1. Never noticed in the setups whether you are able to set a dpi setting.

The Nikon SLR here at work captures at 300 dpi. My Canon A85 – 225 or something in that ballpark. Default captures at 72 are getting old school (unless you set it that way for the web).

i m facing problem that how can i decide the recommonded
photo print option for images with considering there size and many other issues.
will u guide me regarding the " how prints of images can be taken on the basis of there sizes and attributes