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Picking Apart Pixels

Author: ITS

Posted on Jul 10, 2012

Category: TechSpeak in Translation , General Interest

The term pixel is probably one that you’ve heard a number of times before, but have you ever paused to ponder what it really means?

A pixel is the smallest unit represented in an image. Every pixel has its own colour and an address which corresponds to its coordinates in the image, so when several pixels are arranged next to one another, they form a picture. Your television and computer screen, for example, are made up of millions of pixels arranged into a grid. The more pixels squeezed into the grid, the more difficult it is to distinguish between each individual pixel and the higher the quality of the image. That’s why when you’re browsing through tvs or cameras at the store, you’ll notice that those with a higher resolution are typically more expensive.

Wait a second… what does resolution have to do with anything?

The terms resolution and pixel go hand in hand with one another.  Resolution refers to the total number of pixels in an image. For example, if your computer screen has a resolution of 1600 x 1200, that means it has a width of 1600 pixels and a height of 1200 pixels. The more pixels in the image, the higher the resolution and as was mentioned earlier, the higher the quality the image.

Just for fun: check out this neat video by Patrick Jean of commonly known pixelated characters and games brought to life in a big city setting.

Normal ViewZoomed in to show the pixels