Explaining Camera Megapixels for Consumers

While shopping for a digital camera, you more than likely run across the word “megapixel”.   What does that word mean, you ask?  I shall explain its importance. 

Each digital image contains pixels.  Pixels are the atoms of digital images.  Just like atoms, each pixel contains information in one small unit.  One million pixels create a megapixel.

In the last decade, megapixels’ importance relied on two things: cropping the image and how big the consumer chooses to print the photo.  The more megapixels a camera has, the better you can crop an image.  Plus more megapixels means the bigger you can print a photo.

Now, I’ll give a rough sketch on how big you can print photos with a certain number of megapixels. Two megapixels can produce a 4×6 print; the standard most people print photos.  Three to four megapixels can produce a 5×7 print.   I’ve had success with printing an 8×10 with four megapixels.  My current six megapixel camera can easily print an 8×10, the biggest I ever print photos.

In this decade, you really don’t have to worry about megapixels because the standard camera usually exists around eight megapixels.  Another thing, like I mentioned before, most photos are printed at 4×6. 

If one desires to print bigger than 11×14, they may then want to worry about megapixels.  Yet, I shall say it again: most people print at 4×6.

If the salesperson tells you any different, ignore them.  Better yet, go to another store.  Nowadays, the hyping of megapixels is just a marketing tool used to extract more money from consumers.

Now, you know what megapixels are and their importance.

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