Are pictures shot with a 200 megapixel camera LESS pixelated than pictures shot with a 26 megapixel camera when you use digital zoom?
In theory, a high megapixel count means you can crop (aka digital zoom) and not lose detail compared to lower megapixel sensors. However. I have qualms about so many pixels on such a small sensor. Give me a optical zoom and a lower pixel density any day.
As @Pommster says, for the same level of zoom, it should be less pixelated - but it depends on what you are doing with the image. If you are posting it on Instagram of Facebook, 190 megapixels will be “wasted” and you can zoom all you like. If you are working on a large print, it will still be better to use the right glass to start with.
It also just isn’t a question of zoom, the sensor will pick up more detail, but also more noise, it will pick up more imperfections on the lens. The size of the sensor will also play a big part on the equation, a 200 megapixel full size sensor should, theoretically, bring much better results than small smartphone sensors, plus it has the option of using good, high quality lenses.
I’ve used high pixel count smartphones in the past that have produced really poor images, compared to the much lower megapixel count of an old DSLR matched with a high quality lens.
So, in theory, as long as you don’t actually need the whole image, yes, a higher megapixel count could provide more digital zoom options, but there are too many external variables to give a definitive answer. If it is matched with a poor lens and poor imaging software, it won’t produce good enough results on the original image to zoom in.
Likewise, if it is dark, the sensor and software may interpolate multiple pixels in a cluster to give a single pixel in the resulting image (at such high density, it may very well be that they use pixel clustering to produce a lower megapixel count final image, with much better noise reduction, to cope with poor lighting or a poor lens).
To summarise, theoretically, yes, but it depends on how they use the sensor and what they pair it with.
Thanks for the explanation.
I wonder if the “crazy” files size of such 200 megapixel pictures will affect the “free picture storage” services out there (imgur, google…) People tend to don’t know / care that for most situations (like memes) a compressed jpeg is good enough and upload gigabyte pictures. Most apps don’t even give you the option to compress pictures before sending them.
The megapixel stuff drives me nuts. Lot of consumers are lured into buying because “it has more megapixels.” Not cool.
Google already has a size limit on the free tier, if you have a high megapixel phone today and take full resolution images, they will be uploaded downsized to 16mp, they get counted against your storage allowance.
From Google Support:
- Unlimited free storage .
- Photos are compressed to save space. If a photo is larger than 16MP, it will be resized to 16MP.
- You can print good quality 16MP photos in sizes up to 24 inches x 16 inches.
- Videos higher than 1080p will be resized to high-definition 1080p. A video with 1080p or less will look close to the original. Some information, like closed captions, might be lost.
Storage for Pixel users
If you have a Pixel phone and have set up Google Photos backup, photos and videos you take on your on Pixel are automatically backed up from your phone to Google Photos. Learn more about Pixel and Photos backup.