Megapixel & Resolution : Difference is Simple To Learn !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 24, 2009

Keep hearing that Megapixel thing all the time. So what is it and how important it really is. Let's try to simplify things. Just imagine a chessboard having 64 squares. A pixel is like one square on the chessboard. In case of digital images it's just so small that we can't really distinguish the borders and the resulting image is very sharp.

So just like a 8x8 chessboard has 64 pixels, a 3.1 Megapixel digital camera has a sensor comprising of 2048x1536 = 31,45,728 pixels = 3.1 Megapixels

Pixels can be both square and rectangular as shown below.
Pixels are mostly used as a unit of measure, like 1200 pixels/inch, 640 pixels/line and a space of 10 pixels. We come across these terms so often in Photoshop or CSS.

Number of pixels is often called the resolution in digital imaging but actually it's the maximum resolution a digital camera or computer monitor can achieve if all other factors are compatible.

Resolution ( or Spatial Resolution ) means the no. of close lines that can be resolved in an image or monitor.

Let's again consider a digital camera having 2048x1536 = 3.1 Megapixels. Now the clarity of the image it produces depends on spatial resolution which depends not only on the number of Megapixels but also the size of sensor, lens type etc.
The image it produces can have any resolution less than 1536 pixels/inch

So, don't just get carried away by the no. of Megapixels. A 6 MP camera with a better lens and sensor and if in the right hands can beat an 8 MP one just so easily.