How can a low megapixel camera make an HD video while a high megapixel camera can’t?
Question by Osama Javaid /

I want to know why sometimes it is written on a 5 MegaPixels portable camcorder that it can capture full HD video (1080p), while some 9 or 10 MegaPixels camera can’t do so?

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Answers (16)
  • Ankur

    can my 2 MP in Android make HD videos ?

    • Oron

      It depends on the camera. Read Joseph Gorman’s excellent post in this thread.
      HD requires less than 2 megapixels, but the key is that the camera should be able to grab and process this amount of detail 30 times every second. Some cameras can do this, and some can’t, but it’s a matter mostly of processing power, not of the resolution of the sensor.

    • Ankur

      can my galaxy y can do this.
      (with help of any app)

    • Oron

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 supports HD, and I imagine most other models do, but check the manual!

    • Susendeep Dutta

      No.It cant.

  • hpalcanzare

    does it mean that when i got 5mpx camera and recording in hd my videos are not that great(not clear and not sharp) than 8mpx camera can do in non HD?

  • tulio

    the main problem is if the processor/hdd can maintain a constant rate of photos. Explaining, a video is a sequence of photos at a constant rate, like, 30 frames per second or 24 fps, so the camera must be able to take and save 30 photos per second, mostly cameras can do that at 640×480, that means 9216000 pixels per second(at 30fps) that the camera must be able to save. On the other hand a HD video need a camera(processor and sensor) that can handle 1280×720 (27648000 pixels) per second(at 30fps)and that is why you have cameras that can shot 8 mpx and can’t record HD movies(low end processor/sensor etc) and 5 mpx camera that can handle it (better processor/sensor).

  • Osama

    let’s take an example , I saw a portable camcorder on with only 1.6 megapixels but it was HD , on the other side recently I won a camera (Canon powershot A800) online which is 10 MP but NOT HD , so video from which is of better quality ?

    • tulio

      the camcorder will have better quality, because the sensor and the processor can handle more pixels per second than the canon camera ( you can guess that because one can record a HD video an the other can’t).If you try to crop the video to the same resolution, the HD video will look better in the camera resolution( 640×480) than the video made by the canon camera

  • Achraf52

    Hi, this depends on the software installed on the Camera if it is programmed to make 1080p videos it will do but I think it would be somewhere on options to enable it .

  • rahul hooda

    megapixels tells the resolution on which the video can be played best i.e higher the megapixel the video can be played on higher resolution….ability to make hd video doesnot depend on it

    • Pixie

      Hi, so higher megapixles do not mean a better video….!? with lower megapixles i.e 2 I can get a 1080p video…it just depends on the camera functions available, is that correct ?..

  • Joseph Gorman

    1080p HD video is only 2 megapixels. 720p is .9 megapixels. VGA quality video is .3 megapixels. The HD will be vastly superior as the number of megapixels at this level is a determining factor in quality. Once you get above 7 or so is when they start not to matter/become detrimental.

  • Osama

    then what is the difference between HD video of a 5 MP camera and SD video of a 10 or 12 MP camera?

  • Anonymous

     recording a video with more quality of pixels and the option is in the camera, and not in the video or format. therefore some will do that at 5megapixel and others at 10megapixel and will depend on the options.

  • Anonymous

    Think how computers work. We, as geeks, know the processor isn’t the only factor for speed. The RAM, HDD (or SSD) speed, RAM speed, how much free space is left, etc. all make a difference. Back in the day, PC manufacturers used to make money off the fact that the majority of the population didn’t know that processor isn’t the only factor. They saw Apple’s Macs had much lower clock speeds, and were more expensive, and they just skipped right past it. Apple was much faster, even when the processor was sometimes 2 or 3 times lower clock speed.

    It’s the same for cameras. A lot of factors come into play. I don’t know all of them. Neither do most consumers. Camera manufacturers make money off this.

    In fact, the smaller the space you pack the megapixels, the worse it gets, until it gets to a point where more megapixels is actually BAD.

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