What is a pixel?

You’ve no doubt heard of the word pixel, and you may have some idea what a pixel is, but if you don’t, this post will go into detail to describe a pixel.

The simplest way to describe a pixel, or ‘Picture Element‘, is to define it as the smallest physical element in a digital image, or the most finite level of detail in the image. If you look at the image below, this is a zoomed in view to show some individual pixels:

Close up of pixels - Digital Photo Restoration

Pixels are essentially like tiles, each one of a single hue of colour, and together they form an image when viewed from a distance. Each pixel can only have one colour value. So when you are looking at a digital image, such as in Adobe PhotoShop, what you’re seeing is an image composed on heaps of tiny coloured squares laid out in a grid. Pixel based images are referred to as raster images.

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