How Much Megapixel Camera Is Best

By | 15/11/2022

If you lot don’t accept time to read this article, so 12-16 megapixels is good for a camera in most cases, simply in that location is much more to this, as explored below.

For years, camera manufacturers accept been racing to create cameras with more and more megapixels. So much then that nowadays, yous can even find 48MP cameras on phones. Only exercise you
need that many megapixels?

Most people would think that the more megapixels, the meliorate prototype quality and the improve the camera. Even so, the megapixel count is not e’er a reliable indicator of image quality— that’s only a marketing gimmick to catch your attention.

So, how do you lot know how many megapixels are enough? Well, that’due south what we are going to find out!

In this post, you lot’ll larn everything y’all demand to know nigh megapixels and how much resolution you need for printing, social media, and digital brandish.

Spoiler alarm:

yous need manner fewer megapixels than yous think!

how many megapixels is good for a camera

Megapixels vs Pixel Size

First, let’due south demystify the correlation betwixt image quality and megapixel count. Although it seems counterintuitive, more than megapixels are not necessarily the best.

Don’t get me wrong, the number of megapixels does thing for printing and post-processing— more on that after. After all, a digital photograph is made out of millions of pixels, and each million equals one megapixel. Therefore, in theory, the more megapixels, the more particular in your pictures.

But, the megapixel count is non as relevant as the
size of the pixels, which will too depend on your camera’southward
sensor size.

It’s simple: a bigger sensor allows for bigger pixels, and bigger pixels capture more than information. All of that leads to a sharper image with richer item, more than dynamic range, and better depression-lite performance.

That is why a DSLR camera with a 20MP total-frame sensor captures better pictures than a phone with a 40MP photographic camera, particularly at night. The large sensor captures more lite and data, which will give y’all more flexibility for plenty of purposes.

Of course, besides the pixel and sensor size, there are other factors that impact image quality, such every bit the
lens quality
or the
ISO settings
. But that’s a topic for another article.

Now, when does the megapixel count go important?

As I mentioned a few lines above, the number of megapixels will be essential for printing and mail-processing. Still, you won’t need an expensive 100MP camera to make crystal-articulate prints, although those extra megapixels might be helpful for other purposes (simply not for every photographer!).

All of that leads us to one question we all have asked ourselves:

How Many Megapixels Practise I Need?

In most cases,
12-16 megapixels
will be enough to get well-baked, beautiful pictures, particularly if you are not making large prints or doing high-end retouching.

how many megapixels do i need

Just, the number of megapixels yous need will depend entirely on
what yous want to do
with your images.

You lot would be surprised at how few megapixels yous demand to brandish your photos on a calculator or mobile device.

For example, to brandish your pictures on a Full Hd screen, you volition merely demand
3 megapixels— aye, seriously.

Don’t believe me? Let’s practice some math:

I megapixel equals one million pixels. A Full Hd screen has a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, meaning that information technology displays ii,073,600 pixels, which is roughly 2.07 megapixels. And then, in the end, a 3MP photo would rather accept a bit of actress information.

But, the thing gets a bit more than complicated when we introduce two concepts:
pixel density
impress resolution.

Pixel density refers to the number of pixels in a specific surface area of either a digital image or a monitor. It is normally measured in
pixels per inch (PPI). The more PPI, the smoother the prototype display.

On the other manus, print resolution refers to the number of ink dots that a printer can produce in a linear space of one inch. It is a physical measure out known equally
dots per inch (DPI). Here, the more DPI, the smoother the print.

Although at that place are differences between PPI and DPI, most people use them as the same thing. So, for the sake of this article, let’south talk about PPI as an equivalent to DPI for printing.

The standard impress resolution is
for practical purposes). That is the recommended resolution for loftier-quality prints of relatively modest sizes that are supposed to be seen from a close distance.

For digital display, anything from
72ppi to 120ppi
volition be enough, with 72ppi being the recommended resolution for
social media

dpi display resolution

Now, let’s go into megapixels and prints:

How many megapixels practise y’all demand for printing?

If you desire to calculate how many megapixels you need to make sharp prints at unlike sizes, make up one’s mind the print size you want and follow this simple formula:

[ (300 x Width) ten (300 x Height) ] / 1 million

Allow’south say you lot want to make a traditional 4×6” print.

Since 300ppi is the standard resolution for printing, you have to multiply 300 by 4 and then 300 by 6. Then, multiply both results. That will requite you the resolution in pixels.

Finally, dissever that number past 1 1000000 to get the result in

[(300 x 4) x (300 x 6)] / 1,000,000 [1200 10 1800] / 1,000,000

2,160,000 / i,000,000

2.xvi megapixels


Here is a handy chart to save you some time:

Megapixels required for common print sizes (300dpi resolution)
4×six” 1200×1800 pixels ii.1MP
5×vii” 1500×2100 pixels 3.15MP
viii×10” 2400×3000 pixels 7.2MP
8.5×xi” 2550×3300 pixels 8.4MP
12×eighteen” 3600×5400 pixels 19.4MP
18×24” 5400×7200 pixels 38.9MP

However, for printing, you must besides consider the
viewing altitude.

300dpi is the recommended resolution for making prints that you can see at
close range. That ensures yous tin see a sharp, uniform prototype with great detail.

Simply, when it comes to huge prints or billboards, you don’t demand to impress at the highest resolution. That would be a tremendous waste of ink (and money) equally nobody will ever expect at a billboard equally close as they were looking at a mag.

As a reference, billboards are usually printed at something around
15-50dpi, depending on the size and viewing distance. In these cases, you lot tin take more space between the individual ink dots as your eyes volition complete the paradigm from a long distance.

How Many Megapixels is Proficient For a Camera?

How Many Megapixels is Good For a Camera

As we saw earlier, the number of pixels yous demand will depend on what you plan to practice with your pictures. Notwithstanding, that number is non as of import as the size of those pixels.

For both DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the standard megapixel count is between xx and 30MP, which is more enough to satisfy any photographic need, especially if it’s a total-frame sensor that allows for more dynamic range and better depression-light performance.

20MP volition give you plenty of flexibility to crop your pictures without losing sharpness, do professional photo retouching, and make high-quality prints at up to 12×eighteen inches.

For digital brandish and small and mid-sized prints, anything between 12-16MP will be just fine.

In whatever case, if you only want to share your photos online, yous volition have to reduce the image size considerably to ensure fast loading times.

For instance, on Instagram, you can upload photos with a summit betwixt 566 and 1350 pixels with a width of 1080 pixels. Instagram will automatically downsize anything above that resolution anyway, and so don’t worry about the megapixel count.


How many megapixels is good for a phone photographic camera?

Although today you tin can observe phones with cameras up to 108MP,
12 megapixels
is enough to ensure good quality on almost any display screen. What’s more, it offers a adept balance between quality, storage space, and low-light performance.

Is 20 megapixels good?

As a general rule, yes, 20 megapixels are enough for diverse cameras, including phones. Yet, a 20MP sensor on a phone is a lot smaller than a 20MP full-frame sensor on a professional DSLR camera, which directly affects the pixel size and paradigm quality.

Remember that bigger pixels capture more (and better) information. So, don’t get also hung upward on the pixel count.

Is sixteen megapixels proficient?

Yes. 16MP is an excellent resolution to ensure crisp digital images and prints without sacrificing much storage space.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the pixel size matters the most.

Are more megapixels better?

Yes, but no. A higher megapixel count will give you more flexibility for press and digital processing. Nevertheless, information technology will likewise produce larger files that most apps and websites won’t be able to process. Equally a general rule, you probably won’t need anything above 12-sixteen megapixels unless you desire to create large prints or practice high-end retouching.

As well printing, at that place are iii primary purposes for which having more megapixels is highly beneficial:

  • Cropping
    — When you need to zoom in to highlight an important part, reframe, or straighten the image.
  • Downsizing
    — When yous export the image at a lower resolution than the original to brand it look sharper and reduce noise.
  • Retouching
    — For loftier-stop retouching (similar for way or production photography), you need many megapixels to get close to the epitome and make certain you lot can process all minor details without compromising quality.

For any other utilise, having too many megapixels volition only produce large files that you will still have to reduce in size to share online.

Then, no, you lot don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on super-high-resolution cameras. Instead, invest in
high-quality lenses
to get the best out of your camera sensor.

If you lot are looking for fast lenses with superb epitome quality and splendid low-low-cal performance, bank check this list of the all-time lenses for night photography to get some ideas!

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