The MEGA PIXEL Myth
Off late, I was in a store to check out the latest mobile range for purchase. What I found was, the first thing that was marketed is the Mega Pixel (MP) of the mobile camera. Well, why not, since the sole point of comparison made by the customers was the same. That hits the question, why everyone is running after MP? What’s the catch? Very interesting it is, but trust me, its just a MYTH.
To start with the topic, let me first explain what is MP. It’s a count of pixels in million, to understand the resolution of a digital camera or a mobile camera. If your mobile phone has 5MP camera, this means, the image which you will shoot will have 5 million pixels. To understand this better, I would request you to open any image in MS Paint and zoom it as much as possible. At one point, you will find, there is no further zooming in, and the screen is showing rectangles of each different colour, aligned side by side. These rectangles and the pixels, and when the display distinguishes these rectangles, we say that the image has pix-elated. So technically, in digital imaging, a pixel, dots, or picture element is a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in an all points addressable display device; so it is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen.
Now, let us take a random comparison. In this discussion, I chose a 6.1MP Pentax Camera and a 12MP Nikon camera to click the same image. The output is as below.
So, with more MP, we find the same image to have little difference in output, yet a huge variation in file size. So, this concludes, with higher MP, you will have images with greater file size, which will eat up a lot of your storage memory. Then, why someone will ever opt for a higher MP? Yes, one does so, only when there is a probable chance or requirement to crop the images. Let us use the same images, crop it and compare the result.
100% crop is for the Pentax, whereas there is only 50% zoom in the Nikon to get similar frame. At this point, you may see some better resolution in Nikon than the Pentax, but not that much different. Now lets give a 100% crop for Nikon and compare.
So, the conclusions are:
· A higher MP Camera gives you a pretty large image and file size
· Higher MP allows you to zoom in and crop the photo, without much detail loss.
· For small prints, high MP are not required.
So, this gives another question in our mind, what MP shall we opt for, or whats the optimum required MP for an image to be printed.