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How important are megapixels anyway?

How important are the Megapixels anyway?

While the last few posts I have posted have concentrated on property photography, I thought I would take a break from that topic and post something more about photography in general. My thoughts have been brought about by the introduction of Canon’s new 5d MK4 camera, which boasts an impressive 30-megapixel sensor, along with a whole host of other features.

The resolution of the camera’s sensor has, for some time now, been the headline statistic that most (if not all) makers used when marketing and advertising their cameras. Is that the most useful feature you should look out for when buying a new camera though?

Massive images, also place ever more increasing demands on other aspects of your kit. Larger memory card being the first thing you might need, along with a bigger hard drive and a faster processor and more ram to deal with the spiraling file sizes that these camera’s produce.

My own camera of choice a 5dMk3 produces raw files that are around 28mb, but the 5dS, which has a 50-megapixel sensor, produces raw files that are a whopping 65mb and the resulting tiff files that are near on 300mb.

So if there are other things to consider, apart from sensor resolution, what else should you look at? Well, here are a few suggestions to consider.


Low light capability.

Do you often shoot in low light conditions? If so, you might want to consider a full frame camera, rather than a crop frame sensor. With a larger physical sensor size, the actual pixel receptors are much larger, and therefore better at collecting light. This means the image does not need as much amplification, which leads to better quality.

Weather proofing.

Do you need to keep shooting outdoors, whatever the weather throws at you? If you do, then look for a camera and lenses that have weatherproof features. OK, it is not going to be a full featured waterproof camera, that be fully immersed, but they will withstand some degree of water attack.

Frames per second.

If you shoot wildlife or sport most of the time, you might need to look at a camera that can shoot a higher number of frames per second, for a longer time. The Canon 7Dmk2 can shoot an impressive 10Fps (almost enough to make a video with).

The crop factor.

Another vitally important thing to consider. Again, if you mainly shoot sports and wildlife then a camera with a crop sensor might be better for you. The architecture of these cameras has an effect of increasing the apparent focal length of your lens. This gives you better reach for distant subjects.
On the other hand, if you tend to shoot landscapes or architectural, this is an unwanted effect and a full frame camera give you a wider field of view with the same focal length.


Do you need cameras that are able to geo-tag an image? I have to say that I cannot really think of too many instances where this might come in handy, other than an avid travel photographer that might need to be able to catalogue their images by location.


What about being able to transmit your images instantly to a network, more and more cameras are being produced with this capability. Very useful for “tethered (or not)” shooting, where the images can be instantly viewed on a PC, or printed.


The majority of cameras use a lightweight, but strong polycarbonate body. What if that is not enough and you need the ultimate in strength that a magnesium alloy body provides?

Whilst some of the other camera manufacturers produce some excellent models it remains that, the main two, Canon and Nikon, have the best access to accessories, produced by the manufacturers themselves and by third parties. The second hand market is also much larger for other goodies for these two makes.


Having taken lots of things into consideration when looking to buy a new camera, perhaps the most important thing can’t be decided by a list of pros and cons written on a piece of paper, or by spending hours reading online reviews looking for the tiniest difference between the stats.
The decision to make is what sits right, in your hands and in front of your eye. If it nestles into your palms and you cradle it naturally, you will be eager to use it. If not, then sadly you will leave it at home to gather dust, and be one of the costliest mistakes you may have made.

With this in mind, do not just rely on the online retailers, get yourself off to your local camera shop and try these cameras out for yourself. See what feels right for you and makes you smile every time you pick it up to take pictures with it.

That’s what it’s all about – FUN, even for us pro’s

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