How important are mega pixels?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Rodney, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Rodney

    Rodney TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering if I could ask your opinion. I have been a film photographer and am now switching to digital SLR. THe film camera that I used was a Pentax and I never really had any problems with it. So I was thinking that I would purchase another Pentax, only digital this time.
    But for me, I have to be very aware of the financial end. I have been looking at the Nikon D3000 (10.2 MP) and the Pentax K-x(12.4MP)
    My question is; how much difference in picture quality is there in regards to enlargements with the difference of 2MP?
    As I mentioned before, money is tight so I don't want to throw any money away. Do not want to spend the money and then realize that I can't enlarge anything larger than an eight by ten.
    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The difference between 12-10mp is not much.. there are other more important things to consider when choosing between two bodies/systems.

    You can enlarge 10mp file to poster size if necessary.
     
  3. Rodney

    Rodney TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reponse. But could you tell me what are the more important things to consider?
    Thank you
     
  4. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    dont look at just the MP number because the wider you go, the more pixels you need to fill. Look at the width of the pixels. The nikon has 3872 x 2592 resolution where the pentax has 4288x2848. So if you divide the width, it is only 10% increase in width.
     
  5. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    a HUGE benefit of more megapixels is the crop factor. If you couldn't get as close as you wanted, but it's a large picture, you can crop the picture and still have enough pixels to print or post without graininess.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    but the advantage of 10mp or 12mp is small even when considering crop...

    Important things to consider:
    1) Which of the systems has lenses that most interest what you shoot?
    2) Nikon is in lens Image Stabilization while Pentax is In Body Stabilization.
    3) Which of the two feel better in your hands... layout and operation make sense to you?
    4) AF operation?
    5) High ISO performance?

    the list goes on and on...
     
  7. Browncoat

    Browncoat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't fall into the megapixel marketing game. More MP does not equal better quality images. This isn't 1995 anymore, back when there was a huge difference between 1 and 3 megapixels.

    MP mostly refers to how big the image can be, it's not much different than screen resolution on a computer monitor. I you make a 4x6 print of a 6MP camera vs a 12MP camera, you're not going to be able to tell the difference in quality.

    The biggest advantage to higher MP count is that you have a lot more leeway when cropping an image. Got too much background in your shot? You can crop the heck out of it and still not have a grainy image with a 10MP+ camera. Another advantage is that you can make larger, poster size prints with a larger MP count.
     
  8. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    I see lots of great reasons in this thread that you should buy a Canon 7D... 18 mp, 8 fps, super high ISO, lenses for every occasion.






    What? :meh:
     
  9. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    +1

    Ya if you are looking to buy a crop camera, the 7D is the best on the market.
     
  10. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Quite true. For most users, the number of megapixels is the least important factor to consider. Just about every other attribute of the camera is more important.

    For an MP difference to even be noticable it has to be a 50% or larger increase. Ignore anything as small as 10-20%

    The reason you see it promoted in big letters on camera ads is that it is an easy number to understand so it makes good advertising hype. The more important attributes (noise levels at various ISOs, the ISO range, the dynamic range, color fidelity, ...) are much harder to put a simple number to and therefore much harder to brag about in an ad.
     
  11. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    I snorted. :lol:

    Yes, the MP ads are for dupes buying low-end junk. It's the main selling point and usually a gating factor in one's decision to buy.

    For those people that are buying more serious stuff, MP is only part of it and the manufacturers know this. The other common aspects like frame rate, ISO performance, buffer size and many other systems are considered equally or more-so than MP.

    Canon has been going full-bore in their ads boasting all the features, not just MP. To infer other aspects of the camera are not easy to brag about is beyond simply being in denial. :D
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Kirk Tuck and Thom Hogan both have some pretty good web/blog articles on how there is very little need for high-megapixel d-slrs at this time. As Tuck pointed out, even though he's a commercial photographer, there is now less and less need for high-MP captures,since so much work that is printed in magazines is limited by the halftone screen's resolution-killing effect and the basically small size of a magazine page. Even a double-truck magazine spread in say, SPorts Illustrated, looks quite good even if it was shot with the original Nikon D1 at 2.7 Megapixels, or the later Canon 1D, at 4.1 megapixels, or the Nikon D1h at 4.2 megapixels...the halftone screen magazines and newspapers use reduced every single photo to small dots, roughly 180 per inch...so, virtually ANY d-slr will out-resolve the limits of a magazine double-truck.

    Web display is where many images end up...72 dpi web images...a 1-megapixel image can look good on the web...and when printing images, a quality RIP (raster image processor) can take relatively low-resolution 6- or 8-MP d-slr captures made in 2004 or 2005 and upo-sample the files and make fantastic large images....

    My printer prints 13x19 inch inkjet images at 1200 ppi...that is about the limit of my EPSON 1280's useful,real-world resolution,and a 6-MP d-slr with a quality lens does quite well at 13x19 inches at 1,200 ppi....even Depression Era film negatives from an ancient Kodak folder, when flatbed scanned, look quite good at 13x19 inches, from old, crappy 2.25 inch x 3.25 inch rollfilm negatives scanned on a consumer level flatbed.

    Megapixels: most agree that the 12 MP d-slr's out-resolve 35mm slide film scanned at 4880 dpi...so, why do we need much more than 12 or 13 MP? Canon's original 5D at 12.8 MP on 24x36 is a sweet compromise of sensor size (large), with low demands on the lens, leading to high-contrast images, with an overall, total image quality factor that's very flexible. "Megapixels" is deceptive--sensor AREA is also importnat, as it relates to lens performance...so, a high-MP,tiny sensor, can yield pretty crappy images, like some of the 15 megapixel point and shoot sized sensors--even at ISO 80, their images are beginning to noise up...by ISO 160, their images look crappy...at 400 ISO, the IQ is ridiculously poor.
     

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