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  1. #1

    Megapixel Explanation? (Camera)

    What does megapixels do? Should I buy cameras based on how much megapixels it has? Is 1.33 megapixels good?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Reading, England
    1..3 Megapixels is not great. Generally the higher the better, but you also need to look at a lot of other things to make sure it can actually take a decent shot. Get example images and compare with similar cameras.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    1.33 MP is low. It's probably ok for a cell phone, pda, or web cam. But for a digital camera, you want to get something with a higher resolution so you can print good quality images. 4MP would probably be my minimum. But it depends on your needs.

    Also, avoid anything that does not have optical zoom.

  4. #4
    The 1.33 mp is in Canon's Elura Camcorder. I'm basically looking for a Camcorder with Stil Photo integration. 1.33 mp is definitely above the VGA right? I need to see a chart on MP to Resolution conversion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Yeah it's above VGA. It'll probably be great for email and whatnot. But it's not so great for professional quality printouts.

  6. #6
    Well yeah its defnitely good for galleries/websites. Usually I have to resize my photos down to the 600-800 width for website pictures. Thanks kubel.

  7. #7
    Most cell phones and web cameras are now 1.3 megapixels. Many newer camcorders are running at 3.3 megapixles and up, but it all depends on what you plan on using those still pictures for.

    If someone were to ask me about buying a digital camera that was 1.3 mp, i'd laugh and tell them to forget about it. You need to be looking at a minimum 4mp for digital camera's, as anything below that will most likely be overpriced and not worth your time. I'm using a 9 mp camera now, and even with that I see other models out that i am much more interested in.

    if you have extra funds to go a little bit higher end, consider getting a hard disk drive camcorder (hdd). These are awesome. No more tapes/discs, and you can download the film right into your pc for editing, then burn to dvd etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Quote Originally Posted by akasixcon
    What does megapixels do? Should I buy cameras based on how much megapixels it has? Is 1.33 megapixels good?
    1.33 = Not Good.

    For Camera Phone yes it is.

    Larger Megapixel, larger picture (size) will be captured thus better resolution and quality; especially when you shrink the image.

    Other factors come into play.

    I have a kodak v550. Most poeple say Canon makes the best personal digi. cameras.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Megapixels define the resolution of the photo. The higher the number, the better the resolution of the picture (the more you can resize it without distortion).

    Should you purchase a camera based on the megapixel alone? No. The megapixel number is not a good indicator of the quality of the image. For example, if you have a 5 MP camera, with a tiny lens -- then the software is probably converting the image to 5MP.

    If you are just using the camera for casual photos for email/web use. Then 3 to 5 range is okay.

    Above 5 is what you would need for professional printing and high res glossies.

    Make sure you read the documentation and it states that the true resolution and the effective resolution. The effective resolution takes into account digital manipulation of the image. Always judge by the true resolution.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Chennai , India
    1.3 is good for cellphones, and if you do not have a great use of camera then this is better.

  11. #11
    Megapixels are a measure of resolution. You can determine this yourself my multiplying horozontal pixels by vertical pixels: an image 1,500 pixels tall and 2,000 pixels wide is 3 megapixels, for instance.

    Most photo sites will give you some rules of thumb, all of which are affected by perception (both yours and that of the person giving the advice). Most notable are:
    • To double the resolution, you need to quadruple the megapixels
    • Most people seem to agree that a good exposure from a 6 megapixel camera is enough for most people's needs (figure the occasional 8x10" print).
    Now, your perception comes into play here too, as does the subject matter. My mother loves the 8x10's they've made from 1 megapixel images while I likely wouldn't (if I did I'd have never shot with medium format in my film days), for instance. A landscape needs more megapixels to look right than a close-up of someone's face, too -- portraits are one of those subjects you can almost enlarge infinitely and get solid prints from. You should also note that smaller photo sensors tend to have images that degrade quickly as you move into lower light situations -- this is once of the primary reasons serious photographers will prefer a 10 megapixel DSLR over a 10 mexapixel pocket camera -- essentially the DSLR's pixels are "better."

    Finally, make a note that camera manufacturers are often competing on features rather than image quality, and the most prominent feature is megapixels. It's quite likely that a camera upgrade can go from 5 megapixels to 7 megapixels with the result that the newer higher-megapixel camera takes worse photos for your usage, espacially if you shoot in low-light, or if the new metering system overexposes a tad more than the previous model. Couner-intuitive, but there you go.

    Check out sites like and the like to get more info, and some decent reviews to point you in the right direction.
    Last edited by dzeanah; 01-09-2007 at 12:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Northern VA
    Most here have missed the point that you're referring to a camcorder. Camcorders, by and large, have low megapixel quality. Here's a good rule of thumb: don't buy a camcorder for the quality of still images it takes. If you're concerned about picture quality for still images then buy a decent camera.

    Megapixels, frankly, is not nearly as important as the optics in a camera. Further, many people don't know a thing about lighting and use the built-in flash. For most the "quality" of a print on a page is no different whether they have a 2 MP or 10 MP camera.

    I'm personally a big fan of new consumer level DSLR's like the Canon Rebel XTi or the Nikon D50. You get great image quality with the ability to buy lenses for the particular kind of shooting you'll be doing.
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  13. #13
    Most here have missed the point that you're referring to a camcorder.
    Oops - yep.

    <raises hand>

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by dzeanah my film days
    Long live film.

    I worked in television for years, years ago, and occasionally work in the feature film industry. Because I don't have much hands on experience with film cameras, I signed up for a Kodak "Drive By Shooting" class.

    We were able to use a 16mm Super16 camera and shoot about 30 seconds of a scene for each of us in the class. The day we went it was pouring down rain, dark and gloomy. We had no lighting to use at all.

    The final images were amazing! Colors were bright. Everything was sharp. Contrast was tremendous. I had my excitement for film raised even higher than it always was.

    It's just another proven reason why feature films should not go digital until digital can match what we produced that day.
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