The first question I would most popularly face from someone asking about digital cameras is “How many megapixels?…”. For some of us who have been into photography, we all know it’s certainly more than just megapixels.
But, wait… I think the megapixel race is back again, and has just began.
The advent of newer models jumping to 36-megapixels in the case of Nikon D800, or the Canon 5D Mark III at 22mp – have reignited
“megapixel count” as one of strong considerations for the next camera.
For a long time, 12mp was probably more than enough for most of us, and considered 24mp to be the top-end of the megapixel count like the flagship 24mp Nikon D3x and 21mp Canon 1Ds. But not anymore, the D3x is being discontinued in lieu of the newer models announced (well, that’s life! hehe).
And more than that, just yesterday, Nikon announced their entry level model Nikon D3200 at 24-megapixels. Oh this even surpasses the latest Nikon and Canon flagship models – the 16mp D4 and the 18mp 1Dx… The recent announcement of the Nikon D3200 pushes the megapixel race as Canon will most likely try to respond with it’s own. It will also most likely follow that the higher models next-in-line will have to consider the specs of the D3200 to make it appealing.
The 12mp suddenly feels like outside the radar in lieu of the jump to 16mp for most recent cameras – to name a few – Nikon D4, Olympus OM-D EM-5, Panasonic GX1, Fuji X-Pro 1. The announcement of the Nikon D3200 just pushed the race to the next level! It’s no more looking back I think…
What does this mean to most of us?
1. More megapixels relate to more cropping power. More headroom to crop will be useful at times, but a caveat for photographers is please don’t rely too much on cropping at the computer, frame it perfectly if possible at the time you press the shutter, k? hehe.
2. More megapixels mean more storage — more CF/SD cards, more hard disk, more terabytes… (= more $$ spent.)
3. More megapixels reveal more details — but with the caveat also that it will tend to reveal flaws. Photographer’s technique should be observed religiously than ever. I see a lot (yes sorry, but I see a lot) of photographers’ sloppy technique that is revealed even in posting at “websized” photos, all the more this will be revealing when you jump, say from 12mp to 24mp. I think this is good, photographically speaking, because it will push to sharpen the photographer’s technique rather than sharpen at Photoshop.
Am I jumping to the megapixel race? Well, most likely it’s too early to say, but I have lots of other factors to consider other than just megapixel count. I have been contented most of the time the 12mp cameras have to offer. As I have said, 12mp suddenly feels like a thing in the past, the 16mp will be the minimum, and not long, 24, 36, and so on… Oh one thing I can say, from what I read so far on the D800, at 36mp full-frame, it is a game-changer! hhhmmm… I will know when I have one in my hands (wishful thinking/dreaming?) and will confirm to you if indeed it is so, hahaha!
So ’till next time… keep clickin’!
Photographer’s note: F/11, 1/125, ISO 200, Nikon D3, Nikkor AFS 60mm 2.8, Pocketwizard FlexTT5, SB-800
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