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    What are megapixels?

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    Aina Prat Blasi
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    Why are pixels important? What are megapixels? One megapixel, often abbreviated to MP, is 1 million pixels. A pixel is a single element of a digital image. The number of megapixels determines the resolution of an image, and a digital image with more megapixels has a higher resolution. A higher resolution is certainly desirable in a digital photography, as it means the camera uses more pixels to create the image, which should allow for greater accuracy.


    CMOS Image Sensor - What are Image Sensors?

    The technical aspects of megapixels

    On a digital camera, the image sensor records the photograph. An image sensor is a chip that measures the amount of light that passes through the lens and hits the chip.



    Image sensors contain tiny receptors, called pixels. Each of these receptors can measure the light hitting the chip, recording the intensity of the light. An image sensor contains millions of these receptors, and the number of receptors (or pixels) determines the number of megapixels the camera can record, also called the amount of resolution.

    Don't get confused with megapixels

    This is where things get a little complicated. While it goes without saying that a 30 megapixel camera should produce better image quality than a 20 megapixel camera, this is not always the case. The physical size of the image sensor plays a more significant role in determining the image quality of a particular camera.


    Think of it this way. A larger physical-sized image sensor that holds 20MP will have larger individual light receptors on it, while a larger physical-sized image sensor that holds 30MP will have very small individual light receptors.



    Shutter speed

    A larger light receptor, or pixel, will be able to more accurately measure the light entering the lens from the scene than a smaller light receptor. Due to inaccuracies in light measurement with a small pixel, more errors will be obtained in the measurements, resulting in “noise” in the image.

    Noises are pixels that do not appear to be the correct color in the photograph.


    When individual pixels are closer together, as they are with a small image sensor, it is possible that the electrical signals generated by the pixels can interfere with each other, causing errors in light measurement.

    Therefore, while the number of megapixels a camera can record plays a role in image quality, the physical size of the image sensor plays a larger role. For example, the Nikon D810 has a resolution of 36 megapixels, but it also offers a very large image sensor, so it has the best of both worlds.

    What is openness?

    Changing the MP settings

    Most digital cameras offer the ability to change the number of megapixels recorded for a particular photo. So if your camera's maximum resolution is 20MP, you may be able to record images that are 12MP, 8MP, 6MP and 0.3MP.



    While it is generally not recommended to record photos with fewer megapixels, if you want to secure a digital photo that will require a limited amount of storage space, shoot with a lower megapixel setting, such as recording with a higher number of megapixels. megapixel or higher resolution requires more storage space.


    What is the best resolution for photo printing?

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