Megapixel madness

Written by Gail Bjork

We don’t need more megapixels! Really!

Megapixels and digital cameraIs anybody listening?

Most of us don’t need more megapixels!

You can now buy point-and-shoot digital cameras with eight, 10, even 12 megapixels. Pleeeeeese, give us a break!

These high numbers may be suitable for pro photographers and photo enthusiasts, but not the vast majority of compact digital camera users.

More megapixels are better? Not!

Manufacturers apparently count on the fact that most consumers don’t realize more megapixels do not necessarily make for a better digital camera. In fact, most of us don’t need more than about five or six megapixels, but hey, those numbers ain’t sexy and probably can’t garner a higher price.

Makers of memory cards will certainly rejoice. More megapixels means large sized images files, which means purchasers of new cameras will buy more expensive, large capacity memory cards.

What we do need are better digital camera sensors that produce way less noise.  Then we can get some decent shots in low light, an area where most compact digital cameras fare poorly. The notable exception is some of the FujiFilm cameras that have a Super CCD. But now even FujiFilm is packing 12 megapixels into some of their models.

According to some professional reviewers, the high ISO performance of the 12 megapixel F50 is now marginally better than the competition up to ISO 400, but ISO 800 and 1600, quite usable in cameras such as the F30 and F20, are disappointing. That’s why, as of this writing, the F30 and F31 are going for more money than when they sold originally!

Manufacturers need to understand we need two things: Less noise about megapixels. And less noise in our photos shot at higher ISO!

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.