What are megapixels, and is more always better?

Fujifilm GFX 100S
The Fujifilm GFX 100S has 102 million pixels, but a full-spread A3 image in a magazine only needs around 24MP. You have to decide how many megapixels you really need! (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

A digital image is a lattice of small squares called Picture Elements (or ‘pixels’), and each pixel has a particular colour value, made up of a blend of red, green and blue. The ‘mega’ in megapixels stands for ‘million’, so a camera that offers 24 megapixels will produce images with 24 million tiny squares of specific colour values. 

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Jon Adams

Jon started out as a film-maker, working as a cameraman and video editor before becoming a writer/director. He made corporate & broadcast programmes in the UK and Middle East, and also composed music, writing for TV, radio and cinema. Jon worked as a photographer and journalist alongside this, and took his video skills into magazine publishing, where he edited the Digital Photo magazine for over 15 years. He is an expert in photo editing, video making and camera techniques.