Not sure what’s meant by image resolution? We explain what it is, why it matters and what to do to make sure your images end up in the best possible quality.

What is image resolution?

In photography, the term resolution can mean different things. When we talk about image resolution, however, what we are usually referring to is the pixel resolution – that is, the number of pixels in the image. 

The digital images that originate from our cameras and smartphones are made up of pixels, so knowing how many pixels are present gives us an idea of what kind of image we’re dealing with.

How is image resolution stated?

Image resolution is typically expressed as a horizontal x vertical measurement. So, an image resolution of 6000 x 4000 tells us that the image measures 6000 pixels in width and 4000 pixels in height. Multiplying the two figures together gives us the second way this is commonly stated, namely as megapixels. 6000 x 4000 equals 24,000,000, which is more commonly written as 24 megapixels (MP).

How can I find out the resolution of my images?

Your camera’s sensor will naturally capture and output images at a certain resolution. If your camera has a 24MP sensor, it will output images at around this level, though many modern cameras tend to have sensors with an even higher pixel count.

It should be possible to check the number of pixels in the metadata of the image, which is the information that’s attached to each image. You can view this in your camera once your images have been captured, or in a software program such as Photoshop. If you’re using a Mac, you can also just right-click on the file of the image and select Get Info, while PC users can right-click on the file and select Properties, before viewing the resolution in the Details tab