Do Megapixels Really Matter?

The moment you decide to buy a new digital camera, the first thing you think of is the megapixel count. Such   is the pervasiveness of the megapixel myth that we forget to even consider other (more important) factors. So,   let’s try and answer the big question- How much does the megapixel count matter or does it matter at all?


It would be highly sceptical of us to declare out rightly that megapixels don’t matter at all. However, it can be said with a lot of conviction that the megapixel count is just one amongst many features which matter. And even more so, there are other features which are more crucial and must be taken into account while buying a digital camera.


So, what exactly is a megapixel? One pixel actually stands for a PICture ELEment and refers to the number of such units a camera’s sensor can capture when it is exposed to light. A megapixel refers to thousand such pixels. Thus, in very basic terms, a higher megapixel count means that the camera’s sensor can capture more pixels which should translate to a more detailed picture. Based merely on this assumption, one can say that more megapixels equate to a sharper picture. However, this is one of the most popular misconceptions about megapixels.


While studying the megapixel count of a camera, we have to consider that not all pixels are uniform in nature or size. Smaller cameras like the ones installed in phones come with small sensors and thus the pixels are more concentrated in such a camera. A phone camera can boast of a 41 megapixel camera (Nokia has recently released one) but the pixels will remain tiny. On the other hand, a digital camera will always give you better quality photos as compared to a phone camera simply because of the better quality of pixels even if the megapixel count is lower.

DSLR cameras are equipped with huge sensors and top quality lenses, thanks to which they deliver such amazing photos not because of the megapixel count. As a matter of fact, the kind of lens has a huge impact on the camera and should top your list of factors-to-be-considered in a digital camera.


Having said this, pixels are not completely worthless either. They work wonderfully as the very basic standards of judging a camera but again, basic is the key word here. A lot also depends on how and where you are going to use your camera. If you are a professional photographer and want to take poster size shots, megapixels can make a lot of difference. But if you are going to use your camera to click photos for your next Facebook display picture, don’t be fooled by the cameras offering you a higher megapixel count. Our advice-save yourself a couple of hundred dollars. If you have to choose between a 21 megapixel and an 18 megapixel camera, look instead for the quality of the lenses they use. Never judge a camera solely by its pixels



Editor in Chief alaTest.com : Arie Struik

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