Someone explain this please difference of 8MP to 10MP to 13MP

11 years 9 months ago #4492 by PMurphy
How much difference is there between camera's with 8, 10, or even 13 MP. I'm shopping around for a new DSLR and trying to determine what I need and don't need.

thanks for the help.


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11 years 9 months ago #4525 by Tex
Someone will bounce through here and give a "technical" difference.

Mostly you should get what you need/can afford. The larger the image the larger files you will deal with. But the quality will depend on the actual sensor and then of course the lenses you use.

The size of the image doesn't always mean a better image, or even a larger final print.

The earlier DSLR bodies had small image sizes, but made good quality prints.

To put it into lay terms... a 10mp point and shoot will have no where near the quality of a 10mp DSLR... all because of the sensor.

I have printed good 11X14 prints with my older 6mp camera. And I usually crank my 12mp camera down to something more usable when I shoot sports, so I don't end up with a card full of huge files.

Go to a review site (dpreview) and read about the cameras you are interested in and make a decision based on that rather than image size.


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11 years 9 months ago #4528 by jrjohns2
Agreed with Tex, and just to add, I think high ISO performance should be the selling point here. An 8 Mp with excellent ISO performance above, say 1200ISO, will make better enlargements in general than a 13Mp that is grainy over 400. And really, the amount of pixels should be an indicator of optimal sensor size (it is NOT though). If you look at cell phone cameras, are the pictures with 5Mp any better than the pictures taken at 2Mp? Most of the time if the sensor is the same size, more pixels = more noise. Id say for most enlargements, Id go with the camera that got better reviews based on image quality and high ISO performance.


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11 years 9 months ago #4604 by The Original Daisy
Really good explanations, this helped me also.


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11 years 9 months ago #4660 by Yasko
Great explanations here already. Without getting all techy and confusing you, I'll just to add to the already mentioned truth: The sensor size and performance matters much more than how much megapixel your camera can output. This is why even a point and shoot camera that's 8 years old with 2 megapixel makes a better quality picture than a cellphone that outputs at 10 megapixel.....It's the sensor that matters.

Go into any camera seller, and you usually see the megapixel amount being the most prominently displayed feature on the camera's tag. The reason for this is because the camera manufacturers understand the average consumer regards the megapixel as the most important factor of image quality when it really isn't. It's a hold-over from a decade ago, when digicameras had 1 megapixel or less. You can't make an enlargement bigger than 5x7 from this resolution, so the race was on to pack on much more megapixel so unpixelated unlargements were possible. Manufacturers realized people reacted very well to more megapixel, so the tradition carries on today.

To answer your specific question though, it depends on what kind of work you plan to do. If you expect to do lots of cropping and big enlargements like 24 x 36, I'd advise something 10 megapixel or larger. If you plan on doing lots of 4x6's, and the occasional 11x14 on your wall, 8 megapixel should be just fine.

Happy shopping:)


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