In digital photography, input photoimages to the electronic camera are sampled by segmental imager and converted into image data. The smallest unit of division is called a pixel and the segmentation fixes the size and number of those pixels. Output picture definition is directly related to the pixel number of the input imager. Moreover the image processing to modify the pixel condition influenced the tonal quality of output image. This article discusses the relationship between the conditions of pixel in the imager of the input digital still cameras (DSC) and the image quality of output prints in a digital photography system. Sample color prints showing the same test pattern images in different definition proportional to the numbers of pixel were produced by a single digital photography system. The correlation between the pixel condition of input device and the structural and tonal image quality of output prints were apparent to the subjective visual examination and the objective physical analyses. The effects of pixel condition appeared in the drastic MTF changes on the image structure and the apparent definition changes on the tone rendition of reproductions on the sample prints. The results suggest that there is a limiting pixel number for digital cameras to produce satisfactory hand-held size digital photography color prints.
Shin Ohno, Masayuki Takakura, Naoya Kato, "Image Quality of Digital Photography Prints—II: Dependence of Print Quality on Pixel Condition of Input Camera" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 2000, pp 51 - 60, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2000.44.1.art00009