Thursday, 18 April 2013 12:17

The Megapixel Race Forget about megapixels!! Part 2

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We can only use so much - the rest is baggage, and it is the same with mega pixels  - I for one argue that 6 megapixels is all you need.

The pixels are the little light receptors on a camera sensor. The lens focuses and projects your picture onto the sensor and the camera then reads all the pixels to form a picture. More pixels on a sensor means smaller pixels that do not have the light capturing ability of larger pixels , and on a compact cameras can be a disadvantage. I have enlarged 6 megapixel photos to poster size with very good results. Also consider that with more pixels the larger your computer file becomes. So you need more storage space to store all your photos. Then lastly be honest with yourself – most photos nowadays are viewed on computer screens and very few are printed. A full HD screen needs 2 megapixels for full resolution – so why are we worried whether it’s a 10 or 14 megapixel camera? The physical sensor size has a bigger impact on photo quality!!

The sensor also has a sensitivity setting commonly referred to as ISO. The lower the ISO number the more light it requires to expose correctly, but the advantage of a lower ISO setting is a less grainy photo. Many times people with SLR cameras have asked me why their photos look grainy, and then I show them that they have set their expensive SLR cameras on full auto - and then the camera adjusts itself to a higher ISO setting, giving grainy results.

Play around with your camera and find the ISO adjustments, make sure you have control over the setting even in auto mode. Many cameras can be set up for a maximum allowable ISO in auto mode. It is a good idea to experiment with your ISO setting to find the maximum setting that you find acceptable. Then work through the menus and set the max ISO to that value to improve your results.

If a lower ISO setting gives less grainy results, why would one set the ISO higher? A higher ISO setting allows you to take photos requiring less light. Typically two areas where this would be advantageous are with night and sports photography. The most beautiful photos can be taken as night without a flash by using a higher ISO setting. In sports photography we want to freeze action by using a faster shutter speed, which means less light falls on the sensor. In the film days press sports photographers used ISO400 film and sometimes even pushed the ISO higher to 800.

Read 996 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 10:25

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