Shooting lower than max megapixels

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Schtibbie, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Schtibbie macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2007
    This is a REALLY nerdly question, but... I'm getting a new super-compact camera to replace my old 4-megapixel one that died. This is a "throw it in the pocket and take my son to the park" thing. Everything available is 8-10 megapixels with no increase in sensor size, so I *know* about the noise problems. I'm hacked off about it but what can I do..

    Question: If I set one of these high-MP cameras to its 4-megapixel mode (as I'm ok with that and don't have a big hard drive), does a camera use ALL of the pixels on its sensor and then average the pixels out down to 4mp, or does it hit "every other" pixel on the sensor and take that? In other words, would the noise issues in individual pixels at 10mp be effectively smoothed out by shooting in a lower mode?
  2. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    If the camera is capable of pixel binning, it will be more sensitive at lower resolutions.

    But you have to check such feature is not only available for Hi-ISO.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    No, the noise is related to the size of the photosites, so you're going to get the same effective noise.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW

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