Here is another article with some more information on what to look for in a digital camera. Please keep in mind that although this article was written just back in October it mentions 2-3 mega pixel camera as being good for printing. I am not sure that we can even find that small a mega pixel rating now but with a bigger pixel count you have a better opportunity to crop the picture you get to get the best picture printed possible.
Today, while you go shopping for ‘feature-rich’ digital cameras physically or on the Internet, often you will find manufacturers running out of their ways, telling “this camera takes great pictures.” And which photo-enthusiast of our times will fail to equate ‘great pictures’ with great resolutions? Well, with today’s 3, 4 or 5 mega pixel digital cameras offering the flexibility of digital zooms, storing high-resolution images on their memory cards and an LCD panel that shows 100% of the subject, you will get digital images of superb quality; whether you want to print posters or put your images online.
With manufacturers recognizing a market for simple, sleek and sophisticated cameras in all pixel categories, today you can find basic point-and-shoot digicams, with resolutions typically ranging from one-mega pixel at the low end to six-megapixels in professional-grade equipment. And here, the bottomline is, the more pixels a camera has, the sharper the images it produces.
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With today’s manufacturers realizing that the buyers actually intend to match their purchases with the specific needs of the camera at a price that best suits them, they have also come up with many midrange models that feature lots of adjustable focus, exposure settings and several flash/picture modes (like portrait, landscape, nightmode, etc). Clearly, more sophisticated models require more time with the manual, and prospective buyers should know that there’s a learning curve involved with such cameras. As a whole, while you go for buying one for yourself, you’ll learn:
• How to use camera functions to the best of their capabilities
• How to select and use accessories to enhance your shooting experience
• How to use the digital cameras to create great images
• How to spark up your images (using the most popular image editing software: Adobe Photoshop7).
However, Webshots.com, the premiere online photo community website has introduced free online courses to teach buyers the technicalities of digital image touch-ups/reworking, creating stunning web pages and rich media websites with their digital images.
In order to choose the right camera–one with the right picture resolution at the right price–you’ll need to figure out what you’ll be doing with it. For example, if you are a casual snapshooter, interested in taking photos that you can e-mail to friends and family, post on the Web, or print in sizes smaller than 8×10 inches; a 2-3 megapixel will suffice.
There are lot of these models introduced by Kodak Eastman company (Kodak EasyShare CX6200, Kodak EasyShare CX6230), Canon (Canon Powershot A75), POLAROID (Polaroid PDC2050 2.1 MP Digital Camera with the lowest price in India, starting at 3399/-), stressing on the fact that these are easy enough for the whole family to use and small enough to take anywhere.
On the other hand, to shoot onsite or in the office, photographs for product-ads and publicity in print and on the Web with professional-looking results without hiring a pro, a business user will find 3 megapixel cameras great.
Again, someone with the frenzy to buy the newest, shiniest toys to impress friends and business associates with the latest technologies and coolest features will find 5 megapixel cameras really ‘cool’. Among the latest feature-rich cameras in this category, you’ll find Sony’s stylish, pocket-size Cybershot DSCP100 digital camera offering an amazing 5-megapixel resolution and a wealth of photographic features normally found on full-sized, high-end cameras. On the other hand, Panasonic has today revealed the new Panasonic DMC-FZ20 with five megapixels, an improved body design and an improved processor (the “Venus Engine II”), promising better performance, improved image stabilization and image quality. Canon Powershot G5 5 Megapixel at Rs49, 995 is also a smash hit with the resolution-junkies.
Expert photographers and reviewers have time and again said that as much as they would like to give a one-word answer to one asking how many megapixels would be fine for him/her, this one happens to be of the trickiest questions in digital photography.
A final answer by experts:
For any images you plan to print or retouch, 3-megapixel resolution and higher should be okay; web and e-mail-only photos should be fine at resolutions below that. For prints 8×10 or larger, one should look for digicams with 4-megapixel resolution or higher. And last but not the least, for displaying or printing pictures at smaller-than-actual-pixel size, resolution doesn’t matter much. Instead, in that case, one should opt for the camera with the best color.
However, in spite of the experts’ verdict, the fact remains that the craze for high resolution digicams soars higher every day. With the enthusiasm of camera nuts willing to pay huge amounts for their photographic toys, 8-megapixel cameras launched by Canon (Canon EOS 20D) are having a good market in the western countries. Lori Grunin, a photo-columnist of Webshots.com, however, says that these cameras appeal to relatively specialized groups within the entire photographic market. Before buying one, identify whether you are one of them.