Megapixels don’t matter anymore.
But to look at most phone or camera ads you’d think they’re the most important stat in the world.
A megapixel is a measure of resolution: 1 million pixels. Pretty much every camera on the market today has several times that. If you’re reading this on an HD screen, you’re seeing about 2 megapixels. If you’re reading this on a top-of-the-line 4k screen, you’re seeing a little more than 8 megapixels.
It only takes about 7 megapixels to print a nice big photo for your mantle. Got 10 megapixels? You can print a photo across the top of a page in "National Geographic". Every major smartphone on the market meets at least that standard, let alone any mediocre point-and-shoot camera.
Here’s an image shot on my 12-megapixel Nikon D700, a DSLR with just the resolution of an iPhone 6:
And here’s one shot on my 36-megapixel Nikon D800:
There are differences in the lenses on each camera. But can you spot any difference in quality? I can’t. If anything, super-high-megapixel cameras perform worse in some situations than low-megapixel models. They tend to show more grain in low light and emphasize motion blur and focus errors.
In fact, both cameras produce photos so large that I had to shrink them in order to make them fit on this web page.
There are only a few occasions when you actually need super-high-resolution photos:
- If you shoot covers and two-page spreads for glossy print magazines (and even then anything over 16 megapixels should do fine).
- If you plan on sending your photos to professional printing houses for large (think 2 feet to a side), expensive, high-quality prints you might want 24 megapixels.
- If you’re a professional fashion photographer, or someone else who shoots images designed to look beautiful plastered life-size on the walls of boutiques then 30+ megapixels may be right for you.
One terrible reason to buy (or manufacture) a high-resolution camera is "digital zoom." Digital zoom isn’t a thing. Let me say that louder: DIGITAL ZOOM ISN’T A THING. It’s a way of cropping your photo in camera that just gives you a low-quality, weirdly compressed version of what you’d see if you got up and walked closer to your subject. A 6-megapixel chunk of a 18-megapixel sensor won’t look anywhere near as nice as an image taken on a 6-megapixel sensor.
All of which begs the question: why does this 41-megapixel smartphone phone exist?
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from Business Insider http://bit.ly/1WF2gsr