In digital imaging, a pixel (abbreviated px), pel, or picture element is the smallest addressable element in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in a dot matrix display device. In most digital display devices, pixels are the smallest element that can be manipulated through software.
Each pixel is a sample of an original or synthetic image; more samples typically provide more accurate representations of the original. The intensity of each pixel is variable. In color imaging systems, a color is typically represented by three or four component intensities such as red, green, and blue, or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
In some contexts (such as descriptions of camera sensors), pixel refers to a single scalar element of a multi-component representation (called a photosite in the camera sensor context, although sensel is sometimes used), while in yet other contexts (like MRI) it may refer to a set of component intensities for a spatial position.
Software on early consumer computers was necessarily rendered at a low resolution, with large pixels visible to the naked eye; graphics made under these limitations may be called pixel art, especially in reference to video games. Modern computers and displays, however, can easily render orders of magnitude more pixels than was previously possible, necessitating the use of large measurements like the megapixel (one million pixels). Purchase a MegapixelThe text above came from the Megapixel article on Wikipedia, licensed under the CC-BY-SA license.
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