How to Calculate Megapixels

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Calculate megapixels from a digital camera photograph by multiplying the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels, and converting the number from pixels to megapixels. Find out the standard megapixels required for digital camera prints with information from a professional photographer in this free video on digital cameras.

Part of the Video Series: Digital Camera Technology
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Video Transcript

HI, my name is James Flint, I'm a professional photographer and I'd like to talk to you about how to calculate megapixels. Megapixels are very important to understand because they help you determine what you're going to be able to do with a digital image. Again, a general rule is two or less megapixels you're only going to be able to use these for digital purposes, you're not going to be able to get any prints. Anywhere from two to six megapixels is going to allow you to print something around a four by six or a five by seven image. As you get closer to six megapixels you'll be able to print eight by ten images, but for anything eight by ten or larger, like eight by twelve, eleven by seventeen, anything larger than that you're going to need at least six megapixels. Now to calculate a megapixel you have to take the number of horizontal pixels and multiply it by the number of vertical pixels. So an example would be if you had three thousand horizontal pixels and twenty four hundred vertical pixels, you multiply those by each other and you get seven point two million pixels. Instead of saying seven point two million pixels, we round that down to seven megapixels. You can calculate the megapixels any time by multiplying the horizontal by the vertical pixels and again, if you want to do the prints in enlargements, you're going to want six megapixels or more, just doing standard sized photographs you'll be safe anywhere between two and six megapixels, and if you want something just for internet and computer screen purposes, you can use two or less megapixels. So again, to calculate your megapixels you take the number of horizontal pixels, multiply it by the number of vertical pixels and then you round to the nearest whole number and call it that many megapixels.

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