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Display Resolution vs. Camera Resolution


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MacConvert
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
 
2006-09-03, 21:12

I'm not sure where to put this, so I'll put it here.

I have a Canon digital camera that shoots photos at 3456x2304. My question is, when I compare this resolution to the resolution of the displays am I comparing apples to apples?

The 20" ACD has a resolution of 1680x1050. The 23" ACD has a resolution of 1920x1200. Will my photos look sharper on the 23" than on the 20"?

I hope you understand what I am asking. I have already searched wikipedia, and did not find an answer to this specific question.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2006-09-03, 21:19

They would look sharper if you had a higher resolution at the same physical size. That is, a hypothetical 20-inch display at 1920x1200 would display the image sharper (and with more detail) than the actual 20-inch display at 1680x1050 is capable.

Since the 23-inch display is obviously physically larger, it isn't sharper per se; the additional detail is there, but you'd have to move away to get the same image in your eye at increased sharpness.
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julesstoop
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
 
2006-09-03, 21:23

The short answer: No, they won't look "sharper".

Why?
The 23" display has got more pixels, but it also has a larger area to display these pixels. So every single pixel will still be about the same size (about 0,25 mm or 1/100 of an inch). The size of a single pixel is obviously what determines how 'sharp' something looks. The smaller the pixel, the sharper the image. Simply having more pixels doesn't mean that much for sharpness: imagine having those 1920 horizontal pixels of your 23" screen but now they're spread out over a screen that's about 15 meters in diameter (and you sitting close to it) Obviously this wouldn't look 'sharp' since every pixel would appear about 8 mm in diameter now.

You can't (yet) make pixels infinately small, for simple physical reasons, but there are examples of much sharper (higher dpi-value) displays than our computer screens: printed text. A typical printer will print black text with a resolution of 600 or 1200 dpi and a professional press will even get higher. That's why a page in a magazine looks that much sharper than your typical screen.

edit: I'm definitely too slow

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