Digital Camera Resolution

A photograph, whether viewed on the screen or printed, is composed of tiny dots (also called pixels). The more of these dots that can fit in a one inch space, the tinier the dots and the sharper the image. Assume you take an image at 100 dpi that is one square inch in size. It is composed of 100 X 100 pixels. It may look good at one square inch. Now blow it up four times to four square inches. Since it still contains the same 100 X 100 dots, it is now only 25 dots per inch. It will now look grainy. Digital camera resolution is a very important factor to take into account when deciding what camera to buy.

Digital camera resolution is measured in Megapixels. One Megapixel is made of one million pixels/dots. The more Megapixels – the higher the resolution the better quality of the photograph. Therefore when buying a digital camera, resolution is one of the most important things you need to take into account. Obviously if you’re not going to print your pictures you need not worry about digital camera resolution that much but still you shouldn’t go under one Megapixel.

Digital Camera Resolution Chart

Resolution Internet/email 2×3″ 4×6″ 5×7″ 8×10″ 11×14″ 16×20″
 1-2 MP 3 2 1 1 1 1 1
2-3 MP 4 3 2 1 1 1 1
3-4 MP 5 4 3 3 2 1 1
4-5 MP Overkill 5 5 4 4 3 1
5-6 MP Overkill 5 5 5 4 4 3
6-7 MP Overkill 5 5 5 5 5 4
>7 MP Overkill 5 5 5 5 5 5

Bad = 1
Acceptable = 2
Good = 3
Very good = 4
Excellent = 5

The scheme above should help you when deciding what resolution you’ll need although now-days even the small cameras come with great resolutions so usually this is not something to worry about but as said this chart is more of a reference.

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