Megapixels, how much do you really need?

Taken with a 4 megapixel camera.

Most people taking pictures do it with a digital SLR or a digital point and shoot, at least for most of us that made the transition to digital cameras. It seems we are in a race to get more megapixels than we may actually need. I am guilty of this myself to some extent. For example I recently purchased a Canon Powershot G10 with a 14+ megapixel rating. Its a great camera and I love using it, but the quality, clarity and overall image quality does not compare to my DSLR’s, which has less megapixel’s!

I have a Nikon D70 with a 6 megapixel and it performs better when I shoot at ISO’s higher than 200, unlike the Canon G10, which has so much noise at ISO’s 200 and above. As far as detail, it all matters I think on the size of the sensor, for Point and Shoot cameras, the sensors are smaller, so high megapixels to me don’t make much sense. A much lower megapixel on an SLR produces a much better image in ISO’s above 200.

Here is a photo I took with a 4 megapixel DSLR, the Olympus E-10, one of the earliest digital SLR’s in the market. In the early 2000’s this camera cost about $2000, now they are obsolete, but I think this 4mp camera is able to take equal quality images of a point and shoot camera of today with a high megapixel rating.

But I will clarify something, I am not comparing the features of high megapixel DSLR with a lower megapixel DSLR, but only the megapixels and how it affects the final image quality. I found that image quality from a lower megapixel DSLR is still way better than a P&S with a high megapixel.

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