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Is 5 Mega Pixels Enough?

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Lately I've been shooting with my 23-year-old, 5.33 megapixel, Nikon D1X digital camera.


I'm finding that the images I make with it have pleasing color, enough sharpness, and plenty of resolution for posting on the Internet.


Check out these images and let me know if you think 5.33 mp is enough...





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If the image pleases you then it is "enough". It may not be enough to please a paying customer, but that is an entirely different application. I remember being totally infatuated with the Nikon D2H when I finally got one sometime in 2006 (IIRC). That was only 4.1MP. 

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As you say for web use, 5 Mpixel is generally more than enough when you consider that most people won't be viewing on anything more than FHD monitors or perhaps maybe 4K if they are interested in imaging.   Alternatively, for portable devices, even the high end iPhone 15 is only 3 Mpixel, reaching 4 Mpixel if you go for the plus model.   Add in the fact that these are all wide screen formats, so you'll have a bit to spare around the edges.


FHD  1980 x 1080     =  approx 2 Mpixel

4K     3840 x 2160    =  approx 8 Mpixel

8K     7680  x 4320   =  approx 33 Mpixel



My first experiments with digital cameras involved a Kodak DC20 (320x240 76kPixel) before moving onto Nikon with a Coolpix 2000 (1632 x 1224 ~2Mpixel)



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I started in the digital realm with a D70s in 2005 using my existing Nikkor lenses of my F4 outfit, but the 6MP proved insufficient particularly when trying to separate close-spaced straight lines at a distance, plus very poor performance at anything above 640 ISO. The higher ISO problem continued with the D2x I bought in February 2006, and of course by then I'd also had the need to buy DX lenses to cover the wide-angle end of things. Its 12MP sensor largely improved the resolution problem, though, and after that I spent years in a 12MP and 16MP world with D3 (2008), D3s (2009) and D7500 bodies. The D3 series' main advantage was in high ISO performance, which in itself was ground-breaking, as suddenly it was possible to photograph in dimly lit interiors without a flash or tripod, which revolutionised the way weddings in particular could be photographed.


This was followed by a swap to Fuji and X-Pro1, X-T1 @16MP, followed by 24MP in the X-T2. Lately the X-T5 has hustled things into the 40MP world, but which I mainly bought for its pixel-shift facility and use as a high resolution copy camera to "scan" B&W negatives without having to photograph originals in sections and stitch the results together. The resulting 160MP uninterpolated resolution takes things well and truly into the realm of drum scans (which are generally around 200MP) and which are still the benchmark even if the technology is decades old. However my "scans" just take a matter of seconds to capture as opposed to the substantial scanning times and hugely bulky and expensive equipment of drum scanning. As for comparing the results to copies made with a 24MP camera, the difference is simply no contest in favour of the 160MP, even at relatively small enlargements, plus the cost of the camera and 30mm 1:1 macro lens was extremely modest by any standards.

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