The first thing people ask us when we buy a camera, how many megapixels is it? Or when you take out your mobile phone to click a picture we have all came across this question, how many megapixels is your camera? Have we ever thought what a megapixel is and what it does to the pictures? How a 10 megapixels camera is better than an 8 megapixels camera?
To understand what a megapixel is, we should first know what a pixel is because a megapixel is nothing but million pixels together!

1 megapixel = 1,000,000 pixels

Now coming to pixels, a pixel is a small block or dot filled with some color. Each and every small block we see below are pixels.

This is how a picture looks like. But we are all very sure that our pictures haven’t looked like this anytime. I agree, but have we ever tried zooming in our picture to the maximum extent possible. Let us try doing that.

The below picture is at 12.5% zoom.

The below one is at 50% zoom

The below one at 200% zoom

Now we are at 3200% zoom

Yes now we all can start seeing the pixels in the picture. So that is how a picture is made by millions and millions of pixels put together.
1 megapixel is nothing but 1 million pixels, so 5MP camera can shoot images with 5 million pixels or 5 millions dots.

You would be surprised if I say that we can also find how many megapixels a camera is just by looking at the image? True! To do this we will have to open the raw image and check the dimensions of it. We can get the dimensions easily from any of the photo viewers we use or from properties of the image.

So the above image which we have selected is 3850 pixels width and 5760 pixels length. When we multiply the width and length we would get 3850×5760 = 22,176,000 pixels which is nothing but 22 megapixels (roughly). Yes we shot that photo in a canon5d mark iii and rightly the manufacturer claims it is a 22 megapixels camera.

Next photo has been shot by canon 600D which is 18 megapixels camera.


So 5184 x 3456 = 17,915,904 which is nothing but 17.9 million pixels or 17.9 megapixels.

The next image was captured from MiA1 where the manufacturer claims it has a 12MP camera.

4000×3000=12,000,000pixels Yes of course it is a 12MP camera which we can understand from the size of the image

To conclude, it is always better to buy a camera with higher megapixels because more of information (pixels) will be contained in that. There won’t be any pixilation problems when we go for printing of the images.The next question which arises is some of the mobile phones nowadays have more megapixels than DSLRs so are they better than DSLRs? The answer would be no because that is where the sensors and sensor size in the cameras comes into the picture. We will discuss in detail about the sensors in our next blog till then have a nice day  Thanks for reading.

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