Notice: All forums will be retired as of May 31st, 2016 and will not be archived. Thank you for your participation in this community, and we hope you continue to enjoy other content at

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from havanajoe8. Show havanajoe8's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    6? 10? 20 or more? How many do you really need? Do too many pixels affect quality? Does not having enough of them limit your print size? Please share your thoughts!

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from rockheader. Show rockheader's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    What most people fail to realize is that there is a tradeoff between # of pixels and ISO (low light) performance. Fewer, larger pixels are better in low light, all other things being equal.

    Obviously, you need enough pixels to print or display as large as you may ever want to. At the risk of sounding like Bill Gates saying no one needs more than 640 MB of RAM, I think 6 MP is plenty (at least for now!).
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kgendron12. Show kgendron12's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    Well if you look at the reviews of the new Canon 50D they aren't as good as the 40D (especially for IQ at the higher ISO's). The 50D has 15MP and the 40D is 10MP. Nikon has outstanding results with the D90 and D300 at 12.1MP. Full frame camera's, since they have a larger sensor, will do better with more MP's. Maybe up to about 18MP or so. This is why the Nikon D3 with 12.1MP's has GREAT performance at ISO6400 and more than acceptable performance at higher ISO's than that. The D300 at ISO6400 is ok at best, and many people think it is unacceptable.

    PnS camera's have VERY small sensors (if a frame of film is the size of a post card, then the sensor on a PnS camera is not much bigger than a stamp). With these camera's I would think that no more than 8MP, but they're better with 6, on the newer models. Technology is getting better, but if you add more MP's to the same size sensor somthing has to give someplace. Like a previous poster said, that comes across in the higher ISO images, especially on the PnS camerad's. The 4/3rd's sensor on the Olympus dSLR's can do better than a PnS, but they max out at 8 or 10MP at the most.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from artiefufkin. Show artiefufkin's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    "rockheader" makes a good point. Too many pixels on a small sensor make for really noisy pictures. Since many consumers base their buying decision largely on "number of megapixels", many camera companies have made the unfortunate decision to increase the pixel density at the expense of noise. This is especially true with compact cameras. My Leica D-LUX3 would be a great camera, if it weren't for the fact that they decided to use a tiny 10MP sensor that can't really be used at an ISO setting higher than 100. I'd be much happier if they'd gone for a 6 or 8 MP sensor that produced cleaner pictures.

    For most of us who are just printing 5x7s or 8x10s, anything above 8MP should be fine (you could probably even get by with 6 except that you wouldn't be left with much headroom to crop).

    If you're doing large Ansel Adams type prints, you need a lot more MP than any of the current DSLRs are capable of. To do really large prints, you probably will need an expensive large-format digital (or you might still even want to use film).
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheMovieFan. Show TheMovieFan's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    I prefer the most megapixels because I am thinking of the future. I want the largest possible picture that can be taken so that 20 years from now if display monitors are super high definition, my old photos aren't the size of a desktop icon. My parents took some pictures of my son at the hospital when he was born. All the photos are 640x480 (I don't know the camera's MP) and they appear rather small on all my computer monitors that have large display dimensions.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Swinson. Show Swinson's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    I disagree, I think the more megapixels the better with the caveat that your sensor and the system supporting it (firmware, lenses etc) can do it justice.
    My Canon Mk 1 DS III has a 21MP sensor, it does a great job, is full frame, and is above your suggested 18MP cap.
    My medium format H3D-II-31 is 31 MP and is pretty stunning and now there is the 50MP version.
    The new Nikon D3x will use the Sony Alpha 24.6MP sensor and will be outstanding. So again as long as your equipment can acutally use the mp properly, the more the merrier.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from rowland-w. Show rowland-w's posts

    Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    Unfortunately camera marketers latch onto easily quantifiable attributes such as mega-pixel count and zoom range to sell cameras. If they could quantify noise or dynamic range in terms their target market found meaningful, these would become selling points and perhaps bragging rights to their target market as well.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from shrike. Show shrike's posts

    Re: Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    It depends.

    I have a D200 which has 10MP, and I find that adequate (though its low light performance leaves a lot to be desired). In the future, I'll get a D700 (12MP, Full Frame) and probably keep that for a while. I actually have a large format film camera (4X5) that I would use if I ever needed to print really big. I've found that the D200's 10MP matches what I was getting with 35mm film (scanned at 2000-4000 dpi). I came from a D70 (6MP) and even then never felt like I was missing much. Even right now, even if money was no object, for my needs I could never envision needing more than 24MP.

    I found the following great link that matches Megapixels to print size at 300DPI (keep in mind 240DPI is also very good).
    If you want to go betond that, you can use image interpolation software (i.e Genuine Fractals)

    I have 16x20 (or thereabouts) prints from the D200 that were just fine.

    Of course, commercial photographers and those needing more are using the 39MP and 60MP medium format sensors.

    I suspect that in the 35mm DX and Full Frame market the Megapixel wars will slow down and top out at 24MP for a while and the low light high iso performance wars will heat up (see Nikons D3S ridiculously good low light performance)
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from corsetkitty. Show corsetkitty's posts

    Re: Megapixels- How many do you REALLY need?

    I'm all about sensor size, not pixels.  10 is about it.