Megapixel in digital photography is the data transferring capacity of an image sensor.
A digital image is made of pixels, which are a smallest dot of an image, having information about its color and brightness. Sensor has a series of photo sensors, which converts the light into electrical signals. This electrical signal is converted into digitized information by the camera and stored as one pixel on the camera's memory card.
More the number of pixels, more information of an image is transferred, and we get better picture details and quality.
One million of these dots make one mega-pixel. A five mega-pixel camera will produce an image which has 2560 pixel X 1920 pixel image size. This means that it has 2560 x 1920 = 4915200 dots of information. When this information is converted into a print of 300 DPI (dot per inch), it will give a print of a size 8.5 x 6.42 inches.
When an image is required for high quality print, we need 300 DPI. However, if we print this image at 200 DPI, we will get a print of a size 12.28 x 10 inches. We will have to compromise on the quality and sharpness of the print.
When we are looking at a print, viewing distance has to be taken into consideration. A print, printed at 300 DPI is for a view at reading distance (ten to twelve inches). When viewing distance is increased, the human eye can not see the dot as good, as it can see at reading distance. Therefore a print, which is printed at 72 DPI also look sharp, if it is seen from ten feet or more distance.
Megapixel becomes an important consideration, when it comes to enlargement of a print. If the photograph is to be printed for an advertising bill board or a hording, then it has to be shot on maximum mega pixel, which is available. With the improvement in designs and technology, manufacturers have reached up to 75 MPs cameras, and that is not the limit. Obviously, we have to pay higher price for higher MPs. Then we have to handle the file on a computer for any retouching and editing, and the file size can go in GBs on a photo editing software.
Though mega pixel is one feature, which we have to consider while buying a camera, however, quality of an image depends on the quality and sharpness of the lens.
Read more about:
Accessories in photography
Auto and manual mode
Auto focus mechanism of camera
Depth of field
Flash light meter
Other photographic accessories
Studio flash lights
Types of cameras
Wide angle lens
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