Many of the basics of photography; good composition correct exposure and understanding light, are the same whether you’re using a digital camera or if your images are recorded onto film. For all the many advantages that digital offers, the process throws up a few complications that confuse and frustrate the uninitiated.
Because images are recorded onto an electronic sensor and each image is made up of millions of pixels, the importance of understanding what’s meant by resolution starts to take on a new level of importance if you plan to use the image in any business or professional context.
Manufacturers will market their cameras with headline grabbing claims of the number of pixels their latest model boasts. Not many years ago, an 8 mega pixel camera was the preserve of the professional, now some mobile phones come fitted with an 8mg camera. Top end professional cameras feature 20Mg sensors (or more), that’s 20 million pixels, in an area the size of an old style 35mm transparency. The level of detail these cameras can capture is astonishing and coupled with the best lenses on the market they can produce images of incredible technical quality. However, the quality of the finished photograph still requires the person with their finger on the shutter release to know what they’re doing.
However; taking the picture is just the beginning, the difficult bit comes when you decide what you’re going to do with it. The question of image resolution rears its head when considering the use of the picture. Resolution isn’t simply how sharp an image is, or how bright the colours are. In digital terms, the resolution of an image determines what it can and can’t be used for.