DigitalCameraReview.com
What is a megapixel? Samy's Camera Explains, Along with a Shoot-out
by Ben Stafford -  6/2/2005

Samy's Camera website has published an article that explains to the layperson what megapixels are and how they should affect your buying decision.  Also, they've done a quick shoot out of several 6 and 7 megapixel cameras on the market.  See the links within the press release below.

 Press Release:

It is difficult to keep up with the latest innovations in camera technology. The countless models with a range of mega pixels and features, not to mention a wide variation in prices, can make buying a digital camera a confusing experience.

Digital cameras are all rated in megapixels and the Samy's Camera website, known for their photography expertise and commitment to educating their customers, has an in depth explanation of what mega pixels are and how they affect the image.

Complementing this article is a digital camera shoot-out using a series of different 6 and 7 mega pixel cameras. These images are a useful visual resource for comparing results.

"In a way a camera is a lot like a car," says professional photographer David McCullough, who authored the article on mega pixels. "Years ago I owned a VW station wagon that had a Porsche engine in it. But that did not make it a Porsche. It didn't drive like a Porsche, didn't look like a Porsche. Even though it had many of the same components, it was the quality of the parts and what the designers and engineers did with the various parts, which made it a VW or a Porsche. The same applies to cameras."

Digital cameras all have lenses and sensors and they record the data for transfer to your computer or printer. But like cars, it is the design, the components and the engineering that determine how well it will function and do the job it was created for.

So which one to buy? The simple answer is that it needs to be good enough to do what you want it to do. Just as a car's specifications won't tell you everything about that car, neither will the number of mega pixels tell you if a camera is the right one for you.

It depends on what you expect the camera to do for you. Are you going to use it to take photos to email to friends and family? Do you want to make prints from your photos? If so, how large 4"x6", 8"x10" or larger? Are you going to be shooting sporting events? Do you want to take photos to submit to magazines and newspapers or for your company's publications?

The visible comparative results of the shoot-out are an invaluable resource for how mega pixels affect the quality of your images. Finding the right digital camera for your needs can turn even the most amateur snapper into a good photographer.