Q:

How many megapixels are there in a 35 mm film frame?

A:

There are roughly 20 million pixels in a high-quality fine-grain 35 mm shot. The exact number is dependent on a number of factors, including image quality and the amount of grain in each shot.

The technical and tangible differences between photographs captured on 35 mm film and those recorded via digital means make it difficult to assign a standard number of pixels per shot. Poor lighting conditions, camera shake and other factors often reduce the number of pixels needed to generate an equivalent digital image.

To produce a digital photograph comparable to a clear, sharp, well-lit 35 mm frame, photographers should aim to use a 20 megapixel digital sensor. Good shots generally require a 12 megapixel digital sensor. Grainier, blurry or low-quality 35 mm images demand fewer megapixels. Lens imperfections and the photographer's camera handling skills also make a difference in the number of megapixels needed to recreate the 35 mm shot.

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