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Digital camera interpolation explained

By Jakob Jelling
Snapjunky.com

In a device such as a digital camera it is very important to understand the very basic aspects of the device so as to properly operate it and give it the due respect it deserves. Such a topic is interpolation! These are accessories that help the digital camera to perform the technologically advanced features that it is capable of. In extreme explanatory and simple terms it can be summed up as that interpolation refers to software programs that can effectively enlarge image resolution beyond the actual resolution by adding extra pixels using complex mathematic calculations. Now, this is a feature that can be absolutely useful in providing a good success to a user.

Looking into the technical aspects it can be stated that interpolation is a technique where the spatial resolution of an image is increased from its original size to a higher or larger resolution. The spatial resolution of an image is simply its horizontal x vertical pixel count. For example 1600 x 1200. Again getting into further intricate details it can be stated that there are two techniques of interpolation commonly used, they are software and hardware. Again software interpolation can be performed on a digital image using a one of a number of image editing programs such as PhotoShop. This is often termed as resizing and is done with a computer, performed on an image file from a digital camera that already exists in a file format such as JPG. Hardware interpolation involves the resizing of an image, but it differs from software interpolation in that the image is resized algorithmically inside the camera during the image processing sequence and before the image has been saved as a JPG image file.

Also, it can be noted here that JPG is a compressed image file format. Whenever a file is saved as a JPG file, image data is lost in the compression process. Image data is thrown away in exchange for file-size efficiency. Software interpolation is a process performed after the JPG losses have been applied. Hardware interpolation occurs inside the camera prior to JPG compression and before JPG losses have been applied. The resulting hardware interpolated images are of superior quality to a comparable image interpolated in software.

These are basically the important points as discussed in the above lines regarding the digital camera interpolation. The explanation is worth for every user who can be a novice as well as an expert and thus uncovers another great feature of a digital camera, the process of interpolation.

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