What is pixel shift? Multi-shot can QUADRUPLE your camera resolution!

Pixel Shift Multi-Shot
(Image credit: Ricoh)

Pixel shift / multi-shot is one of the most sophisticated weapons in the megapixel arms race. What is pixel shift? In short, it drastically increases the native resolution of your camera by anywhere from fourfold to tenfold.

By leveraging the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) systems of modern cameras, pixel shift literally shifts the image sensor multiple times per second to capture more pixels. It then merges these separate frames into a single image – resulting in a much higher resolution image than the camera could take with its native sensor alone.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.