Monday, November 19, 2018

Human Eye Resolution in Megapixels

Quora publishes an answer on human eye resolution question written by Michael Bross, former Pychology Professor at Concordia University, Montreal, among 93 other answers. Few interesting quotes:

"...if you look of what is going on in the eye it looks messy, the ‘seeing’ is done by the visual cortex.

Note that the light has to pass trough several structures before it gets to the retina, cornea, aqueous humor, lens, vitreous humor (humors are a translucent gel/watery like medium), blood vessels, and then it has to traverse 4 layers of nerve cells before it gets to the light receptors (rods and cones) at the back of the retina.

So plenty of photons get absorbed before reaching the receptors, add to this that quite a few of them will be bouncing around in the eye ball, and it has been estimated that only around 20–25% of light entering the eye reaches the receptors.

So to put that into pixel estimates (I’m relying here on data from Hendrik Lensch at the Max Plank Institute Informatik), given a 19″ LED viewed at 60 cm. without hyperacuity the visual cortex would process Pixel 3,000x3,000 pixels, with hyperacuity 18,000x18,000.


  1. My wife has hyperacuity to any mistakes I make, across her entire field of view (which may be 360°)!

  2. And what is the relationship between amount of photons that are sensed with the resolution? The first is more related with sensitivity while the second is more related with the capability to distinguish details spatially

    1. The fact that photons freely "bounce around" affects MTF.

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