You ever wondered why camera makers spend millions of dollars in upgrading its image quality? How they lay emphasis on a high megapixel count in their advertisement? With the rising need for quality and refined image by photo lovers, it necessitated the need to actually upgrade camera resolution.

Even with all these efforts, it still leaves the question; what is megapixel?

What Is A Megapixel?

What Is A Megapixel

This is one of the most asked questions about camera specs, for most of you. It is a million pixels packed up in one single image. Pixels are small squares. Each containing information about the image, of about a square in stacked together in an orderly sequence. Which forms and creates the picture.

The more the pixel the better the image. For instance, a picture of 8 megapixels (mp) contains about 8 million pixels per square inch. With a more refined picture quality and resolution, compared to a 1.5mp quality picture. The difference is glaring. Why so much difference between the two?

Well, one has more information than the other. And the more the information, the better defined the picture.

Why Are Megapixels Important?

what is a good megapixel for a camera

Why is anything important? For me, the importance and complement are subject to the matter. A Halloween costume is important because, other than the fact that it portrays a dynamic character, it also complements the wearer of the costume. So is a megapixel to a camera, it gives the camera the quality it is known for.

Also, the more the Megapixels, the better the picture quality. A camera with a good megapixel produces a high digital image quality. You jump at the opportunity to get an iPhone or the latest Android; Why? Because apart from their excellent performance, they also produce high-resolution pictures as a result of their megapixel count.

How Many Pixels In A Megapixel?

There is a million pixel per square inch in a megapixel; 1mp = 1 million pixels (p). An 8mp camera carries about 8 million picture optical components (pixels). Pretty sure you get the picture.

How Megapixels Affect Photos?

is a 16 megapixel camera good

The more megapixels a camera has, it only means, distribution of more information. And more information on a photo, the better and more refined its image resolution.

When enough information is supplied and is packed into a particular area of a photo, you see that you can easily blend the edges. You see a fine resolution image. But, where little information (pixels) is given to an image, what you get is a brick and block picture, and you’d call that bad workmanship.

In printing an image, the accepted standard is 300dpi (dots per inch). There is a little difference between the dpi and the PPI (pixel per inch). But the difference is not one to be worried about. It has no effect on daily usage.

Do More Megapixels Mean Better Photo Quality?

Can you compare a 2003 brand of digital camera to a 2013 or even a 2010 brand of that same digital camera, in terms of picture quality and image resolution? Of course not! It would be strange to hear a person say he prefers an iPhone 4 than iPhone 7 or 8.

Why? Because of the picture quality (amongst other things). The preceding brand comes with, and with the age disposition we are in, quality is all that matters.

Camera makers and phone companies have always sort to improve their product quality. And these companies have come a long way from the “blocky and pixelated” image resolution passed as the quality picture during the early stages of technological development.

How did they do this? They increased the megapixel count in the camera to achieve their goal of picture quality.

What Is A Good Megapixel For A Camera?

Megapixel means a lot to the image quality of a camera. The more the pixels, the better the camera resolution. Which in turn leads to higher demand for that brand or product. It gives you the assurance you need when you pick up a camera, especially when you when to use it for image printing.


Why Might You Need More Megapixels?

whats the best megapixel for a camera

One major importance of more MP, amongst others, is the issue if cropping. ay, for instance, you capture an unwanted area while taking a photo, (personal or commercial). You can crop out the unwanted area and you still have a good quality image. The quality doesn’t diminish because you cropped the photo.

More megapixels means more space to play around with the photo. And still, leave the photo with the desired standard of quality.

More pixel count also comes in handy, when you want to show off. It may be that you have taken a lovely photo of yourself, you know. One that you are proud of and you want to print out a large size, you can do so without worrying about resolution.


Minimum Megapixel for Quality Prints

Information needed for a specific print size is gotten when you multiply the print size by the resolution you want. It also depends on what you want to use the image for. The minimum megapixel for quality print is 300dpi.

  • Max print size (MPS) usually vary. For MPs of 4×6, the minimum megapixel (MMP) is 2mp, which gives you a resolution of 1600×1200.
  • An MPS of 5×7 requires an MMP of 3mp giving you a resolution of 2048×1536.
  • For an 8×10 MPS, the MMP will be 5mp, which will produce a resolution of 2560×1920
  • 11×14 MPS is suitable for 6mp as its MMP, which gives you a resolution of 2816×2112.
  • 16×20 MPS is suitable for 8 MMP, and you get a resolution of 3264×2468

Cameras made today have MP count of 10 and above. Unless you already have a camera below the 10 MP counts, you won’t find one below this count.

Note that due to the format of the image sensor on a camera, the horizontal and vertical measurements may vary. These measurements should thus not be taken as absolute standard.


How Many Pictures Can My Memory Card Hold

How Many Pictures Can My Memory Card Hold

It is important that you know the relationship that megapixels have with file size. The more the megapixels, the larger the standard JPEG picture size. For storage of more pictures, you will need a larger memory card.

This is a table showing the memory card capacity per file size. This file size is gotten from the Megapixels count, so the more the megapixels, the larger the file size.

Camera MP
File Size
2 GB
4 GB
8 GB
16 GB
32 GB
5 MP1.5 MB12002400
6 MP1.7 MB120020004300870017300
8 MP2.3 MB70015003200640012900
10 MP2.9 MB60012002500500010100
12 MP3.4 MB5001000200043008600
16 MP4.6 MB300700160032006400
21 MP6.4 MB200550110023004600

Although many of you love cameras with better and higher megapixels, which inevitably means a quality image. Before this kind of generalization is made, other factors need to be taken into account.


The Megapixel Marketing Myth

Now you know what a Megapixel is, it would be prudent that you also know of the traps available in the megapixel market. You might be a Megapixel chaser and you might have heard of the Megapixel Marketing Myth. It is a presumption that the more the Megapixel, the better.

Although more megapixels mean more resolution, other factors come into play which affects the quality of the photo. Some of which include, lighting, focus and exposure, lens sensitivity. If there is a fault in these areas, then more megapixels would add no serious value to the photo.

Another factor to be taken into account is size. There are appropriate megapixels for the appropriate size. A monitor screen requires an accurate megapixel for good resolution. Too much will be an overkill.



Getting the best out of life is everybody’s dream. And capturing those moments that mean a lot to you has gotten a lot easier with the aid of good camera resolution. Having a good camera with high MP comes in handy in capturing quality moments.

This review does not contain an exclusive detail about what a megapixel is. But I’m hoping it answers some of the questions you didn’t know how to answer.

If you have more questions or need more information about megapixels and their effects on photos, please kindly drop a comment on the comment box.

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