What Is the Resolution of the Human Eye?
There is another side to how we process light for sight. When TV came out it was a really low resolution compared to the next most common thing-motion pictures. But we loved it anyway. 4k TV may compare well to motion pictures and a master print to run. Maybe. But we are seeing hints that resolutions above what even IMAX or 70mm film can provide will still look better. The future will bring far higher resolution until it is so high our eyes can’t see the difference. Hollywood shoots in 8k and the projectors are coming.
What is the resolution of the human eye? You might think it’s a straight forward question with a straight forward answer. We have a certain number of photon collecting cells in our retina much like an image sensor right? So we should be able to pull a ‘megapixel’ count of sorts out of there.
Well, actually, it’s not nearly that simple. And in the video above, video blogger Michael Stevens (aka. Vsauce) explains why, before ultimately answering the question anyway.
The reason this question doesn’t have a straight forward answer is that our eyes don’t see the same way a video camera does. We don’t see in fully formed snapshots with even resolution throughout. In fact, each ‘frame’ or glance our eyes pick up is rather crappy; an image that “would hardly even acceptable on a broken TV screen,” as Stevens puts it.