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 manner. The screen resolution applies to the horizontal and vertical direction 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 screens, this specification refers to the entire screen size.
In digitization, the resolution is the measure for the differentiation of physical differences. For example, from the brightness, contrast, color saturation, hue or volume. In AD converters, resolution is determined by quantization, with sample depth and thus the number of bits per sample being determined.
- In analog technology, resolution is expressed by the ratio of two levels, such as the ratio of the smallest to the largest input or output voltage for quadrupoles. Resolution is usually expressed on a logarithmic scale in decibels (dB).