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Old Nov 29, 2009, 7:33 PM   #1
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Default How Many MegaPixel's Does One Need

I want to buy a quality point and shoot as my son's starter camera for the holidays. ( OLYMPUS FE-46)
Most cameras now offer "sky's the limit" on Megapixel's and a land mine of optical zoom variations.
My pictures look fine with my older 6 MP with 3X optical.
How much is enough and/or how much is too much?
Thanks to all!
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 7:43 PM   #2
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If all you'll ever do is 5x7 prints, or even 8x10s, 6MP is plenty. But if you want to make larger prints, or you want to crop and then make an 8x10, it's not.

There's no such thing as "too much". (... except maybe for turkey. )
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 8:46 PM   #3
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I've had 16 x 20 inch prints made on line from a 9 Mega-pixel camera.

As far as zoom goes you can never have too much in a point and shoot camera........

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Old Dec 7, 2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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If you're only looking at the pics on the computer, or not printing beyond 4x6", then 2 megapixels is all you need.

I read an article written in 2000 stating that the "megapixel" war would likely top out at 6. That's pretty funny. But, unless you're going to crop a lot of your photo, or print very large (11x16 and up), then 6 mp will be plenty.

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Old Dec 7, 2009, 7:32 AM   #5
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Agree with the others. Don't get caught up in number of MP a camera offers - for most photographers anything 6mp is plenty. It's not to say more is necessarily bad - it's just I wouldn't recommend # of megapixels being a deciding factor - base your decision on the other features/performance of the cameras you're considering.
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 3:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by waldo1967 View Post
I want to buy a quality point and shoot...pictures look fine with my older 6 MP with 3X optical.
How much is enough and/or how much is too much?
If you usually manage to frame the subject just right and don't need to crop much, 7Mpix (increasingly difficult to find in a 'quality point & shoot') is fine, especially if you're viewing small prints or a computer screen.

However, if your son is (a) a learner, and (b) on holiday, it's likely he'll take plenty of shots where some cropping will produce a huge improvement in the images. I often need to crop myself even when I'm taking my time, because of constrained camera position, or intrusive objects in the frame. Many subjects aren't best presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio. Having more pixels comes in very handy then, still allowing good resolution at the desired viewing magnification.

I have two very similar superzooms, one 7Mpix and a newer 10Mpix. I generally carry the 7Mpix one, because it's a little smaller & lighter and I prefer its handling. However, now & again I wish I'd used the 10Mpix version, when I have a little masterpiece that needs cropping, and I can't blow it up as far as I'd like because of inadequate resolution.

Also, of course, squashing too many pixels on a tiny sensor in the manufacturer's 'pixel war' risks them being worse quality pixels.

Good luck!
Alan T
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