What are pixels? Are more megapixels better?

Published by WPC Official Account on Dec'11,2019

2 | 772


What are pixels? Are more megapixels better?

WPC Official Account
2 | 772 | Dec 11, 2019

A pixel is the smallest individually illuminated area on a screen. The size of the pixel depends on the screen size and the technology used to create the display. While recording or capturing, a basic camera pixel is actually a combination of red, green and blue filters which are passing the light according to color the pixel is supposed to produce. These filters only allow red, green or blue light respectively and the sensor at the end records the intensity values of the light passing through each filter. This happens for each pixel in your camera sensor, for example, if your camera is 10 megapixels which mean 10 Million pixels the same process is done for each of these pixels which at the end creates a picture. 

As we all know the combination of the colors red, green and blue could create almost all the colors, e:g red+green = yellow, or red + blue = magenta or green+blue = cyan. Playing with the amount of the individual colors can give is a range of colors.

The pixels on the final display reverses the process to show you the exact color. The image contains the information about the intensity values of light to be passed through each filter to produce the required color.

Are more pixels better? 

The answer to this question is not straightforward. In a way, it is always good to have more pixels in an image. Especially in post production, it really helps. But along with the number of pixels, the size of the pixel and the quality of sensors is also very important for any image. Most photographers consider the size of the sensor to be most important factor for an image capture. The bigger the sensor, the larger would be the pixels and more light you can collect. The size pixels on a sensor is also very important. Just cramming more pixel on the sensor to increase the megapixel count would not produce a better image, that's why some cameras with a lower megapixel count produce better images than cameras with a higher count. 

Some examples of sensor size vs. pixel size can be seen in the table below for Smartphones.

MegaPixels

Sensor Size

Pixel Size

Smartphone

8 megapixel

1/3.2inch

1.4 microns

Apple iPhone 5

8 megapixel

1/3inch

1.5 microns

Apple iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, 6 Plus

12 megapixel

1/3inch

1.22 microns

Apple iPhone 6S, 6S Plus

12 megapixel

1/3inch

1.22 microns

Apple iPhone 7,7 Plus

12 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.55 microns

Google Pixel, Pixel XL

12 megapixel

1/2.5inch

1.4 microns

Samsung Galaxy S7 - f/1.7 aperture, OIS

12 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.55 microns

HTC 10- includes OIS

13 megapixel

1/3inch

1.15 microns

Moto G (3rd Gen), Huawei P8 (max ISO1600)

16 megapixel

1/2.6inch

1.12 microns

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

20 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.12 microns

Sony Xperia Z3

20 megapixel

1inch

2.4 microns

Panasonic Lumix CM1

21 megapixel

1/2.4inch

1.1 microns

Moto X Style

23 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.1 microns

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

40 megapixel

1/1.2inch

1.4 microns

Nokia PureView 808

So, it's a combination of not just the megapixel count but also the size of a pixel, the quality of the sensor, the optics of the lens and also the image processing algorithms running to make your beautiful shots in photos. One thing to remember is to learn to take great photographs no matter which camera you use. 

A camera is just a tool, it's your vision that matters.

WorldPhotographersClub.com

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A pixel is the smallest individually illuminated area on a screen. The size of the pixel depends on the screen size and the technology used to create the display. While recording or capturing, a basic camera pixel is actually a combination of red, green and blue filters which are passing the light according to color the pixel is supposed to produce. These filters only allow red, green or blue light respectively and the sensor at the end records the intensity values of the light passing through each filter. This happens for each pixel in your camera sensor, for example, if your camera is 10 megapixels which mean 10 Million pixels the same process is done for each of these pixels which at the end creates a picture. 

As we all know the combination of the colors red, green and blue could create almost all the colors, e:g red+green = yellow, or red + blue = magenta or green+blue = cyan. Playing with the amount of the individual colors can give is a range of colors.

The pixels on the final display reverses the process to show you the exact color. The image contains the information about the intensity values of light to be passed through each filter to produce the required color.

Are more pixels better? 

The answer to this question is not straightforward. In a way, it is always good to have more pixels in an image. Especially in post production, it really helps. But along with the number of pixels, the size of the pixel and the quality of sensors is also very important for any image. Most photographers consider the size of the sensor to be most important factor for an image capture. The bigger the sensor, the larger would be the pixels and more light you can collect. The size pixels on a sensor is also very important. Just cramming more pixel on the sensor to increase the megapixel count would not produce a better image, that's why some cameras with a lower megapixel count produce better images than cameras with a higher count. 

Some examples of sensor size vs. pixel size can be seen in the table below for Smartphones.

MegaPixels

Sensor Size

Pixel Size

Smartphone

8 megapixel

1/3.2inch

1.4 microns

Apple iPhone 5

8 megapixel

1/3inch

1.5 microns

Apple iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, 6 Plus

12 megapixel

1/3inch

1.22 microns

Apple iPhone 6S, 6S Plus

12 megapixel

1/3inch

1.22 microns

Apple iPhone 7,7 Plus

12 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.55 microns

Google Pixel, Pixel XL

12 megapixel

1/2.5inch

1.4 microns

Samsung Galaxy S7 - f/1.7 aperture, OIS

12 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.55 microns

HTC 10- includes OIS

13 megapixel

1/3inch

1.15 microns

Moto G (3rd Gen), Huawei P8 (max ISO1600)

16 megapixel

1/2.6inch

1.12 microns

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

20 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.12 microns

Sony Xperia Z3

20 megapixel

1inch

2.4 microns

Panasonic Lumix CM1

21 megapixel

1/2.4inch

1.1 microns

Moto X Style

23 megapixel

1/2.3inch

1.1 microns

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

40 megapixel

1/1.2inch

1.4 microns

Nokia PureView 808

So, it's a combination of not just the megapixel count but also the size of a pixel, the quality of the sensor, the optics of the lens and also the image processing algorithms running to make your beautiful shots in photos. One thing to remember is to learn to take great photographs no matter which camera you use. 

A camera is just a tool, it's your vision that matters.

WorldPhotographersClub.com

Keep Clicking