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How many mega pixels is enough for me?

When buying digital cameras now days, there are so many questions that tend to pop up. One question that tends to come up commonly is, “How many mega pixels should I be buying??

The answer to that question is as easy as this…Know and understand the structure of the final print size. The number of pixels that you need for the picture is determined by the size of the print.  Once past a certain amount of pixels (1.3), the quality of the image has almost nothing to do with the number of pixels on the sensor. The image contains a good amount of information to create a clear and sharp print.

Digital images have the ability to print in many different sizes.  However, in order to get the top quality print, your printer needs a number of pixels on every square inch to produce a print that appears smooth.  In other words, the number of dots placed on the paper by the printer, must be sufficiently high that the eye will not detect jaggies (the visible "steps" of diagonal lines or edges in a digital image).

When this count of the image’s pixel per inch (PPI) is converted to the dot per inch (DPI) count of a printer, the image size changes accordingly as the printer requires more dots per square inch than the monitor’s 72 pixels per inch. The main point is, the larger the final print, the more mega pixels the sensor would need.  Typically, a 2-mega pixel camera is more than enough to print out 4x6 print, and 3-mega or more pixel cameras are recommended for quality 8x10 print.

Lastly, to get the best results, it is best to avoid printing a low resolution image at a large size print.

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