What’s the relationship between resolution and zooming in? If we can upgrade the resolution of old movies, can we eventually see things microscopic?


If you zoom in on a picture, the resolution drops rapidly. But the resolution of a picture or movie can be increased (such as a 4K upgrade) so could we eventually see very small or even microscopic things in old pictures or movies if the resolution keeps getting upgraded?

In: Technology

It all comes down to the resolution of the item that captured the image

With digital images you’re seeing all the data you have to work with from the get go, there’s nothing else to get

Movies are generally film that is *scanned* in to make the broadcast/vhs/DVD version you watch. Film has some crazy resolution because the particles on it are small so 35mm film is about 4k quality. But when the movie was first scanned in nothing was ready for that level of detail so they’d scan it in as 480 or maybe 720. As TVs got better it’s worth it to go back and scan it with a 4k scanner

The film always had the details and when projected as film they’ve always been there, but old methods of digitizing didn’t capture all the details so we could go back with fancier equipment and get digital copies closer to the film resolution

We haven’t really upgraded the resolution of old movies. Those movies were shot on physical film which can capture more detail than HD(and arguably, more than 4K). When the movies were “upgraded”, all we did was scan the film at a higher resolution.

When it comes to old movies and stuff like that, we aren’t increasing the resolution of the original footage when it gets remastered for release. Old school film like that actually had a really high resolution, but we had no way to display it that high at the time. When they remaster stuff, it gets rescanned or whatever at the new resolution for modern hardware. You can only zoom in on something with as much clarity as the original media will allow.

There’s that [“enhance”](https://images.app.goo.gl/aTdjb13S459qnsoe7) meme that plays on that idea, which is a common trope from like, the CSI shows or whatever. What will eventually actually happen, is more like that [Futurama scene](https://youtu.be/gjvywPW39tg) where they try and zoom in on something, but can’t make it out clearly.

There are ways to try and fix stuff with AI algorithms and stuff, but it’s not very advanced yet as far as I am aware.

No I wouldn’t think so. You can only see what’s visible in the original. Imagine you took a picture of an ant from 50ft away at 8k the any would still only appear as a small dot. Then take another picture at 50ft with 100k the ant would still only appear as a small dot. Without zooming in to capture the detail no matter how many pixels you make a small dot out of it will only ever be a small dot. Resolution allows you zoom in on a picture and see little things, that were already there and defined more clearly.

Another probably better example, if you took a high resolution photo of a tree you could not zoom in and see the veins of a leaf, because they weren’t visible in the original photo. Now if you zoomed in on every part of a tree and compiled it into a high resolution photo you could do just that.

That’s the way I understand it. Someone can probably better explain the technical way