There are no shortage of things you can do to photos when you scan them in for archival purposes. You can set the scan resolution, the file's DPI, and you can even post process them to enhance them to be more legible or make repairs.
For archiving photos, it seems to me that it makes sense to scan them at a reasonably high quality (front and back), and then store them unadulterated. Should you want to enhance them, you can make copies of them that can be modified.
But at what quality should we scan and store them at? For example, is 600dpi good for a standard 4x6? Does it make sense to scan all photos at 1200/2400dpi instead?
The obvious problems with simply scanning all photos at 1200+ dpi are:
- takes considerably longer for the scan to complete (and with hundreds of photos, you'll be sitting there a long time waiting for the scanner, and then waiting for the computer)
- significantly increased storage requirements
While the resolution is higher the benefits of this seems unclear. Certainly higher resolution images will print nicely as posters for enlargement, but it seems unlikely that 11x15 or higher posters will be printed for 99% of all photos scanned.
What do professional genealogists do? What do other amateur genealogists do?