The MegaPixel Paradox

​David Tyler, Editor of Document Manager Magazine, explains why moving to higher megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean better quality images.​

The more megapixels, the better, right? Not if you need high quality images from microfilm media.

Digital camera and cell phone manufactures have long recognized that consumers are conditioned to think that an image sensor with a higher megapixel (MP) count is better: a bigger number translates into more sales and greater profits. This was how the ‘megapixel race’ began, and it continues still today, especially in the cell phone sector.

A major contributor to the cost of any digital camera is the image sensor. Just as the image of a slide or movie is projected onto a big screen, a digital camera projects the image onto its image sensor. That sensor is comprised of many pixels (picture elements). A physically larger sensor is more expensive than a smaller one. To entice consumers – and to reduce costs – manufacturers have developed methods of making very small pixels. This results in higher megapixel count on a physically smaller (and thus less expensive) sensor.

Be informed. For the full article and image comparisons, click here.


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