The number of pixels captured by the camera’s sensor. Smartphones typically have around 8 megapixels and upwards, while regular digital cameras typically have 16 megapixels or more. Megapixels used to be a good guide to image quality but now sensor size is more important.
How many megapixels do you need? This is a rough guide
- 6-8 megapixels: fine for small-medium prints, Facebook, web pages
- 12-18 megapixels: good for medium-large prints, though only if the camera has a larger sensor (1-inch or above)
- 24 megapixels: enough for all but the most demanding professional needs, provided the camera has an APS-C sensor or larger
- 36+ megapixels: suitable for professional work at almost any level, assuming a full frame or medium format camera.