The Myth of the Megapixel

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The first thing most people notice when looking at cameras is the megapixel count of the unit. This is often because the higher the megapixel count, the more expensive the camera is. This whole thing has led many to believe that cameras with higher megapixels produce better images. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Megapixels speak more about the print size than it does about picture quality. The table below indicates the maximum print sizes you can produce depending on your camera’s megapixel count.
Technically, if you do not plan on producing anything larger than 11×14″ prints, you will not need anything higher than a 5 megapixel camera. You would actually be better off saving your hard earned cash buying things that can contribute to the quality of your pictures such as lenses and photography books. It’s way better than aiming for that brand spanking new 21 megapixel camera when all you really need are 4R prints.

What makes the difference in image quality between a point-and-shoot camera and a digital SLR that are both 5 megapixels is the sensor size. Sensors in most point-and-shoots are roughly the size of a fingernail, while those found on most DSLRs are about the size of a CF card. If you want to geek out on sensor sizes, read this.

~Written by Jeff

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