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This post was most recently updated on January 8th, 2023

When it comes to photography, there are a few important aspects to consider. One of which is the quality of the images that are produced by a camera. While you may have taken the perfect photograph, if it is of a low quality, the true beauty of the shot will not be reflected in the final image.

There are a number of different ways in which you can improve the quality of your photographs, such as the camera you purchase, and the settings you use. If you are someone that is just beginning your photography journey, or you want to learn more about cameras, you may be wondering what these settings are.

In this article, we will be focusing specifically on megapixels and how they affect the images a camera produces. Interestingly, you may be surprised to learn that the number of megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.

What Are Megapixels?

Megapixels are an important part of photography, and the anatomy of a camera. When purchasing a camera, you may have noticed that it states how many megapixels the camera is. While some people assume that this means how good the quality of the images produced are, this is not necessarily true.

The megapixels, or MP, can be directly linked to the camera’s sensor that is responsible for capturing an image. Each megapixel is one million pixels. When you take this into consideration, many people assume that they need to purchase a camera with the highest amount of megapixels in order to take good photos.

Megapixels are used to describe the overall resolution of the images that are created by the camera, in a similar way to how the pixels within a TV are calculated, and are a set amount.

How Are Megapixels Used?

When it comes to megapixels, this is something you will need to focus on when it comes to the printing process. This is where the differences in MPs can be noticed the most, especially when it comes to cropping or enlarging the images.

If you want the images to have as much detail as possible, you will need to look for a camera that has a high resolution. Even though the megapixels are often linked closely to the quality of the images produced, they are more of a reflection on the printing quality of an image.

If you are looking to display images digitally or in their standard size, then you do not necessarily need to have a significantly high amount of megapixels. For example, when looking at the photographs that can be taken on a phone, these are still very detailed when they use a lower number of megapixels.

Do More Megapixels Mean Better Quality?

In some ways, the answer to this question is slightly complex if you do not have a wider understanding of photography. However, more megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean you will take better quality photos.

People often confuse the quality of the images, with the detailing within the images, and this is why megapixels are often associated with better quality images. However, these are two separate things that need to be considered.

The great thing about megapixels is that it does improve the potential detailing that can be found within a photo. This is important when it comes to increasing the size of a photograph, as it means that you will not lose the detailing included. This is particularly true if you are looking to upscale a photograph to place it on a canvas, for example.

If you are a photographer that needs to upscale your photographs, then choosing a camera with the highest amount of megapixels would be useful. This will allow your images to look as similar upscaled as they do when in the original format.

Some of the more professional cameras can shoot up to 100 megapixels. While this is impressive, it is not necessary for the vast amount of people, especially when the higher price point for these cameras is taken into consideration.

However, for the vast amount of photographers who are shooting standard photos that won’t be upscaled drastically, the megapixels are not overly important to consider. Of course, the camera will need to have enough megapixels to take detailed photographs, but it doesn’t need to be on the same scale.

For the vast amount of photographers, they will be happy using a camera that is around 20 or 30 megapixels. While you can purchase a camera that is higher than this, it is only something we would recommend doing if it is necessary.

Cameras that have around 20 to 30 MP are still high quality, and are able to capture even the smallest amounts of detail. It is also worth noting that the sensor size on a camera is important to consider, as this has an effect on the images created.

If you have two cameras that have the same sensor size, and one has a slightly higher MP, you will be unlikely to notice the difference in the quality of the images. The sensor needs to be larger in order to accommodate this. While there may be some slight improvements, without a larger sensor, the differences are minimal.

The quality of the image is different to the detailing that can be seen. While the megapixels state the amount of details that can be seen, you will also need to know how to utilize this. If you are inexperienced with a camera, and are not shooting with the correct settings, or in the correct mode, the quality of the images will be affected.

The megapixels are the raw detailing potential, but the camera relies on the user to choose the correct settings. Some of these include aperture, shutter speed, and the zoom settings.

You will need to have a good understanding of these and how to utilize them in order to be successful with the camera you have purchased. It’s a bit like riding a bike. While you may own a bike that is the most impressive model, if you are not able to ride it correctly, then you are not allowing it to reach its full potential. The same can be said for cameras.


We hope that you have found this article useful and insightful. As you can see, the MPs of a camera are an important aspect to consider, especially if you are looking to purchase a new camera.

The amount of megapixels needed will vary depending on the purpose of your photography. In general, 20 to 30 MPs is a good amount to have. But, if you are looking to crop and enlarge photos, a higher megapixel would be useful.

While the megapixels do help to increase the amount of detail that is present within the photo, they are not directly linked to the overall image quality. There are other things that need to be taken into account, such as the size of the sensor used.

In addition to this, you will need to know your camera well, and be comfortable with its settings and features. Once you know how to use the camera’s settings correctly, this will help to improve the overall quality of the images produced.