ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Do More Megapixels Mean Better Photos?

Posted on: 23 May 2010

How many megapixels you need depends on the how you are going to use your images. Here are some common uses:

Viewing On Megapixels Needed
Computer Monitor / Online 1-3 megapixels
6×4 prints 2 megapixels
10×8 inch prints 5 megapixels
14×11 inch prints or larger 7 megapixels

If you only enjoy your photos on your computer screen, or uploading to a photo website to share with friends, you really only need a 1 megapixel camera. That is because your computer monitor is usually about 1000×1000 pixels = 1 megapixel! I’d err on the safe side and use a 3 megapixel camera or higher to enable cropping though, as I discuss below.

When you print your images, you will need more megapixels. If your megapixel count isn’t enough for the size of image you print, your images won’t look sharp.

Use the above table as a guide for the number of megapixels you need. Notice how I say “14×11 inch prints or larger” on the last line of the table. You only really need a 7 megapixel camera for any prints larger than 14×11. Even huge 30×40 posters. That’s because we normally stand further away from larger prints, so we don’t notice when they are less sharp!

The above came from an article on Digital Photo Secrets. To learn more like “What are megapixels” and “Why you might need more megapixels” visit Digital Photo Secrets.

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