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33

From a purely theoretical point of view: more megapixels good. People often talk about how high megapixel sensors were now outresolving most lenses, thus there was no point going higher unless using the very best glass. This is not always true. System resolution is the product of lens resolution and sensor resolution. Thus if you improve one, your system ...


30

I think Film vs Digital article by Roger N. Clark answers exactly this question. Let me quote the chart from its summary: The main point is that digital sensors have fixed resolutions and variable sensitivity, while films have fixed sensitivity and varied resolution. Overall, at high ISO (> 400) most of the modern sensors provide higher resolution, and to ...


24

Downscaling a larger image on computer is almost certainly going to produce a better result. This is because resizing an image is very processor intensive, and there is a difference in quality between the various resampling algorithms (e.g. Lanczos vs Bicubic). Getting a 5 MP camera to produce a 2 MP image is going to cause the camera to perform the resizing ...


23

You're right. Picture quality is as complex as, say, how well a food item tastes. Megapixels only tell you the number of pixels the picture is made up of, and more is certainly not always better. More pixels on a small sensor means more noise. Megapixels are often used by marketing just because people want simple truths, like 18 MP must be better than 10. ...


21

Pocket cameras have significantly smaller sensors than DSLRs, usually in the range of 5mm across as opposed to 22mm across. I'm not familiar with the Olympus mu range however I've seen 12 and 14 megapixel compacts. These have more megapixels than DSLRs produced a few years ago, however it is mostly done for marketing purposes. The lenses in pocket cameras ...


16

Question about thing like frame rate, resolution or dynamic range of the human eye and how they compare to cameras always have the same problems: The "picture" you see isn't a "single exposure", the eye is constantly moving and adjusting. The part of tee brain that handles vision is really good (and pretty big), it constantly combines the "frames" is gets ...


15

Philip has it spot on there, resampling on a computer will give you more control and access to better resampling algorithms. There's another reason not to select a smaller size on camera and that is if you download your photos and find one that is really good you can keep it in high resolution. If you set your camera to 2 megapixels there's no going back! ...


14

Yes - if you took the same shot using the same lens on two cameras, one with 6 megapixels and one with 12, you would be able to crop the larger image, effectively zooming into the image. There are a few things to bear in mind: 12 megapixels is not twice the size of 6 megapixels - it's only 41% bigger along each side. The image quality at the pixel level ...


14

That means 22.5% more pixels in each direction. 5196 x 3464 instead of 4242 x 2828. (The megapixel value is of course rounded, so the exact resolution varies between cameras.) If the cameras are otherwise comparable, you get more details with highter resolution. However, 12 megapixel is good enough for most uses. If you for example make 4" x 6" prints, you ...


14

GEEKY ANSWER - you have been warned. There's much more to the image quality than just lens and megapixels. The most important factor in any photograph is: Light You can have the best camera and lens in the universe - and that will still be meaningless if you have no light, or very badly lit subject. After that comes... lens. Lens is what bends the ...


13

Megapixels are Necessary! The megapixel race is certainly not "unnecessary". Consistently throughout the last decade, progress has been made on the megapixel front while consistently increasing image quality. The anecdotal adages would have you thinking that was impossible, but there are quite a few technological and fabrication improvements that have made ...


13

About a million. I think that in general due to rounding — and more importantly, other real world factors which mean that megapixels only relate loosely to actual resolving power — it doesn't really matter if "megapixels" is binary or decimal. It is a useful term because it happens to be in the range where we get human-useful small numbers with the digital ...


12

Noise originates due to a number of factors, see: What types of noise can be present in digital photographs? Increasing the number of megapixels keeping everything else constant (sensor size, technology etc.) will increase noise per pixel, but also has the effect of making the noise finer grained which is less objectionable. ISO does not by itself ...


12

Sensor area doesn't determine resolution in the same way as the film era. Back then simply increasing the area of film would yield a similar increase in the size you could print, and therefore the detail you captured. In the digital world sensors can have different numbers of pixels per cm Both 12MP compact and DSLR will resolve similar levels of detail ...


12

If the resolution long axis is at least 1920 and the short edge at least 1080 then yes, you can take HD images without having to upscale. However, due to benefits of oversampling, you will make a better HD image by grabbing a 16MP image and then resize with the best available resize method, e.g. lanczos interpolation if available. Another problem you may ...


11

Facebook images are usually displayed at around 720×540 pixels. That is about one third of a megapixel, so for that use, anything you can buy is overkill in terms of megapixels. This is perfectly fine for almost all online display, and will even make decent small-sized prints. However, megapixels do not accurately represent image quality. The answers to Why ...


11

If you shoot under 400iso and don't print large, you won't notice much difference in the image quality. If you shoot higher ISOs, the Mk II has less noise. Practically speaking, the screen on the MK I is the most annoying thing if you're used to the MK II. Colour accuracy and sharpness during playback are poor compared to the MKII and newer cameras- and far ...


10

I have been using various Kodak E100 series slide films (100 ISO) in a Leica, with good optics, and the detailing that my Nikon Coolscan V gets out of these is absolutely absurd. I'd say about 20 megapixels' worth of detail, give or take - easily as good as my 16.7 mp 1Ds II anyway. Given a good exposure and focusing in the first place, of course. How this ...


10

Megapixels are to cameras what top speed is to cars: it's an easy headline figure to boast about when in reality most customers will never need it. Worse still, other features may have been sacrificed in order to meet a price point with that alluring headline figure intact. Put another way, it's a bit like asking why a little Hyundai has a top speed of ...


10

You are right that a 1080p HD image has just under 2 megapixels. Now where you have to be careful is in considering the aspect ratio of your camera. If it shoots natively 16:9 images and it has 2 MP, then you would have enough resolution. If the camera has a 4:3 sensor which is the most common for small cameras, a 2 MP camera would most likely capture a ...


9

No. Because different films with the same ISO can have different quality aspects, and digital cameras with the same megapixel count can have different quality aspects. There are also many potential variables in processing/development and printing for both film and digital that will effect image quality. You can discuss very specific examples. For ...


9

The resolution, by itself, doesn't mean much. For a meaningful comparison, you need to look at one camera versus another, not one resolution figure compared to another. Assuming you're talking about an APS-C sensor, 12 MP is high enough that the sensor resolution is only rarely the limiting factor on the resolution of the picture you get. In a typical case, ...


8

It probably doesn't matter very much. The computer has an advantage because it can bring more processor power to bear. You can use more sophisticated algorithms, including tailoring the right one to each image. (And, as Matt Grum points out, you have the larger version available if you change your mind. This is probably the most compelling reason to go this ...


8

If you look at the specifications of the human eye as if it's a camera, you're going to find it's pretty low-specced. Very low resolution in terms of pixels - very few megapixels - with most pixels concentrated in a very small area in the centre. Virtually no ability to distinguish fine detail outside of a small area in the centre of the frame. Horrible ...


7

A different spin on the more megapixels question is not "is the edge to edge image clarity better" but "is there something I could do with the extra bits"? One thing I'm seeing more and more is the flexibility to repurpose images by cropping simply because a cropped image still has sufficient resolution for many, if not most, purposes. And... if/when lenses ...


7

Storage/speed issues aside, having more megapixels is going to make absolutely every single picture you take better. Maybe only a little better in some cases, but that sounds like something worth having to me. If you've ever had an image suffer from Moire (colour banding patterns): Maze artefacts: Aliasing: Colour fringing, false detail, lack of ...


7

A megapixel is defined as 1 million pixels, not 2^20.


6

I have long been of the opinion that for normal users, more megapixels gives you no 'real world' benefits. The pros of more megapixels: Allows you to print larger, without loss of detail. Allows you to crop an image without loss of detail. ( <-- Personally one I use a lot ) Allows you to really pick out lots of small details in review. Records more ...



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