During the image capture process, algorithms actually
image data that in reality is not there. As light streams into the
lens, the image data is interpolated (a technical term for
"estimating") based on a best-guess scenario of the
In essence, nearby pixels are
sampled, averaged, and then incorporated as new pixels in the overall
image. This allows the camera to gather more digital information
than is actually there. Hopefully this translates into better
interpolation is usually a hit-or-miss process --generally it is an
adequate solution for adding detail, but sometimes it fails
altogether, introducing unwanted "artifacts" (incorrect data).
Oddly enough, in addition to creating image data that doesn't
really exist, the digital camera also deletes information that
does exist. While this may seem counter-productive, there's
actually a good reason for this to occur.
Until very recently, computer memory prices have been a primary
controlling factor in the cost of digital devices.
determined the amount of memory space, a method of maximizing
memory storage capacity needed to be devised (a high-resolution
image requires millions of bytes of information to reproduce