Difference Between DPI and Pixels

Before the introduction of technology, people used to print their images or documents with the help of ink and paper which resulted in low quality of text, size, and picture.


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People have been using digital technology to process high-quality and high-resolution images or documents since the invention of technology.

Displaying the text, color, size, and content of a digital or printed document is made easier by DPI and Pixels. 

DPI vs Pixels

The difference between DPI and Pixels is that the DPI (Dots Per Inch) is the total number of printed dots observed in one inch of a printed image. Pixels are commonly referred to as a picture element, which is the fundamental unit of programmable color observed on a computer display or image. 

DPI vs

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DPI is a measure of printed dots that are observed in one inch of the digitally printed image, video. Or in other words, it is the total dots that can be placed in a line with a span of 1 inch or 2.54 centimeters.

On the other hand, Pixels is the most basic and smallest element discerned in any digitally produced picture. In the same way, more pixels tend to have a real and accurate image resolution.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDPIPixels
MeaningIt measures the resolution of a printed image, video/ documents according to the number of dots. It is small mosaic look dots or squares that come up with an image on the display screen. 
PurposeDPI provides high-quality resolution of any printed or digital image/documents by adjusting its dots. Pixels determine the resolution of digital images which bestows them with high quality. 
Screen resolutionDots occur within the range of 1-inch that covers resolution over 300-2400 DPI.  Pixels screen resolution is 1600 horizontal and 1200 vertical pixels that display a high-quality image on the computer. 
CalculationDivide the number of dots by the number of inches in order to calculate DPI. Pixels are calculated by multiplying the width and height of the image. 
Image SizeDots are placed in a 1-inch according to the dimension of the image, video, or documents.  Pixels vary according to the width, height, and image resolution on the display screen. 

What is DPI?

DPI is the short-form of Dots per Inch. Moreover, this element plays an important role in the image when it comes out of a printer, in such a way, that more DPI  means more resolved and sharper the printed image will be. 

On the other hand, it can also be a measure of dots to be placed in a line of one inch or 2.54 centimeters. Usually, DPI is caused by the spreading of ink on the surface of the media.

In recent times, DPI has become a useful part of any printed image, such as older programmed pictures can be modified into a real-like printed image, by just adjusting the size and dpi settings.

Consequently, any picture can fit the printed paper with great resolution and sharpness when the DPI setting is on-point.

Although, a low-resolution image means blurred, rough, and fuzzy edges.

On the whole, DPI is a beyond-price factor for various business needs, as it influences the efficiency and cost of print services besides rendering a high-quality printed image. 

What is Pixels?

Meanwhile, the smallest unit of a digitized image or any graphical content that can be represented and displayed on a digital screen device is called a pixel.

The pixel, referring to the picture element, combines together to deliver a complete image, video, or text on a computer display.

Furthermore, pixels depend on various factors, such as graphics card, computer display screen, quantity, size, and color combinations.

Moreover, a high-quality image implies a higher density of pixels per inch of the monitor screen; so to speak, a resolution of a digital image or video is the product of Pixel width and Pixel height.

Russell Kirsch, a computer scientist is the first person to identify pixels, where he created a small, 2-by-2-inch black-and-white digital image of his son in 1957.

Any type of pixel is determined by three of four main components of RGB and CMYK color spectrums.

In the digital world, pixels are in the form of five resolution types, for instance, a Full High-Definition content is of 1920 x 1080 pixel size, while SD (Standard Definition) is 640 x 480 pixels.  

Main Differences Between DPI and Pixels

  1. DPI is referred to as the measurement of the number of dots presented in a picture or documents to know its resolution. Whereas, pixels are known as lookalikes of small mosaic tiles that represent an image on the display screen. 
  2. DPI is calculated by dividing the dots by inches, but for pixels, the calculation is multiplying both height and width of the image.
  3. DPI depends on the number of dots, as if less DPI provides blurry & poor quality and image resolution, vice-versa. On the other hand, pixels depend on various factors such as computer display, graphics card, color combinations, image size, resolution, etc. 
  4. Speaking of range, then the ultimate range for DPI is 300-2400 DPI. Nevertheless for Pixels, from the range of 320 to 1920 horizontal and 240 to 1080 vertical pixels.
  5. DPI is required on printed images or documents to get a clear image resolution on the display. Meanwhile, pixels make up an image on the display with high-quality, color, sharp texture, lights, etc. 
Difference Between DPI and
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1346-8138.1998.tb02505.x
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4307572/
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