What megapixel is good for?

Posted by / 10/01/2017 / Categories: Photography / -

There is a common misunderstanding about phone camera quality, megapixels and resolutions, so here is a little guide for all of the ’wow my phone has a 13 megapixel camera’ users:

  • Surprisingly, megapixel does not have too much effect on image quality. Megapixel refers to resolution, which only means how big can you print the photo. So a bigger number of megapixel is just like buying the XL menu in the fast food restaurant: the food is the same but you get more french fries with it
  • With a 13 megapixel camera you can print your photo in A2 size (or 16×24 inches) however quality still remains ‘french fries’. Just think about it: did you ever print a photo taken by a cellphone in A2 size?
  • High resolution eats lot of memory as files are big, so you’ll need more storage. It is the same effect as eating lot of french fries will make you to drink more coke. So you’ll need a 128GB phone storage instead of 16GB
  • I guess that most of your photos are ending up only on social media sites. So keep in mind that for example, Facebook resizes and compresses all images to 0,7 (!) megapixels. Simply because their server is not big enough to store all those 13 megapixel photos. So your 13 megapixel becomes 0,7megapixel in a second, with a simple upload (which is 82% loss of image quality)


  • Conclusion 1: You can’t go against the trends so you’ll buy what is available on the market but never make a decision based on megapixel, try to test the image quality instead (so quality over quantity)
  • Conclusion 2: If you need to save memory space you can set your camera’s resolution a little-bit smaller (just choose the 2nd option but not the last one)
  • Conclusion 3: Social media, Whatsapp or Viber is good to share interesting moments with friends such as your coffee or your latest selfie but for important memories please make sure to share the files with others via e-mail, Dropbox or Wire transfer which keeps the 100% image quality so they won’t loose all those those 82%
  • Conclusion 4: For quality images you’ll need a pro equipment instead of lot of megapixels and for quality food you’ll need a good restaurant instead of french fries

Thoughts, comments, critiques?

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