Originally posted to wibc.com on 03/05/2012
A couple questions from Robert in Knightstown:
“What are megapixels? And when are you “on the air”?”
First, a camera’s megapixel rating will help you determine the largest size of prints you can expect to make without sacrificing the quality of the image. It also will help you determine how much flexibility you will have with photo-editing software after an image has been captured.
The chart to the right will help you know what size of high-quality print you can expect from each megapixel rating.
It’s important to remember that these measurements are for professional-quality prints. You can print any image at any size, and in many cases it is very difficult to see a significant decrease in quality as you enlarge images.
According to most photo developing services, an image that is 1600 x 1200 pixels can be printed with good results up to as large as 8” x 10”. Therefore, you can actually use a 2.0 megapixel camera and have prints made as large as 8” x 10” with very little loss of quality.
The higher the number of megapixels your camera has the more flexibility and options you will have when editing, cropping and printing your pictures. A larger original image will allow you to crop a smaller portion of the large photograph and still have a high quality print at 4” x 6” or larger.
Choose a camera with a megapixel rating that will allow you to meet your photography needs. While it’s probably better to buy more than you need rather than less, it’s not necessary to spend extra money on a 6.0 megapixel camera if all you require is 3.0 megapixels.
If you don’t plan to print larger than 4” x 6” and aren’t interested in cropping or editing images, a 2.0 megapixel camera is probably sufficient and will give you great prints. If you’d like more flexibility with cropping and enlarging prints to 8” x 10”, a 3.0 or 4.0 megapixel camera will give you that option. If you want to be able to print a poster-sized print–just in case you get a photograph that turns out fantastic– a 6.0 megapixel camera might be more what you’re looking for.
As for when am I “on the air”: I do some quick items when needed, but for the latest technical information, listen to Kim Komando; Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Sundays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. here on WIBC 93.1 FM!