It seems to me that for many people the most important characteristic when buying a digital camera is how many megapixels it can do. The bigger however is not necessarily better in this case. 🙂

An 8 megapixel digital camera can be more expensive and more promising than a 6.3 megapixel camera, but don’t be mislead by the numbers. It’s the detail of the picture that a camera can capture that counts, not the size of the file it records. You may get a bigger picture with an 8MB camera (on the left), but when you down size it to 6.3MB (in the middle) and compare it to an image taken with a better camera that is only capable of 6.3MB (on the right) you can see that the lower megapixel camera can still capture more detail than the higher megapixel camera. When you look at the images at 100% it becomes evident that the picture in the middle is not as sharp and not as detailed as the picture on the right.

Go for a camera that produces smaller, but extremely sharp images. You can still enlarge those smaller images for bigger size prints, but grainy and out of focus images are more difficult to improve. Lens and the quality of the sensor capture is more important than the pixel count. Interestingly, it seems that film and sensors have something in common. The larger the physical size of the sensor or film, the better the image.

Read more about sensors.

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