16MP–that’s what I say most people need at most though consumers may only really need as little as 8MP. But chances are that if you’re shooting professionally or semi-professionally with the intent of only publishing on the web, you don’t need many megapixels at all. As it stands, we always recommend that folks upload their images at 1000 or 2000 pixels long to the web even as displays become more high resolution.
This is a story that I’ve shared before with other sites but that I’m sharing in a different way here. Years ago, I was a celebrity photographer (a paparazzi, life was tough when I got out of college). My agency wanted photos of the celebrity up close and personal and what I didn’t know was that they wanted crops of just the celebrity. What I actually thought was that they wanted me to get up close and personal. So with a Canon 5D Mk II and 24-105mm f4 L IS, I was able to create many images that the agency loved and could sell to both print and for the web.
Part of this was because I was able to crop in majorly and still give them a useable image. But most folks don’t need to do this and in fact many people don’t even crop their images–they usually try to keep them as they were in the camera or the thought is just an oversight.
Here’s what we mean.