How To Increase Megapixel Count Of Your Camera

Have you ever wanted to increase the Megapixel count of your existing camera? Maybe you want to make a really massive print but didn't have enough megapixel horsepower to do it? Or have you ever wanted to "enhance" in real life?!

Well today is your lucky day!

Here's a little hack that will dramatically increase the megapixel count of an image with the camera you already have.

The way this works is you that take a bunch of the same photo and make photoshop blend them all together. This is sort of like HDR except the images you shoot here will all be identical (not bracketed photos). It sounds impossible but trust me, it can really work nicely in some scenarios.

Here's how you do it:

Shooting the photos
Take around 21 handheld photos of the exact same scene without too much motion in it. Make sure you're on full manual control and that all of the images have identical settings. From focus to white balance, everything has to be identical.

What To Do In Post
After you've imported the images into Lightroom do the following:

Long version:

  1. Select images in Lightroom.
  2. Right click edit in Photoshop as layers.
  3. In photoshop set the image size to 200% (or even 400% if you want to get crazy)
  4. Select all layers
  5. Edit - auto align layers (uncheck all boxes)
  6. Check the alignment of the images. (The simplest way to do this is to just down the layers uncheck the little eye icon all the way down.)
  7. Select all the layers layers right click convert to smart object.
  8. Layer - Smart Object - Stack mode - Mean (or use median to stop ghosting from appearing)
  9. Finally sharpen the image a little.
  10. Filter - sharpen - smart sharpen (Say ~300% 2 px noise 0).
  11. Crop the image as you like.

Super Short Version:

  1. Select images in LR.
  2. Right click edit in PS as layers.
  3. Set image size 200%
  4. Select all layers
  5. Edit - auto align layers (uncheck boxes)
  6. Check alignment
  7. Select all layers - right click convert to smart object
  8. Layer - Smart object - Stack mode - Mean (or median to stop ghosting)
  9. Filter - sharpen - smart sharpen
  10. Crop

Here is a video explaining this technique:

video by The Photon Collective

Here is a nerdy video that goes into crazy depth on the topic of Superresolution:

video by IEEE CESoc TV

Learn more awesome techniques like this here at the Icon Photography School!