Digital Cameras and Resolution Tutorial
The amount of detail that the camera can capture is called the
resolution, and it is measured in pixels. In general, the more
pixels your camera has, the more detail it can capture. The more
detail you have, the more you can blow up a picture before it
becomes "grainy," and starts to look out-of-focus.
Some typical resolutions that you find in digital cameras today
- 256x256 pixels - You find this resolution on cheap
cameras, like those you would buy for a child. This resolution is
so low that the picture quality is almost always unacceptable. This
is 65,000 total pixels.
- 640x480 pixels - This is the low end on most "real"
cameras. This resolution is great if you plan to e-mail most of
your pictures to friends or post them on a Web site. This is
307,000 total pixels.
- 1216x912 pixels - If you are planning to print your
images, and want them to look nice, this is a good resolution. This
is a "megapixel" image size -- 1,109,000 total pixels.
- 1600x1200 pixels - This is "high resolution." Images
taken with this resolution can be printed in larger sizes, like 8
inches x 10 inches, with good results. This is almost 2 million
total pixels. You can find cameras today with up to 3 million
You may or may not need lots of resolution, depending on what
you want to do with your pictures. If you are planning to do
nothing more than display images on a Web page or send them in
e-mail, then using 640x480 resolution has several
- Your camera's memory will hold more images at this low
resolution than at higher resolutions.
- It will take less time to move the images from the camera to
- The images will take up less space on your computer.
On the other hand, if your goal is to print large images, you
definitely want to take high resolution shots, and you need a camera
with lots of pixels.