What is Pixel in Photoshop

Before digging into photoshop, I’m going to discuss the basics of digital image and the first thing is in a digital image is a Pixel. What is pixel and how it relates to digital media?

What is a Pixel?

Everything is made up of some basic little things like buildings are made of bricks. The same way every digital image is made of pixels. A good quality digital image consists of millions of pixels.


A minute area of illumination on a display screen, one of many from which an image is composed.
“the camera scans photographs and encodes the image into pixels”

Pixel is building blocks of digital media. Every digital media consist of a number of pixels. For example, the following picture has 2513 × 3583 pixels.

So what is means is that this picture has 2513 blocks length of vertically height and 3583 horizontally. The more pixels used to represent an image, the closer the result can resemble the original[2].

One thing more about pixel is that every pixel of the digital image has a single separate color. To explain this we try to zoom in.

pixel in photoshop

Here is the full zoom of this picture and now can see each pixel separately which consist of a tiny square block.

pixel definition

Here you can see each pixel in more detail has his own unique separate color.

pixel explanation

Combination of different color on a tiny level make up a colored picture.

This picture has a combination of almost 9 million blocks of pixels. Which means that the blocks we can see in this picture are very large in number and every block has its own color. Like if we see top to bottom then we can realize that this particular image has 2513 block from top to bottom in a single line. And there are 3583 lines from right to left and total blocks are 9 million. The more pixel in a picture means the higher quality of the picture.

What is PPI( Pixel Per Inch)

The second thing about the pixel is to describe as PPI( Pixel Per Inch). Digital media mostly used 72 PPI ratio but printed media mostly use 300 PPI ratio. The reason for that will be discussed in the next topic but one basic thing is that the quality of the image mostly depends on the size of a pixel. The tiny size of a pixel, the more pixel per inch and more pixel per inch mean the better quality.

I try to explain this thing with a simple example. Suppose you are watching a 1080p movie on a mobile which has 4k resolution. The same movie with the same resolution is watched on a 32 inch TV screen which also has 4k resolution. The thing to understand is that both have the same number of the pixel but mobile has 4080p within the size of 6-inch screen, on the other hand, a TV has the same number of pixels on a large size like 32 inches. For example, Apple XS Max has 458 PPI resolution but TV screen don’t have even 100 PPI resolution. So, the pixel size of mobile devices is very tiny and TV devices have big size of Pixel.

Now the question is why companies don’t make tiny pixel size TV Screen just like mobile screen. There are many reasons and one of the reason is that if a company make a TV with the same technology which is used in mobile screen then TV resolution will exceed more than 16k or maybe 32k. This resolution will require new hardware changing.

If we try to display this image on a screen which has a higher Pixel size from that image then the picture quality will decrease. So, the math is simple to maximize the pixel directly proportional to the higher quality.

Quality vs Pixel

Many people mix up a higher number of the pixel with quality. This thing may be right but pixel doesn’t describe the quality, they actually describe the size of the digital image. Here one thing makes sense that if your digital image has a higher resolution and the display screen has lower resolution then image quality looks good and vice versa. Suppose you have a digital image which has 1080*720 pixel resolution and display screen have 4k resolution then the digital image will look of low quality and an image have the same pixel and display screen have 640*420 resolution then the image quality will look great.

How much pixel is Good in Photoshop

You should ask this question yourself. The reason for this is that it completely depends on your requirements. The simple rule is that use higher pixel number for higher quality but it doesn’t mean that you choose the unrealistic value of pixels. For example, if you are designing a logo then you didn’t need to choose a very high quality of pixel. A standard value 1000*1000 is enough for the logo. 

You should keep in mind what type of platform will display your image. If you are making some digital image for the web then screen size 1366*768 is common. But if you are working for a company who publish big billboard then the pixel rate will be very high. So, it completely depends on your required, we will discuss it further in our next topic of image size.