Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Megapixel formula?

There must be some kind of formula (or at least rule of thumb) that will tell you that X amount of megapixels will yield an X inches by X inch acceptable reference image for oil painting. It might be right in front of me but I have not had any luck finding.
Anyone know?


  • dencaldencal -
    edited May 2016

    Welcome to the Forum

    Here is such a table 

    Extract from Wikipedia

    Image quality factors

    • Sharpness determines the amount of detail an image can convey. System sharpness is affected by the lens (design and manufacturing quality, focal length, aperture, and distance from the image center) and sensor (pixel count and anti-aliasing filter). In the field, sharpness is affected by camera shake (a good tripod can be helpful), focus accuracy, and atmospheric disturbances (thermal effects and aerosols). Lost sharpness can be restored by sharpening, but sharpening has limits. Oversharpening, can degrade image quality by causing "halos" to appear near contrast boundaries. Images from many compact digital cameras are sometimes oversharpened to compensate for lower image quality. 

    • Noise is a random variation of image density, visible as grain in film and pixel level variations in digital images. It arises from the effects of basic physics— the photon nature of light and the thermal energy of heat— inside image sensors. Typical noise reduction (NR) software reduces the visibility of noise by smoothing the image, excluding areas near contrast boundaries. This technique works well, but it can obscure fine, low contrast detail.

    • Dynamic range (or exposure range) is the range of light levels a camera can capture, usually measured in f-stops, EV (exposure value), or zones (all factors of two in exposure). It is closely related to noise: high noise implies low dynamic range.

    • Contrast, also known as gamma, is the slope of the tone reproduction curve in a log-log space. High contrast usually involves loss of dynamic range — loss of detail, or clipping, in highlights or shadows.

    • Color accuracy is an important but ambiguous image quality factor. Many viewers prefer enhanced color saturation; the most accurate color isn't necessarily the most pleasing. Nevertheless it is important to measure a camera's color response: its color shifts, saturation, and the effectiveness of its white balance algorithms.

    • Distortion is an aberration that causes straight lines to curve. It can be troublesome for architectural photography and metrology (photographic applications involving measurement). Distortion tends to be noticeable in low cost cameras, including cell phones, and low cost DSLR lenses. It is usually very easy to see in wide angle photos. It can be now be corrected in software.

    • Vignetting, or light falloff, darkens images near the corners. It can be significant with wide angle lenses.

    • Exposure accuracy can be an issue with fully automatic cameras and with video cameras where there is little or no opportunity for post-exposure tonal adjustment. Some even have exposure memory: exposure may change after very bright or dark objects appear in a scene.

    • Lateral chromatic aberration (LCA), also called "color fringing", including purple fringing, is a lens aberration that causes colors to focus at different distances from the image center. It is most visible near corners of images. LCA is worst with asymmetrical lenses, including ultrawides, true telephotos and zooms. It is strongly affected by demosaicing.
    • Lens flare, including "veiling glare" is stray light in lenses and optical systems caused by reflections between lens elements and the inside barrel of the lens. It can cause image fogging (loss of shadow detail and color) as well as "ghost" images that can occur in the presence of bright light sources in or near the field of view.

    • Color moiré is artificial color banding that can appear in images with repetitive patterns of high spatial frequencies, like fabrics or picket fences. It is affected by lens sharpness, the anti-aliasing (lowpass) filter (which softens the image), and demosaicing software. It tends to be worst with the sharpest lenses.

    • Artifacts – software (especially operations performed during RAW conversion) can cause significant visual artifacts, including data compression and transmission losses (e.g. Low quality JPEG), oversharpening "halos" and loss of fine, low-contrast detail.


  • Thanks so much. Exactly what I've been looking for and more.
  • Thanks Denis, you are always a source of helpful information.
  • David

    i have a G10 the 14.2 mp predecessor to the GX1 series, though largely orphaned now in favor of the convenience of my iPad Air camera. Must check out the Nikon DL.

    Regarding the daunting complexity: start from the simplicity that a pinhole camera is a shoebox with a little hole at one end and some light sensitive material at the other. The size of the hole is now called the aperture and the length of time you take the cover off the little hole is the shutter speed. Everything else is electronic jiggery pokery.


  • Glad to hear that, Denis. Gives me courage to take out the new Olympus I bought two years ago and haven't used because I found the instruction book indecipherable.
Sign In or Register to comment.