I hiked yesterday on the Riverside Trail in William O’Brien State Park. I live only 20 miles from the park but haven’t been there in years, decades even.
It was well below zero with an even lower wind chill. (I guess wind chills are always “even lower”.) I saw no one on the trails. I saw two gray squirrels, one mouse or vole, and few crows. That is all. I felt very good about braving the bitter cold and remaining reasonably comfortable – I was dressed for the weather complete with long underwear and a balaclava. In one spot on the ice of a side channel of the river out of the wind and in full sun, I was actually quite snug. My camera worked well in spite of the cold. The only effect was that my lens’s zoom mechanism was stiff.
I was on the verge of buying a new camera. I own and enjoy an Olympus OM-D E-M5 of 16 megapixels. Earlier this week I glanced at a National Camera Exchange add in my local newspaper. I saw that there were cameras of up to 24 MP some of which were significantly less expensive that my Olympus. I started to think maybe I should move up to a camera with more megapixels. I could trade in my Olympus and lenses that I bought at National Camera and are only eight months old, and National Camera has a President’s sale this Monday. Maybe I could get new equipment without having to spend a lot.
I decided that before making a decision, I should do some research on how megapixel size affects image quality. I did a Google search. The first item I looked at was an article by Ken Rockwell titled The Megapixel Myth. Rockwell’s article left me in no doubt that I do not need a camera with more megapixels in order to improve my images. Good tone and color and focus are more important, and megapixel size doesn’t mean much.
Sharpness depends more on your photographic skill than the number of megapixels, because most people’s sloppy technique or subject motion blurs the image more than the width of a microscopic pixel.
Resolution (pixel count) has nothing to do with picture quality. Color and tone are far more important technically.
A clear image can be printed any size from any modern digital camera.
Rockwell goes into technical detail to back up the above statements. I was entirely convinced. I will not buy a new camera.