Difference between Pixel and Resolution

Key Difference: Pixels are a basic measuring unit in computer imagery. They collectively create images that one can see on a digital screen display. Resolution is the term that is used to describe the crispness and detail of an image. In optics, it is most commonly described as the ability of an imaging system to resolve detail in the object that is being imaged.

Pixel and resolution are two important concepts that are used together in photography. Both are usually used when referring to camera and printer settings. Though these terms are used simultaneously and one concept plays a greater part in the other; they differ from each other in various ways.

Pixel is basically a mixture of ‘Picture' and 'Element’. Pixels collectively create images that one can see on a digital screen display. Generally, the higher the pixel counts within a digital image, the sharper the image. A digital camera usually produces better images because they produce a higher pixel count. It makes the image more suitable for enlargements and allows more possibility for image cropping. Pixels are a basic measuring unit in computer imagery. It is used in cameras, screens, TVs, etc., anywhere an image is displayed. It is also considered as a physical point in a raster image or the smallest element that is displayed in an image. An image is often made up of small pixels that come together to form a bigger picture. Pixels can also be used as color dots to create a whole image, where pixels represent colors in the image.

Notice when an image is magnified to its full extent, it shows tiny squares that make up the picture. These are pixels; these pixels together make up the image that is being displayed. Screens and TVs that are available these days come with a fixed pixel amount, which is given under resolutions. This determines the quality of the image that would be available on the screen. The higher the resolution, the higher the pixel count, which results in a better image.

Dictionary.com defines ‘Resolution’ as:

  • The process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
  • A measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image <a resolution of 1200 dots per inch>
  • In Physics & Chemistry: The act or process of separating or reducing something into its constituent parts: the prismatic resolution of sunlight into its spectral colors.
  • The fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image, as on a video display terminal.

The amount of detail that the camera can capture is called resolution. It is determined by the dimension of the unit of information representing an image. In optics, resolution is the ability to distinguish two separate objects. The resolution of a system is based on the minimum distance at which the two objects can be separated and distinguished as individuals. The resolution depends on the aperture of the instrument and the wavelength of the observed light. The resolution of digital images can be described in many ways including pixel resolution, spatial resolution, spectral resolution, temporal resolution and radiometric resolution.

Resolution can be measured in 3 ways:

  • Sample per inch (spi, scanners)
  • Pixel per inch (ppi, monitors)
  • Dots per inch (dpi, printers)

Comparison between Pixel and Resolution:





A pixel is a unit of information displayed on a monitor.

Resolution is determined by the size of the unit of information representing an image.

Also known as

Picture Element

Image resolution

Origin of the word

The word ‘pixel’ was first published in 1965 by Frederic C. Billingsley.

1350–1400; Middle English, Latin resolūtiōn.


Pixels describe the amount of measurement of the screen that can display the pictures.

Image resolution describes the amount of detail an image holds.

Image Pixels collectively create image. Resolution describes the crispness and detail of an image.


  • Bits per pixel – the number of distinct colors depends upon the number of bits per pixels (bpp).
  • Subpixel – the single-color regions which are separately addressable elements have come to be known as subpixels.
  • Megapixel – it is used for number of pixels in an image, as well as to express the number of image sensor elements of digital cameras.
  • Pixel resolution – refers to the pixel count in a digital image.
  • Spatial resolution – how closely lines can be resolved in any image.
  • Spectral resolution – the ability to resolve features in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Temporal resolution – to resolve events in different points of time.
  • Radiometric resolution – determines how finely a system can represent or distinguish differences of intensity.


Increase the number of pixels, the image size will increase.

Increase the pixel resolution, the quality of image will increase.

Image Courtesy: sammobile.com, upload.wikimedia.org

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What are the diffence between pixel and digital resolution.plz kindly explain it

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