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The Basics of Image Resolution: Video 101

Posted By Guest Post On March 1, 2011 @ 5:38 pm In Video Essentials | Comments Disabled

The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School [1]. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

[2]Image resolution is an important term when it comes to making and watching videos. If you go to an electronics store you’ll be bombarded with information about how every gizmo and gadget is HD, Full HD, even HD 3-D. Let’s dig a little deeper and learn what all the fuss is about.

Many factors determine the quality of an image, but for the purpose of this lesson we’re going to focus on just one aspect: resolution. At its most basic level, resolution is a measure of how many pixels an image contains. Pixels are the tiny little squares that make up a digital image. Each minuscule square is like a piece of puzzle, by itself it doesn’t do much, but collectively all the pixels combine to form an image.

[3]


As an example let’s look at a simple image, like the Vimeo icon below. From left to right you’ll see that as we add more pixels or increase the resolution, the image gets sharper and more detailed.

Typically resolution is expressed as the image’s length (in pixels) times its height (in pixels.) So if someone says their camera records video at 1280 by 720 resolution, what they’re saying is that it records a rectangular image that is 1,280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall.

Let’s review some common resolutions you’ll encounter with online video. There’s 640×480 which is commonly referred to as standard definition (or SD), 1280×720 which is the minimum for what’s called high definition (or HD), and finally 1920×1080 which is sometimes mentioned as full HD. Keep in mind that all of these terms are relative and as technology advances HD will include higher and higher resolutions. Often when referring to a certain resolution, a person will only refer to the image’s height. For example, if you overhear someone say “my camera shoots video at 1080″, what they mean is that it records video at 1920×1080 resolution. Below is a chart showing the relative sizes of these common display resolutions (note that these images are not to scale.)

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Resolution is important when you’re shooting and editing video. More pixels doesn’t always equal a better image, but it helps to understand some of the numbers that get thrown around when gadget aficionados get together.

Ready for more? Learn all about tripods [5] or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School [1].


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URL to article: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/

URLs in this post:

[1] Vimeo Video School: http://vimeo.com/videoschool

[2] Image: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/vimeovideoschool/

[3] Image: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/pixelated/

[4] Image: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/resolution_comparison_chart/

[5] all about tripods: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-abcs-of-tripods-video-101/

[6] Keep it in Focus: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/keep-it-in-focus-video-101/

[7] Understanding Jump Cuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/understanding-jump-cuts-video-101/

[8] How to Make a Non-Profit Promo: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/03/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video-101/

[9] How to Connect Your Computer and TV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/01/how-to-connect-your-computer-and-tv-video-101/

[10] The Many Uses of a Ring Light: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-the-many-uses-of-a-ring-light/

[11] How to Make an Infinity Wall: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-how-to-make-an-infinity-wall/

[12] How to Make an Animated Title Sequence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/how-to-make-an-animated-title-sequence-video-101/

[13] Essential Video Gear for Traveling: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/07/essential-video-gear-for-traveling-video-101/

[14] Learn Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/04/learn-final-cut-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-video-101/

[15] Get Great Results from Smartphone Video Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/03/get-great-results-from-smartphone-video-cameras-video-101/

[16] Light up Your Videos with a Bounce: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/light-up-your-videos-with-a-bounce-video-101/

[17] What Is Motion Design and How Can You Use It? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/what-is-motion-design-and-how-can-you-use-it-video-101/

[18] Fast Focus Tips for DSLRs, Video Cameras, Smartphones: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/fast-focus-tips-for-dslrs-video-cameras-smartphones-video-101/

[19] Color Your World with Gels and Light Diffusors: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/color-your-world-with-gels-and-light-diffusors/

[20] Get Some Perspective with POV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/get-some-perspective-with-pov-video-101/

[21] Learn to Create Scary Special Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-create-scary-special-effects-video-101/

[22] Learn to Use Zoom, Moving Camera, & Moving Zoom: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-use-zoom-moving-camera-moving-zoom-video-101/

[23] What Is Crop Factor and Why Does it Matter? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/what-is-crop-factor-and-why-does-it-matter-video-101/

[24] Who's Who on the Crew? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/whos-who-on-the-crew-video-101/

[25] Room Tone -- Why You Should Capture the Sound of Silence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/room-tone-why-you-should-capture-the-sound-of-silence/

[26] How to Create Storyboards: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/how-to-create-storyboards-video-101/

[27] The Best Tripod Tricks: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/the-best-tripod-tricks-video-101/

[28] Varying Your Shot Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/varying-your-shot-composition-video-101/

[29] Learn to Create a Tilt-Shift Effect in Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/learn-to-create-a-tilt-shift-effect-in-your-videos-video-101/

[30] Setting the Pace While Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/setting-the-pace-while-editing-video-101/

[31] Nighttime Video Shooting with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/nighttime-video-shooting-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[32] Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/create-a-timelapse-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[33] Recording Sound for DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/recording-sound-for-dslr-cameras-video-101/

[34] Shooting Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/shooting-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[35] Choose the Right DSLR Accessories: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/choose-the-right-dslr-accessories-video-101/

[36] Choosing a DSLR Lens: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/choosing-a-dslr-lens-video-101/

[37] Learn How to Set Up Your DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/learn-how-to-set-up-your-dslr-camera-video-101/

[38] The ABCs of DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-abcs-of-dslr-cameras/

[39] The 180-Degree Rule Explained: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-180-degree-rule-explained-video-101/

[40] Learn the Difference Between Frame Rate and Shutter Speed: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-difference-between-frame-rate-and-shutter-speed/

[41] Getting started with Adobe After Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/getting-started-with-adobe-after-effects-video-101/

[42] How to Create a Timelapse Movie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/how-to-create-a-timelapse-movie-video-101/

[43] Preparing Your Gear for a Shoot: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/preparing-your-gear-for-a-shoot-video-101/

[44] Understanding Framing and Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/understanding-framing-and-composition-video-101/

[45] Mastering Three-Point Lighting: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/mastering-three-point-lighting-video-101/

[46] How to Color Correct Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-color-correct-your-videos/

[47] How to White Balance Your Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-white-balance-your-camera-video-101/

[48] Learn to Hold Your Camera Like a Pro: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/learn-to-hold-your-camera-like-a-pro/

[49] Stop Shaky Camera Syndrome: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/stop-shaky-camera-syndrome-video-101/

[50] Editing with Windows Live Movie Maker: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker-video-101/

[51] Editing with Apple iMovie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/editing-with-apple-imovie-video-101/

[52] The Basics of Video Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/the-basics-of-video-editing-video-101/

[53] How to Shoot Your Video: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-shoot-your-video/

[54] How to Choose a Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-choose-a-camera/

[55] Need Help Creating Video? Check out the Vimeo Video School: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2010/12/need-help-creating-video-check-out-the-vimeo-video-school/

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