One would think "Resolution" only has one definition, but LCD makers disagree.

A Difference in Definition

To avoid any confusion we want to clarify a difference in how photographers define resolution and how LCD manufacturers define resolution. The manufacturers of LCDs that are used in, among other things, in cameras and photos count the “resolution (total)” as the total number of red dots, plus blue dots, plus green dots used to form the image. Photographers are used to the red, blue, and green dots being overlayed and therefore define “resolution (total”) as the number of total pixels where each pixel represents a red, green, and blue value. Neither definition is right or wrong – as long as the definition is clearly stated (as we are doing here).

So for instance the Hasselblad H4D-40 and H4D-50 LCD is marketed as a resolution of “230,400 dots” but for most photographers the resolution would be more clearly described as having a resolution of 76,800 pixels, or approximately 0.08 megapixels. In contrast the LCD of a Phase One IQ has a resolution five times higher.

But the Point is Points Per Inch

Not to miss the forest for the trees – the real world usability of an LCD is perhaps best related by the Pixels Per Inch (PPI), a measurement analogous to DPI on a printed image. The Phase One IQ Digital Backs have a PPI of nearly 300 PPI – the highest of any SLR camera (including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Hasselblad, Leica) and  This resolution, analogous to 300dpi is often used as a high-end print benchmark. This means that a photographer with a Phase One IQ digital back can tap on his image once and instantly see a 100% rendition of the image that will nearly exactly match a typical final high-end print or magazine use – a very high, but very practical benchmark. For critical applications the zoom on the LCD can be increased up to a 400% pixel view for easy ultra-critical analysis of sharpness.

In addition the color, clarity, contrast, and brightness in sunlight of this back can only be fully decribed by seeing it yourself. Sign up for a Demo (bottom of this page) or attend one of our upcoming roadshows across the country.

The curious can learn more about PPI and see a List of Displays sorted by PPI at Wikipedia.