Define High Resolution Photography

By Sydnee R. Crain
Looking through a camera lens
Image by, courtesy of Shazeen Samad

In photography, the term resolution is often used to describe photo quality. How much detail a camera captures can help determine how much resolution the photo contains.

Photographic Resolution

Pixels are the tiny squares that make up an image we see. In digital imaging, the amount of information a camera can capture is described in megapixels. A 12 megapixel camera, for example, captures more information about the same subject than a 9 megapixel camera. Higher megapixel cameras are capable of taking higher resolution photos.

What The Numbers Mean

The image is described by the number of pixels that make up its width by the number that make up its length. For example, an image 1280 pixels wide by 1024 pixels tall contains more detail than an image 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall. The 1280 x 1024 image is at a higher resolution. Multiplying the two numbers together and dividing by one million results in the familiar megapixel number we associate with digital cameras.

Photo Clarity

The more detail a camera captures, the clearer the photo is likely to be. More information is packed into the space, and the resulting image is of a higher resolution.

Photo Size

Another important consideration of high-resolution photography is that higher-resolution photos can be printed in larger sizes than lower-resolution photos

Print Resolution

The terminology is a bit different in printing, where dpi (dots per inch) determines the clarity of the printed photo. Printers usually produce images at 300 to 1200 dpi, with the higher dpi offering more clarity. The more information contained in the photo, the higher its resolution and the better the printed photo is likely to be.

About the Author

Sydnee Crain is former editor of "Parent and Family" magazine, and of the e-zine Crain wrote and edited pieces for both publications and attended Missouri State University with a concentration in creative writing.