What Is the Highest Megapixel Camera

I remember while i was starting out in photography how I looked upon the Nikon D3X in wonder. I possibly could never afford it, but 24 megapixels ! Can you imagine? Of course , some medium format digital cameras at the time had more, but they were as far away through me as the moon.

Now 24 megapixels is the baseline instead of an expensive maximum. 45, 60, and also 100 megapixels are within reach at lower prices than ever, and fashionable isn’t really slowing down .  

Even so, for 99% of photographers, pixel counts are high enough at this stage. Maybe they have been for a while. Because Jason lately wrote , a 50 megapixel camera is capable of about a 32×48” print (AKA 1 ) 2 meters wide) with out apparent pixelation for a standard viewer. Even a 24 megapixel sensor can handle 12×18” or even 16×24” prints with aplomb, and larger depending on how strict you are.

But if that’s case, I wonder… why did you find yourself clicking on this article? Maybe it is because photographers come with an obsession with “the top, ” even when it’s overkill. Perhaps it’s simple fascination with camera equipment. Or maybe you’re an expert photographer who makes mural-sized prints and you really do value every bit of resolution. Only you know.

Regardless, I won’t judge. The six cameras (and categories of cameras) I’m covering beneath start at 100 megapixels plus go up from there. So , in order to know what to buy for your wall-sized prints – or, maybe more likely, satiate your interest and fuel your GASOLINE – the list below is exactly what you want. The following cameras have more megapixels than anything else these days.

6. Fuji GFX 100S

Counting down from #6, the first camera to make this list is the medium format Fuji GFX 100S. It has an effective resolution of 102 megapixels, and the price of $6000 ( check present price ) is definitely – for such an animal – surprisingly low.

Of all the cameras about this list, even though it ranks 6th, the GFX 100S may be the one I’d recommend probably the most if you have a specialized requirement for very high resolution images. This is why from our review , the GFX 100S is a camera good of highly. It’s a lot less expensive and more accessible than medium format cameras from Hasselblad or Phase One particular. And the 102-megapixel resolution doesn’t come with any caveats or tricks, like with some of the digital cameras below; that’s the native pixel count.

The Fuji GFX 100S has a cousin in the Fuji GFX 100, which is a larger, more expensive camera that I generally don’t recommend over the “S” version. However , both have exactly the same sensor. Likewise, this #6 ranking is shared by a few other 100 mp medium format cameras (albeit much more expensive ones) like the Hasselblad H6D-100c.

The biggest downside to the GFX 100S compared to some other a hundred megapixel medium format digital cameras on the market is that its messfühler size is a bit smaller. The Fuji camera is theoretically “cropped medium format” rather than “full medium format” like a Hasselblad or Phase One particular. All are larger than full frame, though. And all are because expensive as a car.

Fujifilm GFX 100 Image Sample #2
GFX 100 + GF23mmF4 R LM WR @ 23mm, ISO two hundred, 1/10, f/11. 0

5. A Concerning Number of Phone Digital cameras

I’m since surprised by this when you are, but about a dozen cell phones on the market have a sensor with precisely 108 megapixels. Moreover, it’s not even the same uncommon sensor reused by a bunch of different bottom-barrel companies; multiple 108-megapixel phone sensors can be found with slightly different dimensions and made by different manufacturers.

Some of the cell phones in question are the Samsung Universe S21 Ultra 5G, Xiaomi Mi 11, and Motorola Edge+, all of which hit the particular 108 MP mark. No phone needs anything near to this number of pixels (even if you turn pixel binning on), so I’m left thinking it’s an advertising ploy for people who equate megapixels with image quality.

By the time I’ve published this article, we’ll probably have got another dozen phones out there with 150, 200, or even 1000 megapixels for all I am aware and care. Out of principle, I’m never going to rank a phone higher than #5 on this list. It’s our article and I make the guidelines.

4. Complete Frame Cameras with Messfühler Shift

A growing number of cameras are making use of sensor shift technology to increase resolution. With this feature enabled, the particular camera takes a series of images while moving its messfühler at a microscopic level each time. It then combines the pictures into a single result with (in most cases) four situations the actual resolution of the sensor.

With this process, a camera like the Panasonic S1 goes from twenty-four megapixels to 96. The particular Panasonic S1R goes through 47 to 188 megapixels. The Sony A1 turns 50 into 200. With the top of the list could be the Sony A7R IV, with a 60 megapixel sensor and can capture 240 MP sensor-shifted shots.

The particular caveat with sensor shift is that you need to be shooting from a tripod and capturing the scene with minimal motion, such as architecture or landscapes. Each sensor-shifted image takes at least several seconds to capture (no matter your shutter speed), so it isn’t really usable for every photo. Therefore , whether these cameras fit in at #4 on this list or back behind the GFX 100S is up to a person. They don’t have higher mp sensors natively, but they can take higher megapixel photos.

High Resolution Mode Panasonic S1R Example
188 megapixels from the Panasonic S1R within sensor-shift mode

3. Higher-Resolution Moderate Format

To get #3 on the list, I’ll circle back to medium structure. Even though most medium structure cameras top out at 100 MP (like the Fuji GFX series), there is a couple which manage more.

First will be the Phase One IQ4 150MP. As the name implies, it offers a 150 megapixel messfühler, making it the highest native resolution camera on the list up to now. However , if you’re concerned that the A7R IV beats that will with sensor-shifting, fear not really, as there are two some other kings in town: the Hasselblad H6D-400C and the Fuji GFX 100 (non-S version).

These two cameras “only” have a 100 megapixel messfühler, but they employs the same sensor-shift technology as the full-frame cameras from earlier. The result is that you simply can get up to 400 megapixels out of them, with the exact same caveats as before.

So , whether you consider sensor-shift to be cheating during these rankings or not, medium structure still reigns supreme – either with the 150 megapixels of the Phase One IQ4, or the shifted 400 megapixels of the H6D-400C and GFX-100. But these still aren’t the highest resolution cameras in existence these days.

2 . 8×10 and Ultra-Large Format Movie (And/Or Scanners)

I’m having a love affair with large format film right now. It suits my way of working for landscape photography, and I can’t complain about the results. Among those results is resolution.

I’ve seen lab tests with different figures – both higher and lower – but to my eye, 4×5 large format film hits around 75 megapixels in detail when digitized with a good scanner, specifically a drum scanner. 8×10 film is therefore about three hundred megapixels. (You can check at higher resolutions than that, but you soon cease to pick up more detail in the film. )

Technically, too, there’s no upper limit to the size of movie . Even though considerations like camera stability start causing serious problems beyond 8×10, you can get almost arbitrarily high res with film under the right conditions, especially studio function. If you need to make truly massive prints and don’t brain the more complex shooting process, it’s worth considering.

Admittedly in this case, the “highest megapixel camera” in question is not the film camera alone (which obviously doesn’t have pixels) but the scanner used for digitization. But that’s a small quibble. The result is that a single click on of your shutter with an 8×10 camera can give any medium format or sensor-shifted digital camera a run for its money. If you’re not convinced simply by 8×10, jump up to 11×14 or 12×20 ultra-large-format film and find yourself bumping against the file size limits of the TIFF format.

11x14 Aspen Trunks Photo
An informal 216-megapixel scan from ultra-large format film. I could have gone higher than that, yet I didn’t feel like waiting too long for my scanning device to finish. 11×14 camera w/ Schneider G-Claron 305mm f/9.
Aspens 11x14 100% Crop
A 100% crop of the picture above (click to see full size). Can you find exactly where this is excerpted from the authentic?

one The Legacy Survey of Space and Time Camera (and Others Like It)

Ah, space. It’s been humanity’s muse since the caveman days, and now it inspires us to develop the most unusual and extreme machines of any stage in history. So , it should surprise no one that the top spot on this list is taken by a camera that surveys the stars.

In particular, as best as I may find, the highest resolution found on any camera today is at  the Vera Rubin Observatory within Chile. The Legacy Survey of Space and Period captures images of 3200 megapixels apiece thanks to a range of 189 individual 16-megapixel CCD sensors. Every three times, this array of CCDs captures half of the Southern evening sky at this ultra-high resolution. The observatory’s goal would be to make a database that displays how the night sky changes over time. And you can quibble that it’s really 189 low-res cameras, but as I find it, they all form a single cohesive image at the (literal) finish of the day, and that’s enough to count for the #1 spot in my book.

In short, space – and the people who study room – are wild. Actually, this whole article might have been nothing but scientific instruments such as this. But I’m grouping all of them together in this section to keep an illusion of variety in the rest of the list.

It’s nice that no matter how much of a pixel-chaser you might be, you’ll never match the intensity of astronomers.

Milky Way with a tiny human in the foreground
Searching the cosmos, even though at a slightly lower resolution.

Summary

Unless you are shooting some very particular photos that need to be printed in massive sizes, nothing in this article will make your pictures or even prints any better. But I admit that I find camera technology interesting, and this is fun as a bird’s-eye view of where cameras stand today, and perhaps where they’re going. If we already have 100-megapixel medium format cameras regarding $6000 – and phones of all things with a lot more resolution than that – I just don’t see the pixel wars stopping any time soon.

At least astronomers are putting those pixels to good use by creating long-term records for a medical purpose. Pushing the limitations of technology like this is usually how we can learn more about yourself and our place in the universe. Meanwhile, my high-minded goal is to photograph our cat with ultra-large format film and end up with the world’s highest resolution image of a silly little rascal.

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