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Understanding Megapixels

Lesson 43 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Understanding Megapixels

Lesson 43 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

43. Understanding Megapixels


Class Trailer



The Camera is Simply a Tool


How Does a Camera Work?


How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO


Exposure Triangle


What is a Stop of Light


Reading Exposure Via the Histogram


Blown Highlights or Clipped Details


White Balance & Color Temperature


No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure


How To Measure or Meter Light


8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality


Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods


How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot


Equivalent Exposure but Different Images


Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes


Starting with Automated Modes


Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode


Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot


Landscape Mode on the Beach


Sports or Action Mode


Macro Mode with Food Photography


Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography


In-Camera Processing


A Glimpse into RAW Processing


15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing


3 Primary Types of Autofocus


Single Shot with Portrait Session


Single Shot with Action Shots


AI Servo with Action Shots


Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection


Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule


How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial


What Makes a Great Photograph?


How to Capture Candid Moments


How to Find the Right Light Direction


5 Basic Compositional Theories


The Power of Cropping


Color Schemes


Diving into the Narrative


If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against


More About Your Camera and Lenses


Understanding Megapixels


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration


Prime vs. Zoom Lens


How the Lens Affects Composition


Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG


5 Tips on Memory Cards


10 Tips on Buying Gear




The Good Karma Jar


Posing and Action Shots with Female Model


Posing and Lighting with Female Model


Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits


Lesson Info

Understanding Megapixels

Okay, so what's the deal with megapixels again don't laugh mp he doesn't like the way I think is cute it sounds like she says it like in a super like capital e you know what? Seriously what's the thing because photographers say doesn't matter manufacturers do, of course that's the one thing they have one boxes, right? So, yeah, we're kind of stuck in between these two things and really we're kind of somewhere between manufacturers. You think that that's the only thing that matters is the mega pixels and from photography thing from a viagra sample, you think that it doesn't matter at all and that's not true either because a mega well, the mega pixel resolution it determines the overall detail it's going to be captured by your camera. Now here we have a couple different cameras, so we have a nikon this is a twenty four megapixel camera. We have the sony a seven. This is a twenty four megapixel camera. The seven r is like thirty six something like I don't even know lives it's lots and the...

n we also have the cannon. This is an eighteen megapixel camera. Okay, so in reality megapixels do matter there a piece of the quality puzzle there kind of well, it defines how much potential detail a sensor could possibly capture and I say potential detail and why why? Why do you think I say potential? Because other things affected the amount of light if you didn't have enough light or if you had too much light, then you'd probably lose detail anyway to yes, what about other stuff? What about these guys lenses? Very important if you've got good fast lenses, you might pick up more detail sharpness, right? Yeah, and also like we talk about how it's more important upgrade your lenses before your bodies and the reason why is because I could have let's say, a forty megapixel camera body that I spent all his money on and I put one hundred dollar lens on it and there's no way to that lens khun resolve the detail so it wouldn't matter. You get kind of a credit quality image anyway because the lens can't pick up it's not high enough quality he but if you had a really good lens and then you didn't focus right, you'd still have a credit quality absolutely right. So that's exactly what I mean by potential detail that could be captured. Okay, so it covers potential resolution now, really, when it comes to megapixels, it really doesn't matter until we go to print like let's say, for example, we're just showing them on a screen or showing him on the web why did megapixels not really matter well, so it's all about the dp I or dots per inch, right? So if I were to render an image for a screen, what what do we need these days? Seventy to seventy two would be like older resolution ninety six would be like a new resolution or even like if we have, say, he's crazy redneck displays and super high resolution display would be one twenty right? But if we were printing, you're probably looking at two, forty, three hundred, maybe on average, but what does that mean? Okay, explain okay, all we're talking about is the amount of dots per inch now, for example, a camera like this anyone of these cameras let's say eighteen mega pixels at a minimum. If were displaying images by eight hundred pixels on a screen, we could be capturing two megapixel images and it wouldn't make a single difference because we shrink them down to display on the web. The resolution isn't there on your screen or on the web to be able to see and toe really make it worthwhile. What matters is when it goes to print, right? So let's talk about printing when you go to print collection you mentioned a second ago, michelle just said we can print at, say to forty dp I at three hundred dp I there's even some like museum quality printing and labs that go up to say four hundred four fifty d p I have a lot of it's a lot of dots and these air these air the dots per inch when it's printing so basically let's say, for example that we want to print a twelve by eighteen image would do a little bit well calculator a twelve by eighteen yes, go and I want three hundred pixels or three hundred dots per inch. Okay on my print now all I have to do is multiplied twelve by three hundred and what would that be? I really can't think that fast thirty six hundred? Yes. Thirty six hundred pixels. Right. Okay, so that's the height so if we wanted twelve inches tall, we need thirty six hundred pixels if we're printing three hundred dollars preach okay let's go eighteen inches wide eighteen times three hundred is holding fifty, four hundred fifty, four hundred so eighteen inches in length. Times three hundred fifty four hundred now thirty six hundred times fifty four hundred. What is that is a lot of zeros. It's nineteen million four hundred and forty thousand. Okay, so nineteen million four hundred and forty four thousand four hundred forty thousand okay, that is, well, a megapixel is one million pixels, so what is that nineteen point four in point for mega pixels so to print a twelve by eighteen image directly from the camera without enlarging, we would need at nineteen point four megapixel camera. But here's the thing we have eighteen megapixel on this one. So if you want to print a twelve by eighteen, what do we do? I can actually just take it into photo shop and blow it up to cover my whole house if I wanted teo. Yeah, well, that's, a little bit ambitious, ok, I'm ambitious, but her ambition is actually absolutely correct. With a smaller megapixel camera, you could take it and you could blow it up and photoshopped can actually enhance and enlarge images. So you, khun well, bloat up to really whatever size you want, teo, and so long as you're reviewing them at an appropriate viewing distance, it's not going to really make one bit of so we could take a ten megapixel image, blow it up to be forty megapixels and size. Print off is a forty by sixty, and as long as reviewing it from a normal distance, it won't look any different from a thirty or forty megapixel camera. But this is the thing is, if you did have a high resolution camera, well, those megapixels do make a difference when you get larger in print size, so you get larger, there is more detail, they're resolved. Okay, so like, if I were to shoot a landscape, for example, and I wanted to see every little leaf on that tree, then megapixels could help you out there because there's, actually some, you know, there's a lot of amazing super high and fine art landscape photographers out there that used forty, sixty, eighty megapixel medium format cameras because of that reason when you blow them up, they create amazing detail images you can zoom in and see like a bird, but then on the bird, you see, like the worm that we're going back and and on the back of the for me that's a huge file that's a huge file, they are huge balls and then bring them another great point let's say, like as a wedding photographer or a portrait photographer, you take a forty megapixel camera and you shoot three thousand images, what do you think happened? You're going to blow up your computer might be a bit of exaggeration. Most of us don't have ten year old computers e don't, but yeah, if you take I mean, if we take three thousand images at forty mega pixels, you're talking like probably one hundred megs per file, and you're talking serious computing power to be able to process those images. That's a lot of memory too it's a lot of memory it's a lot of storage it's a lot of processing power it creates a whole other issue when you're coming to work flow so obviously tons of mega pixels condensed it will be over killing a lot of situations but if I were a fashion or commercial photographer and I wanted to take let's say a full body shot and then I wanted to zoom in on the necklace just crop it down to that I would need the well that's what awesome is that? You could take a forty megapixel camera, take a full length shot and if they're using it for, say, catalogs they consume into the bag the dress, the the necklace, the face and you'd have printable images with every single crop because you have so much resolution they're toe basically crop away okay, so yes, if you are a fashion commercial fine art landscape photography, you might be able to come up with those uses for having that many mega pixels. But I'm a regular person and actually most of us are so we probably don't need that full range really, you know again we're back to understand what you need, how much you need, whether or not you really need it all and you know make you so what you got? Yes, absolutely and do you need tons of mega pixels to create great. Here we go again. Need versus want. Do I have gas? Well, here's here's, my favorite thing. No, you don't. Okay, here's. My favorite thing. Someone that gets a forty megapixel camera takes a thousand images and then applies vintage filters. Teo, make it look like film because what happens if you apply those vintage builders? It reduces all the detail. Anyway, it would make a single bit of difference. So, really, for most situations, it's not going to make a huge difference. There are cases. There are situations where you might want more money for cropping. Maybe for ultimate detail in resolution where that comes in handy. But bottom line is, is it comes down to understanding what kind of a time when you do just like you mentioned? What are your needs? And is it something that matters? Because if it's not well, going to that high and megapixel route can really just end up killing your workflow and make it really challenging. But does it really matter? Love it? Yes, and no. Yes. Okay, let's, move on. You know, there's other stuff will cover. And yes. Okay. Okay.

Ratings and Reviews


I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.

Student Work