Resolution and a Picture’s Appearance and Quality

Your Digital Camera Resolution Options

Camera resolution refers to the number of pixels that a camera can capture, and the resolution for you depends on how you plan to use your pictures. Do you want a resolution that suits pictures on your computer, small printed pictures, or big printed pictures? The following list offers some guidance:

  • VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels): If you just want to share your photos via e-mail, post them on a Web page, or use them in a multimedia presentation, you can get by with a VGA-resolution camera. But for print quality, you’ll be disappointed.

  • One megapixel: You can print acceptable snapshots. You also get plenty of pixels for any on-screen picture use.

  • Two megapixels: You can produce very good 5-x-7-inch prints and acceptable 8-x-10s.

  • Three megapixels: You can generate really good 8-x-10s.

  • Six megapixels: If you like to produce prints that are 11 x 14, go for 6 megapixels.

  • Eight megapixels and up: Eight to twelve megapixels will produce professional-quality prints that are larger than 11 x 14.

More pixels give you the flexibility to crop your pictures and then print the remaining image at a decent size. If you do go the mega-megapixel route, find out whether the camera also offers you the flexibility of shooting at a lower resolution to save time when you take pictures and save space on your camera’s memory card.

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