The Megapixel myth... Again

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results

The NYT published this article about megapixels back in 2006, but it still applies today.

How many Megapixes is enough? Well... not as many as you think.

For years, I've been saying that 4 Megapixels is enough for nearly anything that regular consumers would need to shoot and print. I still say that. People think I'm crazy, especially when they look at my camera. First question I get is... " That looks like a nice camera. How many megapixels is it?" My reply is always: "I don't know. I don't care how many megapixels it is. What's more important is the quality of the lens and the knowledge of how to use the camera appropriately. " I usually lose them after that. By the way, I still don't know the MP rating of my camera, it's a Canon 40D. 10MP?? 12MP?? I don't know and I don't care because it doesn't matter.I have more money spent on lenses than I do on the camera itself. When I'm shooting real estate in my home town of Minneapolis, I use the Canon 10-22mm lens. This lens costs about $700. That's more than I spent on the camera body.

So everyone wants to know the answer to the question: How many megapixes is enough? My answer today? 4 Megapixels is enough if you plan on printing up to 8x10 photos, or 11x14 photos. If you plan on printing higher than that, you may want to get 8 Megapixels.

The next qustion is usually something like.. "Well what about 15 Megapixels?" My reply? "You don't need it." "But, everyone else has it, and one of my friends just got 18MP," they say My reply? "You don't need it. Unless you are doing wall size prints. Besides, it will take up more space on your hard drive to store larger photos." Then they run out to the local big box store and purchase a 15MP camera anyway. Go Figure...


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Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Lots of time the upload of beyond 6 meg is not allowed so rather than waste time to resize and then again for your own website to load fast and optimize, get a less expensive 6 meg and under for on line and be happy! Good post.

Jul 14, 2009 08:24 AM #1
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

I agree with you and do not plan to upgrade any further to what I already have.  After awhile it's just nutty.  Good post pointing that out to people always 'chasing' that new product.

Jul 14, 2009 08:27 AM #2
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Steven,  You're right of course.  Megapixels really only matter if you intend to print your images on poster or larger size.  Better to spend the money on a nice wide angle lens.  I have a Nikon D80 and a Sigma 10-20mm lens with a strobe light for my interior listing shots.  The bright images come from proper lighting and wide lens - not from megapixels.

Jul 14, 2009 08:33 AM #3
Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

I have always thought 4 was enough. I'm usually just uploading them on-line anyways and flyers are right around that 8x10 size.

I hope you'll remember me if you learn of anyone moving to "The OC" and I will do the same!


Best regards.

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors           


Jul 14, 2009 08:41 AM #4
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Steven Hong

REALTOR - Minneapolis Real Estate and Homes
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