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Naive question
I have a question regarding point and shoot cameras with a large number of megapixels and a small sensor:.

Can the image quality be improved by taking pics using a lower MP option? So if I have a 10 MP camera with a 1/2.5" sensor, can I achieve the same level of IQ as a 7 MP camera with the same sensor if I shoot using a 7 MP option (assuming all other criteria are identical)? If not, would it improve the image quality at all?.

Thanks for your inputAnne..

Comments (5)

I have a question regarding point and shoot cameras with a largenumber of megapixels and a small sensor:.

Can the image quality be improved by taking pics using a lower MPoption? So if I have a 10 MP camera with a 1/2.5" sensor, can Iachieve the same level of IQ as a 7 MP camera with the same sensor ifI shoot using a 7 MP option (assuming all other criteria areidentical)? If not, would it improve the image quality at all?.

Thanks for your inputAnne.

The image quality is determined, more than anything else, by the size of the sensor, so you're stuck with what you've got. if you shoot at 7MP all that happens (usually) is that the camera takes a 10MP picture and interpolates it afterwards to create a smaller 7MP image. You can do the same with 'resize' in photoshop (or any standard image editor)..

This won't improve the image quality. You will decrease the resolution (from 10MP to 7MP, obviously) which is technically a loss of information and hence a reduction in image quality. the upside is that you decrease the noise a little because random variations in adjacent pixels get smoothed out when adjacent pixels are merged to downsize the image. So you will end up with a little less resolution but also a little less noise. At normal print sizes I doubt you would notice any difference..

But doing this could make sense when shooting at high ISO settings (low light) when noise on small cameras can become very obtrusive. if you only want a 7 x 5 inch print, 3 MP is more than enough resolution (more than your eye can resolve). So if you shoot at 3MP (or, better, shoot in the default 10MP mode and downsize the image afterwards) you will significantly reduce noise, and the loss in resolution that pays for it won't be apparent to the eye..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

It's not a naive question at all, it's a good one... several people have asked this question recently and it has provoked some interesting discussions.Mike..

Comment #2

Thanks much for your reply. I guess I should be looking for those threads ..

Comment #3

Frenchie wrote:.

I have a question regarding point and shoot cameras with a largenumber of megapixels and a small sensor:.

Can the image quality be improved by taking pics using a lower MPoption?.

Image quality may look better if you view the file at 100% in an image editor. But that's because when the camera reduces the captured image size to save it at lower resolution, so of the noise gets averaged out. But that happens when you make a print or downsize for uploading to a web gallery anyway..

So if I have a 10 MP camera with a 1/2.5" sensor, can Iachieve the same level of IQ as a 7 MP camera with the same sensor ifI shoot using a 7 MP option (assuming all other criteria areidentical)? If not, would it improve the image quality at all?.

The 7MP camera may have a bit less noise - all things equal (if the 7MP and 10MP models were both current, using same technology). Downsampling the 10MP file to 7MP doesn't result in a reduction in noise that would match the native 7MP camera. And shooting a 10MP camera at 7MP shouldn't result in a better print than shooting it at 10MP - at small sizes, the prints should be almost identical while at larger sizes, the 10MP file has the potential of showing more detail. But if you know you don't need 10MP for anything, you can avoid wasting memory space and shoot at lower resolution..

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #4

Frenchie wrote:.

Can the image quality be improved by taking pics using a lower MPoption?.

Yes, but it would be better to take them at 10 MP and resize them on your computer later...

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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