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Photo Booth Camera Megapixel Myths

Posted on August 14, 2012 by RedEyePhotoBooths in Miscellaneous

So you are going to rent a photo booth. As you search around between the dozens of companies in your area you will find many companies touting exactly why they are better and what equipment they use in their photo booth. You are now educating yourself as a consumer and reading all of the claims made by many photo booth companies. One of the biggest claim is the type of camera they use in their photo booths.

You will find a wide range of cameras in inside of different photo booths. All of them fall into three categories:

  • Web cams
  • Digital Point-and-Shoots
  • DSLRs (Digital Single-Lens Reflex)

All three types of cameras can work well in a photo booth. This is where you will get a different story from each company you talk with. The companies that use DSLR cameras will tout that are far superior to point and shoots and webcams. Actually, this is very far from the truth. They sell you on the fact that since it has higher megapixels than it has to be superior. This is not entirely true.

DSL cameras usually cost anywhere from $600-$1000 and for all the features they provide no real advantage over point-and-shoot cameras in a photo booth. The truth is that most cameras whether they are point and shoot cameras or DSLR’s shoot their pictures by using some type of photo booth software. There is a megapixel setting in the software for low, medium or high resolution. If you set it to high and shoot at the highest megapixel rating then the processing time from the booth to camera to printer takes forever. The result is a slow photo booth and unhappy customers. So almost every company even if they have a 18 megapixel camera probably shoots at a small to medium resolution setting reducing it to 3-5 megapixels for the photos for faster processing times.

Is this a problem? Do you get lower quality photos? Not really. Most photo booth photos are 1 x 2 inches in size and look great even at 2 megapixels. If you were to blow up the picture to an 8 x 10 print you need at least 3 megapixels or greater to get a great looking photo. I equate it to using a large sledgehammer to drive in a small nail. Most DSLR’s are too big for the job and may perform worse than an all-digital point and shoot. Most companies will tell you excessively they use DSLR cameras because they spent far too much on the camera and need to justify its existence in the photo booth. One other important point to make is that digital most point-and-shoots in photo booths are also $500 cameras. They exist as a pro-consumer cameras and are just one step below DSLR’s.  You cannot put any point and shoot in a photo booth and expect it will work. They are specially designed cameras with the ability to interface with computer software.

Web cams are a bit more difficult to say they are as good as a DSLR or point and shoot.  Almost every commercially made photo booth that you see in a mall or otherwise uses a web cam or a video camera. The quality is far less superior than any other camera. They do not work with flashes, only exterior lighting. The reason they are used commercially is that they are bullet proof. There are no moving parts. For weddings and important events where you want to get a good copy of digital photos web cams will disappoint you.

To sum it all up either a DSLR or a pro-consumer point-and-shoot will make any photo booth work well. The quality of the photos is not dependent on how many megapixels in the camera. There are many factors to choose when picking out a photo booth so choose wisely.

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