Megapixel Myth

This article goes to anyone that likes to brag how many mega pixels their cameras have and to those of you that are out there trying to buy the best thing that suits your needs without selling a kidney in the process.

First and the most important thing to do before buy a camera (and everything else) is think what’s the purpose of that camera and how much i am going to need/use the camera and if there is someone i know that can go with me, someone that don’t get too thrilled with all the stupid facts that a salesman will throw at us just to make a sell.

Back in the late 90’s digital cameras had around 2mp so back then the pixel count did matter a lot because if you take the percentage of difference between a 1.2mp and 2mp camera its a lot rather than a 7.2mp and a 8mp camera. I remember one first digital cameras i used, was a Canon PowerShot A300 with 3.2mp and i took the picture below with it, don’t know you but that picture looks fantastic to me!, and its quality is far better than the last Casio Exilim i used which had 10mp.


And let’s face it, who doesn’t bring down the quality or size of the picture setting in the camera when we see that we are running out of space in the memory card in the middle of a party? We all have done this, and it’s because is better to have a lower quality picture than no picture. Those of you that just take pictures to upload to your profiles on Facebook or MySpace would have faster uploads if you do it in a smaller sizes than the original, Facebook and the rest of the social networks shrink your pictures anyways! because is a smart way to save space, faster loads and to fit the template of that particular website. So don’t bother uploading all your pictures from the original size because Facebook will shrink the biggest width or height to a top 604 pixels. Use software to resize your pictures in advance and you will see how fast you will upload the 60 pictures in that Facebook photo album next time you try it.

How often do you print your pictures? and how big? because i have seen wonderful that came out from a 5mp camera printed pretty big like 12×18 and they look fantastic!, i am a photographer and i have over 60,000 pictures in my computer and haven’t printed more than a couple of hundreds of then ever! and only my paid works because i rather share them online, but that’s just me. The only way i print a picture is if it’s for a client, but after that i keep them in their digital format.

There are more important things than how many pixels can your camera squeeze into a picture that are far more relevant like sharpness, color and noise reduction just to name a few. Sharpness have nothing to do with mega pixels but with which lens are you using and how is that lens made. Color is more a camera processor thing than a sensor and so does noise reduction, but hey! a salesman will never share that part of the story with you.

A camera with 6mp can take pictures a resolution of 3,008 pixel horizontal and 2,000 pixels vertical and if you multiply 3008×2000 you get 6,016,000 pixels but to simplify that we just say 6 mega pixels, here is the trick with that! Since this is a square function it only takes 40% more to double the final pixel count, a camera with 12mp has a resolution of  4288×2848 and you get 12,212,224 pixels. Now you see the hidden trick! Besides why have a sensor with more dots if they can’t just take a picture right, that would be just a bad picture with more dots.

There is more than just buy a camera a bit more expensive than the rest of the people won’t make you a better photographer, you can buy a 5,000 dollar camera and still get terrible results if you just don’t know what you are doing, if you do know how to take a picture and have the skills to press the shutter in the right moment wont matter if you have a disposable camera cause it will look just great. But that’s the part of this story no salesman or camera maker will ever tell so they can continue to exploit the lack of knowledge of the people looking for their next camera or the ones whom just got brainwashed with all those ads everywhere telling you that if you have a camera from 2005 you can get a lot more with a 2009 model, and most of the time you will get just a heavier picture with not so much detail.

Use internet as a tool to find the latest reviews and compare one camera to another and see what fits your needs because with those few clicks you might save loads of money you can spend in something else and don’t fall for the ads, remember they just want you to buy their stuff and that’s it.

Happy camera hunting to all of you!


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ronald gomez
ronald gomez

It´s true. I have been there, those times when you run out of memory space and changing to smaller picture size seems to be the best option, part from taking time if it shows to quickly review the pictures taken and concider them by the not so good to the better ones, then delete a few. Anyhow, very interesting article this one is. People can get just impresioned by the guy selling the equipment. Looking trhough internet is definitedly a great way of finding good deals but non the less, one could find a camera that could deal a million megapixels and yet just like martial arts, the style doesn´t necesarily define whether you get a great picture, the person behind using it will. I once had a point and shoot camera, 4 mp only and yet i´m proud of many pictures I took.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Isaac Alonzo, iStudio Photography. iStudio Photography said: RT @makatron: Megapixel Myth | – Blog […]

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