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Old Sep 20, 2007, 4:11 PM   #1
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If you use a 10 MP camera which the reviews say has a small sensor, so you set the camera to shoot at 6 or 7 MP, will you have better image quality or the same as shooting at 10 MP ?
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 4:22 PM   #2
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JerrysonycanonandmaybeLumix wrote:
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If you use a 10 MP camera which the reviews say has a small sensor, so you set the camera to shoot at 6 or 7 MP, will you have better image quality or the same as shooting at 10 MP ?
No.

Your best image quality is always going to be where the result is as close as possible to the source. Therefore, if the source is a 10MP image sensor, the highest image quality will be a 10MP image. When you set the camera for lower resolutions image, the camera tries to figure out how to represent 3000 pixels of data with only 2000 pixels. This results in a loss of detail, colorandcontrast.

A physically smaller sensor does not, in and of itself, reduce image quality. It is likely to induce more 'noise' in the image, but at lower ISO settings, noise is not generally a factor anyway.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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Downsizing does reduce noise, but it also recduces resolution (detail). Since the noise is reduced by the square root of the ratio of pixel count, to get a noticable reduction in noise needs a much larger pixel count reduction than you mentioned. To something like 0.3Mpixels (640x480). That size is suitable for the web but not for much else.

The downsizing can be done at least as well with a photo editor as in camera so there is no good reason to do it in camera.

In addition, there is software to reduce noise so downsizing is not often the best method unless the only purpose of the photo is for the web.
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