What Is a High Resolution Photo?

By Stella Oakley ; Updated September 15, 2017
A high resolution photograph is important for reproduction.

After taking digital photographs on vacation, you many want to enlarge good shots and have a print made. A photograph's resolution directly influences how that print will look, so its important to know how many megapixels your camera is.


The resolution of a photograph determines the "attainable output quality." The higher the resolution, the less pixels will be visible, even after enlargement. A low resolution image will have jagged curves and appear to be tiny squares forming an image. A high resolution image looks smooth and sharp.


A high resolution photograph is also referred to as "print quality" because of its primary use. Digital photographers always use high resolution images so they can later be printed and distributed. This extends to the majority of amateur digital camera users as well. No one wants their child's first birthday pictures to be pixelated and unprintable.

Taking High Resolution Photos

On your digital camera, determine the maximum megapixel available. These numbers can range from 2.0 megapixels to 160. For photographs that would like to make prints later, make sure to take them at the maximum resolution. Many point and shoots may not be able to enlarge to poster size without pixelating, but a basic 5 inch by 7 inch photo is attainable for the majority.

About the Author

Stella Oakley is a writer holding a Bachelor of Arts in history from Georgia State University, specializing in Latin America and Islam. A skilled researcher, she also works in a gynecology clinic and a fitness center.