Resolution is the smallest distinguishable difference between two states, levels, colors, tones, or physical quantities.
- In input and playback devices such as scanners, digital cameras, camcorders, monitors and printers, resolution is a measure of detail recognition. It indicates how many adjacent lines can be reproduced in a separately recognizable way. Screen resolution applies to the horizontal and vertical directions and is specified in dots or lines per unit length, e.g. 600 dots per inch( dpi), lines per inch( lpi) or in Germany also in lines per cm (Lpcm). For monitors, this specification refers to the entire screen size.
- In digitization, resolution is the measure for differentiating physical differences. For example, from the brightness, contrast, color saturation, hue or volume. In AD converters, resolution is determined by quantization, with sampling depth and thus the number of bits per sample being specified.
- In analog technology, resolution is expressed by the ratio of two levels, for example, in quadrupoles by the ratio of the smallest to the largest input or output voltage. Resolution is usually expressed on a logarithmic scale in decibels( dB).