The human eye has an optical resolution of more megapixels than a digital camera.

With the aid of your eyes, you’re able to read this, even if you’re wearing a pair of glasses, your eyes should have the praise. Your ability to see is certainly linked with your eyes’ ability to resolve whatever you perceive. Talking about resolutions, digital cameras are pretty awesome at that job. But have you ever compared your eyes to a camera? Well, it seems your eyes are much better than you ever thought.

I Look; Therefore I See

According to scientist and photographer Dr. Roger Clark, the resolution of the human eye is 576 megapixels. That’s huge when you compare it to the megapixels of an iPhone “whatever-it-is-now’s” camera. But what does this mean, really? Is the human eye really analogous to a camera?

I Can See Clearly Now

Let’s explain with this illustration: Having 576 megapixels worth of resolution is great at resolving virtually anything. What this means is that, in order for you to create a surface area with an image so sharp and vivid that you can no longer differentiate the individual pixels, you need to assemble 576 million pixels into a surface area the size of your viewing area.

Hold on a second, it seems we’ve given you too much to resolve (intellectually speaking), but to get an understanding of this number, Dr. Clark assumes that there’s an optimal visual acuity across the viewing area — that is, it assumes that your eyes are moving around the scene before you do. But in a single snapshot-length glance, the resolution drops to a fraction — that’s around 5 – 15 megapixels.

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

“At any one moment, you actually do not perceive that many pixels,but your eye moves around the scene to see all the detail you want. But the human eye really sees a larger field of view, close to 180 degrees.” He says.

That’s because your eyes have a lot of flaws that wouldn’t be acceptable in a camera. Like seriously! You only see high resolution in a very small area in the center of your vision, called the fovea. You have a blind spot where your optic nerve meets up with your retina. You move your eyes around a scene not only to take in more information but to fix these imperfections in your visual system.

So Now You See Me?

That’s really the case. The megapixel resolution of your eye isn’t like your digital camera. The eye isn’t a camera lens, taking snapshots and saving them into your memory bank. They function more like a detective, collecting clues from your surrounding environment, then taking them back to the brain to put the pieces together and form a complete picture. That’s why you see. In fact, there’s a screen resolution at which our eyes can no longer resolve pixels — but when it comes to our daily visual experience, talking in megapixels is way too simple.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Tue, Feb 26, 2019.


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