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. “Image” or “pixel” resolution, however, typically mean the number of pixels that make up 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 in megapixels. Multiplying the two figures above results in 24,000,000 (24 million), 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

If you’ve already uploaded your images to SmartFrame, you can view their resolution at any time by simply clicking on the image in question and checking the figure next to Image size.

Do more pixels mean more detail?

Every pixel in an image can only take on a single value. In other words, it’s not possible to have more than one detail within a pixel. So, the higher the number of pixels, the greater the potential for more detail in the image. 

‘Potential’ is the operative word here; the level of detail in images depends on more than simply the number of pixels present. Image noise, lens quality and photographic technique all have a significant hand in how detailed an image ends up, as does the specific processing applied to the image upon its capture, and the strength – or absence – of anti-aliasing filters in front of the sensor. A higher resolution image may give you a bigger image to view, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will display more detail.

Is resolution the same as sharpness?

Resolution should not be confused with sharpness.

Sharpness concerns how clearly defined details within images appear, and is, strictly speaking, subjective. The resolution of a