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Megapixel Madness

Travel Forums Travel Photography Megapixel Madness

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1. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member, 611 posts) 9 Apr '07 04:55

Apologies to fellow photographers and others 'in the know', but I feel compelled to offer an explanation of why 10MP are not necessarily better than 6MP in that shiny new compact camera you're thinking of buying.
Manufacturers need to give us reasons to buy new cameras, so they come up with bigger, more impressive-sounding numbers.
What they don't tell you however, is that the size of the sensor that those 10MP are squeezed onto is the same as the previous-generation, which 'only' had 6MP on it.
Each 'pixel' is a sensor. It is sensitive to light. But it is also sensitive to electrical interference from the pixel next to it. And the closer that pixel is, the more interference, and the more 'noise' there can be.
It is an established fact that a 10MP image can actually be of worse quality than a 6MP one. Blasphemous, but true.
The human eye is not sensitive enough to distinguish the difference between a 6MP image or a 10MP one, printed out at around A4, or maybe even higher.

2. Posted by Makini (Respected Member, 80 posts) 9 Apr '07 07:23

Now that's a fact I really believe people should think of. Just think of all the youngsters buying into the mobile phone commercials, and spend their life savings on a 3MP mobile phone. If they only understood the amount of MegaPixels didn't matter at all, with such crappy optics those phones have ;) Not to mention all the people choosing Compact or DSLR cameras only for the highest MP value....

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 9, 2007, at 7:24 AM by makini ]

3. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member, 345 posts) 9 Apr '07 07:43

I have a friend whom works for a very well known camera company. He basically said for the amatuer photographer with a point shoot camera that basically anthything about 4mp is a waste of money. If on the other hand you are blowing pictures up greater than 8 1/2"X 11 then a camera with larger mp is needed. I have been traveling for many years with a nikon 3.5 mp point and shoot and frequently enlarge the pictures. They come out perfect. So advice for anyone buying a new camera for a trip: Don't waste your money on the hype of a 8 or 10mp camera. Save your money.

4. Posted by Peter (Admin, 5359 posts) 9 Apr '07 18:43

Interesting points stevieh! ;)

5. Posted by Q' (Moderator, 1987 posts) 10 Apr '07 12:26

Personally, I've standardized to 6mp. Things won't even start getting interesting until 18-24mp cameras come out.

+1 or +2mp doesn't really justify the +$100 cost difference. On the other hand, other features like Image Stabilization, optical telephoto zoom, TV output, built in histograms, audio as well as video recording, tilting LCD's, manual mode, etc. DO justify increased price in my mind.

6. Posted by LToran (Inactive, 2 posts) 10 Apr '07 17:00

So, since I'm the amateur who just bought a 10 mp camera (Canon EOS XTi), any tips on the best size to reformat them at for uploading to a computer, yet still have good enough quality for an 8 X 10 if I wanted? Just tried my first batch and they took FOREVER to get onto my computer and then up on an online site...:(

7. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member, 531 posts) 11 Apr '07 21:43

Quoting Q'

Personally, I've standardized to 6mp. Things won't even start getting interesting until 18-24mp cameras come out.

If you want you can get yourself a Hasselblad or Mamiya 22mp back for a pretty cheap $22,000+

8. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru, 8868 posts) 12 Apr '07 00:33

Quality lenses with approx 6Mpix will outshine a higher megapix with a low quality lens.

9. Posted by Q' (Moderator, 1987 posts) 12 Apr '07 05:12

Quoting NantesFC

If you want you can get yourself a Hasselblad or Mamiya 22mp back for a pretty cheap $22,000+

If I want, yes. The 30mp is available as well.

Instead I got myself a Mamiya RB67 & 90mm and Canon desktop scanner for around $600.

10. Posted by pixcee (Full Member, 28 posts) 30 Apr '07 15:03

I work for a camera store and I agree. Unless you're gonna be printing photos larger than 8X10 you dont need anything bigger than a 5 or 6 mp camera. Your photos will still be clear and bright *unless you buy a crappy camera..then the mega pixels wont even matter* So dont think that you NEED the latest greatest biggest mega pixel camera to get great vacation/trip photos! :D

Hope that helps!