How many megapixels is enough? Do you need 50mp+


joshwa Plus
8 886 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 9:14AM
Hi,

With the recent introduction of the Fujifilm GFX100 which has a 100mp sensor, and the Panasonic Lumix S1 , which can shoot 96mp images*, and the S1R , which can shoot 187mp images* - do you feel the need for this many megapixels?

If you own a high megapixel camera (36mp, 42mp, 45mp, 47mp, 50mp), do you use it and see the benefits?
If you have a lower megapixel camera, do you want more resolution?

* multi-shot mode

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Tianshi_angie 4 2.5k England
11 Jul 2019 9:38AM
Perhaps when I have got to grips with what I have!
LenShepherd 11 3.9k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 9:44AM
There is no one answer as each photographer is different.

Lower MP is "enough" for perhaps 80% of what 80% of advanced photographers do.

Higher MP helps if you print A2 or larger, or if you sometimes need to crop lot.

Budget available is important too Grin
JJGEE 14 7.5k 18 England
11 Jul 2019 9:51AM
I have a 42mp sensor in my camera.

Do I need it ? - probably not.

Do I use it ? - yes of course I do !

It is useful for still getting a good quality file after post processing cropping Smile

Also, upgrading my camera the larger sensor size was the only option available.
Dave_Canon 13 1.5k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 9:57AM
It depends on what you want to do with the images. I print for Salons and competitions so need high quality near A3 size. It is easy enough to calculate that I will need around 18 Mp for this but I may also crop and, to allow for cropping, around 30 Mp will be ideal. My previous DSLR was OK at 20Mp but the current model is just over 30 Mp so ideal for my needs. Yes I was surprised that I noticed the difference between the 20 and 30 MP cameras. However I do not need any more MP.

I can see why many who are just placing relatively low res images on the web do not need high res cameras. On the other hand there will be those who need to produce A2 print or larger so would benefit from a high res camera.

Dave
franken Plus
16 4.9k 4 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 9:58AM
I've three Panasonic cameras, two are sixteen and the other is eighteen mega pixels and I've not currently found any of them to restrict my photography.

Ken.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
11 Jul 2019 10:26AM
When we buy cameras with 100 Megapixel, don't we also need to buy the most powerful available computer?
Carabosse 16 41.2k 270 England
11 Jul 2019 11:45AM
Ah the good old days when we had 6Mp DSLRs and people used to say:

"Surely this is enough, why would you want more?" and

"I have exhibition-size prints, from 6Mp images"

Tongue
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 579 England
11 Jul 2019 12:06PM
Quite so CB.

For the vast majority of photographers, no,. Even for selling images you are perfectly fine with smaller images (take Alamy's criteria for example).
It's easy to see the similarities between the megapixel scenarios and popsting web sized images with that of film photography where some photographers bought expensive gear and then had 6x4 inch prints done on the high street.

My current camera doesn't have a huge pixel count. I'm not concerned. The number of megapixels does not improve an image (the unacceptable truth that many photographers ignore is that it's down to the user to take good pictures). A high megapixel count will not entice me to buy.

What I do look for is a feature or features that are usful or helpful. Noise, or rather lack of it, at high ISO is one for example.
saltireblue Plus
9 9.5k 35 Norway
11 Jul 2019 1:01PM

Quote:My current camera doesn't have a huge pixel count. I'm not concerned. The number of megapixels does not improve an image (the unacceptable truth that many photographers ignore is that it's down to the user to take good pictures).

👍👏
Dave_Canon 13 1.5k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 1:25PM

Quote:Ah the good old days when we had 6Mp DSLRs and people used to say:

"Surely this is enough, why would you want more?" and

"I have exhibition-size prints, from 6Mp images"

Tongue




I did not even consider a Digital camera until 2005 and even then I knew the 8.2 Mp would not be sufficient. However, by that time most other club members were using digital so it was not often I had to compete with film. While the later replacement 5D2 had 20 Mp, its dynamic range was limited to 11 stops. Recently, dynamic range has been the feature which has caught my attention. So my current 5D4 has 30 Mp resolution but more importantly has almost 14 stops dynamic range. It is no longer necessary for me to use HDR for routine landscape photography as it was with the 5D2.


Dave
sherlob Plus
13 3.0k 129 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 1:27PM
I have a Canon 5DS. Do I need the 50MP? Probably not, although I love the print quality at 120x100cm and 100cmx80cm (something I do more often these days).

Do I like having it - yes - I love the rich detail in the files generated. I recently purchased a 5DMk4 for a back-up that would bring added benefits in terms of ISO performance and frame rate (amongst others) for astro and wildlife use. Whilst I know the file sizes it produces are likely to be more than adequate for my needs, I canít help noticing the reduced resolution of the images when in LR.
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.6k 58 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2019 1:32PM
I'd like a mega megapixel sensor with infinite ISO and a 1000fps global shutter. Though my end user requirement still may only be a 640 pixel image.

Then perhaps all i'd need to do is wave the camera at the scene i wanted, filter out the actual frame of interest and digitally zoom into the detail level i want.

The thing is that the glass lenses also need to keep up with the sensor resolution or they will just blur the image beyond a particular resolution.
And also the light photos need to land on a pixel site so there must be a finante minimum size - Anyone good a physics for photon particles and waves to update my initial guess on a limit ? - If a 700 nm (red) light wave needs a whole wavelength pixel site to capture it. you could get 50,000 odd pixels along the width of a FF sensor, with almost as many in the rows above you'd perhaps have a 2000 Mpixel sensor if the pixel site limit was a photon wavelength. ( blue pixel sites could be smaller).
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 579 England
11 Jul 2019 2:00PM
I think you're on the right lines there Stuart, that's a theoretical maximum. In practical terms the limit will be reached before then, but still at an impressive level.
And still, lower resolution grainy mono (of the 'right' subject) images can be more pleasing to view.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
12 Jul 2019 9:07AM
Don't experienced photographers learn yo make the best use of whatever equipment is available?

My first digital was the Kodak DCS760 with its massive 6 point something Megapixels. By making best use of it, we delivered 30x24 inch family group prints and Broncolor did a 5 foot square print from one of my files for their stand at FOCUS.

These days, we wouldn't choose a 6 Megapixel camera but that was all we had.

Should we refuse to take any pictures until the Nikon D8 is released?

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