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What does it mean when a camera indicates 4 mega pixels or 8 mega pixels?

by Elise
(Edmonton Alberta, Canada)

Please tell me the answer before Friday, October 14th.

-I am 11 years old!!!!!




The number of megapixels a digital camera has is an indication of the image resolution or picture quality the camera can capture. Digital cameras use an electronic component called an image sensor to capture pictures. Basically what the image sensor does is to convert light into an electronic signal.

These image sensors are made up of individual light sensitive components which are referred to as pixels. One million of these tiny pixels is called a megapixel, mega in this case means million, so if a camera is said to have 4 megapixels that means it has 4 million pixels or light sensitive points on its image sensor.

This is important to know because the more megapixels you have in a camera generally means a better quality picture. The camera's resolution or number of megapixels is especially important when printing photos as more megapixels also means that you can print a larger sized photo without it becoming distorted. Therefore an 8 megapixel camera has twice the image resolution of a 4 megapixel camera and will generally produce better quality photos with more detail. Also the photos taken with an 8 megapixel camera will be able to be printed or displayed at larger sizes without becoming distorted.

I hope this helps you understand this subject. For more information please see this page on What is a Megapixel? Additional information can also be found at Understanding the Megapixel Myth.

Best Regards,

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