If you are in the market for a camera, you might be wondering how many megapixels is good for a camera? In this article, we’ll figure that out but first, let’s understand what a megapixel is.
What’s a Megapixel?
A “megapixel” is a million pixels. Pixels are the tiny dots that make up an image, and more of them can fit into one photograph as more megapixels are used.
A camera with higher megapixels captures more detail; it has a greater capacity to display crisp and sharp photographs.
You’ll need roughly 1-3 megapixels for a 4×6 print, and 8-12 megapixels for an advertisement that will be printed in a magazine or a full-page ad in the newspaper.
For digital viewing, the size of the picture, also known as resolution, is measured in pixels. So the more megapixels your camera has, the higher its resolution will be.
Photos shot on 30MP, for instance, would give you a much better zoom capability than a 10MP shot. This higher resolution can be beneficial if your photo editing includes cropping the images.
So, how many Megapixels is good for a Camera?
Some people think that having more megapixels is always better. But, is it true?
By definition, a megapixel (MP) is one million pixels or picture elements. The pixel is the smallest element of an image captured by a camera. Therefore, images are made up of many tiny dots.
Each dot represents one pixel. When you take a photo with your phone or digital camera, sensors in the device turn light into electric signals. Then the image is saved on the camera’s memory card by taking each pixel and recording its brightness.
Though having more megapixels does not always mean you get a better quality photo, most experts agree that for any digital camera, 8MP and above is good enough for producing fine prints of images displayed on computer screens or mobile phones.
Now, if you think about it, it’s easy to conclude that more pixels would equal more detail and better quality images, right?
Well, this is a generalization and not always true. Also, the number of pixels in an image does not account for things like color or luminosity. The thing to remember about a pixel is that it only takes up one spot on your screen, making it 1 point of information within a picture.
Shooting modes will also affect the quality of the image you’re taking. For example, if you are using your phone or digital camera’s Auto mode, then it automatically adjusts the settings to best capture what is being taken at that moment.
For instance, the focus point could be off, but if you’ve selected Auto Mode, it will adjust accordingly so that this isn’t a problem.
The same goes for anti-shake technology. This allows for better focus and less blurry images, even in low lighting situations, which means more light is being taken in by the device instead of just passing through. In addition, it compensates for your shaking hand and keeps the image as clear as possible.
Multiple factors go into making an image, so the number of pixels doesn’t always mean better quality. However, technologies like image stabilization and a physically bigger sensor can vastly help with quality.
If your phone or digital camera has such features, use them! They’re there for a reason and will improve your overall experience.
Can higher Megapixels be a bad thing?
Mostly no, but it depends. As you know now, a higher megapixel count does not mean that the images will automatically be better. Other factors also matter, such as the sensor size, image stabilization, color algorithms, etc.
Megapixels are but one factor to consider; however, because it is such an easy number to market, more and more companies use big megapixel counts to attract buyers for their cameras or smartphones.
Nowadays you see 108MP smartphone cameras but does it come without any compromise? Is it actually better from a 64MP shot?
A higher megapixel count often comes at a price. For example, a manufacturer might skip out of image stabilization to bump up the megapixel count at a given price range. Sacrificing other features for megapixel count will lead to worse image quality.
Amanda has a deep interest in the history of photography which drove her to incorporate historical articles on the website. According to her, we cannot speak of photography in the present without acknowledging photographers’ works in the 19th and 20th centuries.