Pixels per inch for web

What is the significance?

Simply put? Nothing.
Well, if that were all I had to say on the subject, this would have to be my shortest blogpost ever… Okay, a bit more info then:
A lot of first time DSLR users are concerned that their shiny new camera delivers files that are “only” 72dpi, while their old point and shoot delivered 300dpi files. Why is this concern unwarranted? Surely 300 is more then 72, and more is better, right?


The old wisdom saying is that “300dpi is for printing and 72dpi is for screen”.
There are a few things wrong with that.
First and foremost, the term “dpi” stands for dots per inch. In a digital file there are no dots, only pixels. So the correct term is pixels per inch (ppi).
Also, 72ppi originated as it was the resolution of an ancient Mac monitor. Current monitors have a much higher pixel density: My old 12″ PowerbookG4 for instance has a screen resolution of about 100ppi. Most current screens are somewhere between 80 and 120ppi.
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The world wide web

and color management

A lot of people are confused the first time they save an image for web display: The image looks different in a non color managed browser then it did in Lightroom or Photoshop. One “solution” was to view the image in Photoshop like it would appear in a non color managed application, by going View > Proof setup > Monitor RGB. This would show you how the image would look in a non color managed application on your screen. Still a guess what anybody else would see though, since you’re seeing the difference between the monitor profile and sRGB…


A much better option would be for everybody to browse color managed.
Up until recently, most browsers were not color managed. Safari changed that, and was the first color managed browser for PC. Internet Explorer had provided a color managed browser for Mac OSX before that, but it is discontinued now.
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