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Thread started 10 Feb 2018 (Saturday) 12:22
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9600 dpi vs 4800dpi printers - can you tell the difference at A4??

 
agedbriar
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Feb 13, 2018 11:45 |  #16

Wilt wrote in post #18562787 (external link)
I have never seen that specified. Can you point me to a source for that dpi count?

It's reported by Qimage, the printing program that interacts with the printer's driver and reads the driver's internal calculations to supply the image file already resized to the number of pixels that the driver requires.

Several years ago, when I bought Qimage, their documentation said that both HP and Canon printers print at 600x600 DPI and Epsons at 720x720 DPI (not quite sure for the Epsons).

In fact, for my previous HP printer Qimage reported 600x600 DPI, while for my current Canon MG7550 it reports 605x605 DPI. It's my guess that Canon made that change to deal with increments of 0.0420 mm, rather than of 0.0423333333˙ mm (25.4/605 vs 25.4/600) in the metric world.

In my posts above, I used the old figure 600x600 to avoid confusing people with the new value, which probably isn't widely known yet, but here it is:


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agedbriar
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Feb 14, 2018 03:21 |  #17

And now this surprising find from last night: my MG7550 changes slightly the printing resolution depending on paper format selected. Go figure.
Short-lived was my guess about nice increment values... :-(

This may also be of interest:
https://www.ddisoftwar​e.com/qimage-u/tech-prt.htm (external link)


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Feb 14, 2018 04:22 |  #18

agedbriar wrote in post #18563406 (external link)
And now this surprising find from last night: my MG7550 changes slightly the printing resolution depending on paper format selected. Go figure.
Short-lived was my guess about nice increment values... :-(

This may also be of interest:
https://www.ddisoftwar​e.com/qimage-u/tech-prt.htm (external link)
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forum: RAW, Post Processing & Printing


Looking at that image, and taking the paper sizes into account, I'm pretty sure that the software is indicating the number of pixels per inch, not the number of dots of ink applied by the printer. I would think that the slight variation in the used PPI for each paper size is based on aiming for a minimum of printing at 600 PPI, but with variations that allow the image to be cropped for aspect ratio and then resized to integer only pixel values to fit the paper.

For a printer to build a single pixel using the traditional set of CMYK, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, it needs to be able to print four dots of ink next to each other. This would mean that a printer that could print at linear 600 DPI for example, could print in CMYK at a maximum of only 300 PPI, because of the two dimensional nature of the print.

Another point is that the printing DPI for the ink is fixed by the printer hardware. For inkjet printers you have a fixed sized print head, with fixed nozzle spacing. By playing with the ink drying times, and carefully moving both the print head and the paper it is possible to have a little leeway in how you place the ink on the paper to form pixels. It is because you can move the printhead left to right with far more accuracy than you can move the paper through the machine that inkjet printers have different ink DPI resolutions for the different directions.

A 9600×2400 DPI printhead like those that seem to be in most of the smaller A4/Letter sized Canon Pixma series printers, will be laying down 64 dots of ink, or 16×4 (into a square pixel) if you want to work linearly, per pixel when printing at 600 PPI. With a printer with six ink colours to mix that is not that many dot of ink per colour per pixel.

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Post edited 2 months ago by agedbriar. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 14, 2018 07:11 |  #19

BigAl007 wrote in post #18563418 (external link)
Looking at that image, and taking the paper sizes into account, I'm pretty sure that the software is indicating the number of pixels per inch, not the number of dots of ink applied by the printer.

Yes, absolutely!

Image pixels, in printing, are rendered by Dots, which must not to be confused with the high number of droplets, which only serve to 'paint up' the Dots to the required color.

In fact, that's been my point throughout this thread.

Edit: The confusion stems from the printer specs, where the makers want to impress with high numbers of DPI (Dots Per Inch - while actually stating droplets per inch) and further down calling the droplets with their proper name when stating the 1, 2, 5 picoliter droplet volumes.




  
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Feb 14, 2018 08:38 |  #20

agedbriar wrote in post #18563478 (external link)
Yes, absolutely!

Image pixels, in printing, are rendered by Dots, which must not to be confused with the high number of droplets, which only serve to 'paint up' the Dots to the required color.

In fact, that's been my point throughout this thread.

Edit: The confusion stems from the printer specs, where the makers want to impress with high numbers of DPI (Dots Per Inch - while actually stating droplets per inch) and further down calling the droplets with their proper name when stating the 1, 2, 5 picoliter droplet volumes.


I think the difficulty here is that what you are referring to as "Dots" are in fact pixels. Pixels make up the image, and the dots of ink from the nozzle build the pixels. The 9600 DPI figure is not in fact an attempt to impress with high values, but the correct use of the term Dots per Inch.

The larger issue is that most computer software seems to be able to universally interchange the terms DPI and PPI, and most of the time it is not an issue. It does become a problem at the point where we are converting pixels to dots for final output though. Take the case of my monitor for example. That outputs square pixels at a linear resolution of 219 Pixels per Inch. Each pixel is made up of three light emitting "dots" that are rectangular, and are each one third the width of the pixel, and it's full height. So the monitor has a horizontal resolution of 657 DPI, while it has a vertical resolution of 219 DPI. Different monitors have different layout of the sub pixel elements, so X and Y resolutions have to be considered differently for all different monitors.

Actually if you want an example of puffing specifications you only need to look at the specs for DSLR rear screens. Some time around 2008 or so I think it was they suddenly managed to triple the resolution of the displays. What they did was instead of specifying the total number of pixels in the screen, they switched to using the number of sub pixel dots. This was about the time that Canon went from the tiny little screens they used to use, on cameras like my 300D and 20D, to the much larger screens. They did this without making really huge increases in the number of pixels, so switching to "dots" really helped the numbers.

The same applies in digital inkjet printing where pixels are still pixels, and are made up from dots, which are actually the drops of ink.

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Feb 14, 2018 11:41 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #21

I think we should keep the distinction:

- pixels are picture elements from sensor to image file
- dots are picture elements on paper, each dot being the rendition of a corresponding pixel from the file
- droplets are the building blocks that create each dot.

This way there is no question who is who when we say that the planned number of dots requires the image file to be resized by the driver to the equal number of pixels. Again there is no ambiguity when we read in the specs that the droplets volume is 1 picoliter.

I often write Dots with the capital D to call the readers' attention to the distinction from droplets.




  
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Post edited 2 months ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 14, 2018 11:47 |  #22

agedbriar wrote in post #18563650 (external link)
I think we should keep the distinction:

- pixels are picture elements from sensor to image file
- dots are picture elements on paper, each dot being the rendition of a corresponding pixel from the file
- droplets are the building blocks that create each dot.

This way there is no question who is who when we say that the planned number of dots requires the image file to be resized by the driver to the equal number of pixels. Again there is no ambiguity when we read in the specs that the droplets volume is 1 picoliter.

I often write Dots with the capital D to call the readers' attention to the distinction from droplets.

Valiant proposal, but futile in face of the obfuscation rampant in the industry, as illustrated by

  • the printer manufacturers intermixing 360 dpi vs. 9600 dpi (dot vs. droplets) or
  • the (not openly revealed to the public) spec change in camera LCD resolutions from what was pixels to what is dots of color.


as well as the confusion within the industry
  • ...as illustrated by the vendors offering print services and insisting upon a pixel count in the image file equal to '300 dpi' minimum.
  • ...or as illustrated by the 72dpi vs. 300 dpi offset printer dot matrix which so many (mistakenly) think applies to LCD and photo printer output quality

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Feb 14, 2018 13:03 |  #23

Wilt wrote in post #18562787 (external link)
Indeed. The number of droplets per inch does not change with print size, like the number of pixels per inch will change.

Right. . So I wonder why the OP asked if the difference is visible at A4, when print size has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.


.


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Feb 14, 2018 13:15 |  #24

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18563742 (external link)
Right. . So I wonder why the OP asked if the difference is visible at A4, when print size has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

.

While lack of understanding might account for the question being posed originally, a different way of looking at the issue is that the question is,
"'at normal viewing distance' which is proportional to the A4 dimensions, are the ink dots less detectable at 9600 dpi than at 4800 dpi?".

Or stated differently, "'at normal viewing distance' which is proportional to the A4 dimensions, is the color gradient smoother at 9600 dpi than at 4800 dpi?".

In any event, my response remains: Run a test for yourself and determine if YOU think it is 'worth it'. It is like listening to high fidelity amps and speakers...if YOU cannot perceive a benefit, the added expense is simply 'not worth it' to you.


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Feb 14, 2018 13:27 |  #25

Wilt wrote in post #18563658 (external link)
Valiant proposal, but futile in face of the obfuscation rampant in the industry...

Well, all the more reason for POTN to hold a firm position to help clear the confusion, I'd say. :-)

Have you noticed how the number of cases when we had to dispel the myths around the ProPhoto working color space has dropped? I feel retired... :-(




  
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Feb 14, 2018 13:54 |  #26

agedbriar wrote in post #18563755 (external link)
Well, all the more reason for POTN to hold a firm position to help clear the confusion, I'd say. :-)

Have you noticed how the number of cases when we had to dispel the myths around the ProPhoto working color space has dropped? I feel retired... :-(

Hmm, now that you mention it, it has indeed been a while since anyone posed the question about the advantages of shooting and storing aRGB.


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Feb 14, 2018 18:23 |  #27

agedbriar wrote in post #18563650 (external link)
I think we should keep the distinction:

- pixels are picture elements from sensor to image file
- dots are picture elements on paper, each dot being the rendition of a corresponding pixel from the file
- droplets are the building blocks that create each dot.

This way there is no question who is who when we say that the planned number of dots requires the image file to be resized by the driver to the equal number of pixels. Again there is no ambiguity when we read in the specs that the droplets volume is 1 picoliter.

I often write Dots with the capital D to call the readers' attention to the distinction from droplets.


I'm sorry but it's not a Dot it's a Picture Element, just as it is in any other display technology that doesn't do spatial digital to analogue conversion. To produce the picture element in a print you need to create an area of tone, or colour, by dithering together different amounts of ink, by printing small dots. The only time that a pixel could be represented by a single dot of ink on paper is if you have some system that is able to premix the ink so that it is the exact colour that you need it to be. Then you could print a single dot for each pixel. Wanting to call pixels dots, just because that have been printed on paper is just adding needless complexity. Or are they dots when they are displayed on an electroluminescent display of some sort too?

There are actually many ways to carry out the creation of the dots. In an inkjet printer this is done by using either heating the ink so that it is forced out of the nozzle by thermal expansion, or by utilising the piezoelectric effect to create a microscopic pump. Either way the ink is forced out under pressure and creates a very tiny dot on the paper. While it is in transit from the printhead to the paper it is a droplet, since it is really rather small to be a drop. But once it has landed on the paper it is most definitely a dot of ink.

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Feb 15, 2018 01:39 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #28

Of course, a Dot made by an inkjet printer isn't the same as the dot that we create when we touch a pen to the paper, nor the same as a dot created by a dot-matrix printer or dye-sub. I thought I made that clear.

Anyway, what terms do you propose to use:

- for the picture element in an image file,
- for the picture element on paper
- and for the trace from a single jet of ink?




  
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Feb 20, 2018 16:05 |  #29

agedbriar wrote in post #18564155 (external link)
Of course, a Dot made by an inkjet printer isn't the same as the dot that we create when we touch a pen to the paper, nor the same as a dot created by a dot-matrix printer or dye-sub. I thought I made that clear.

Anyway, what terms do you propose to use:

- for the picture element in an image file,
- for the picture element on paper
- and for the trace from a single jet of ink?

I propose pixels, dots and either droplets or TAMS (those-amazing-micro-splats). <G>


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Mar 09, 2018 08:48 |  #30

Wilt wrote in post #18563749 (external link)
While lack of understanding might account for the question being posed originally, a different way of looking at the issue is that the question is,
"'at normal viewing distance' which is proportional to the A4 dimensions, are the ink dots less detectable at 9600 dpi than at 4800 dpi?".

Or stated differently, "'at normal viewing distance' which is proportional to the A4 dimensions, is the color gradient smoother at 9600 dpi than at 4800 dpi?".

In any event, my response remains: Run a test for yourself and determine if YOU think it is 'worth it'. It is like listening to high fidelity amps and speakers...if YOU cannot perceive a benefit, the added expense is simply 'not worth it' to you.

Happy to have the question re-written by anyone with more experience than me (which doesn't exclude many!!). The reason I asked it like that was because at 6"x4" I'm always struggling to see the finer detail on prints from my iP7250. When I print the same photo at A4 size (8.27" x 11.69") the detail is naturally much easier to see so therefore presume that any discrepancies between the current 9600dpi printer and a new 4800dpi printer would also be easier to see.

I don't do anything special when printing, just use the full-size image exported out of Lightroom at 72dpi and print using Canon's Easy Photo Print.

Thanks!
Dave.




  
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