OCT 2, 2013

Does it really matter how many megapixels my photos are?

Every year camera manufacturers are producing camera models that produce sharper and more vivid images than the previous year.  But does it really matter how many megapixels your camera has?  Will it actually affect the quality of your photos and printed canvases?

The answer to this is yes, but only up to a certain point.  It does matter how many megapixels your camera is capable of.  Generally the more megapixels it has the better the quality of the photo will be.    However we bypassed a point a while ago where cameras became capable of more than sufficient megapixels for the average amateur photographer, and yet camera manufacturers continue to up their game each year with high resolution cameras.

What is a megapixel?

Every digital picture is made up of thousands of tiny little dots of colour; these little dots of colour are called pixels.  A megapixel is equal to 1 million pixels.  The more pixels your camera is capable of taking the sharper, brighter and clearer your photos will be.

How many megapixels do I need?

The number of megapixels that you need all depends on how you are going to be using your photos.  The smaller a photo is the less megapixels it needs to still appear sharp and clear, so if you don’t plan on printing your photos any larger than the traditional 6 x 4 prints then you don’t need very many megapixels.  However if you plan on printing photos on a much larger scale, for example on a large canvas for your wall then you will need the photo to have a very high resolution so you’ll need a camera capable of taking photos with a lot of megapixels.

The rumour mill has it that Canon are producing a digital camera that has a whopping 75 megapixel sensor, but is this really necessary? Many experts say no.  For the average person you don’t need much more than 7 or 8 megapixels, even when printing very large images.

The only time that you may need more megapixels is if you’re planning on cropping small sections out of photos and then printing these small cropped sections on a very large scale, or if you’re a professional photographer.

Camera manufacturers will still continue to bring out cameras with bigger and ‘better’ megapixel specs each year, this is simply to keep up the demand and keep people buying new cameras.  Unless your camera is really ancient you shouldn’t have any problems printing large canvas prints providing your camera is capable of at least 7 megapixels.

Created on 2nd October 2013
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