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Old Dec 5, 2002, 4:51 PM   #1
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Default How Many Megapixels for a Beginner?

I've searched and searched and asked and asked, but I can't seem to get the real once-and-for-all answer. If all I plan to do with this camera is and print 4x6's and occasional 5x7's (in addition to e-mailing and posting them online), will I notice any difference in output from a 2-MP vs. a 3-MP??? (If it's of interest, I'm debating between Canon's A40 and S30.) Please help. Santa's waiting for my list. :?
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 6:27 PM   #2
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Based on your description, a 2mp camera will meet your needs. My minimum requirements for friends who are buying their first camera is 2mp and optical zoom. The A40 meets these requirements.
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 7:37 PM   #3
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I support that. Don't complicate yourself unnecessarily.

David
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 8:13 PM   #4
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Go with the A40. I have gotten great pictures from 4x6 up to 8x10.
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 8:18 PM   #5
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I disagree. There is not one shot I ever took that didn't have another smaller picture within it. If you have some extra pixels to play with, you can crop your image. Sometimes even a small bit of cropping improves the composition. Sometimes a large amount of cropping gives you an entirely different feeling about the picture. If you had enough pixels to start out with, you could even blow up the smaller picture you now have, back to the 5x7 or 4X6, and still not get the jaggies.
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 9:33 PM   #6
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I agree with Walter.
You didn't mention the price you are willing to spend or why you picked those two cameras to consider. What do you want in a camera? Low light? Good macro? Small size? Manual settings? ... Lots of pixels are nice to have, but that is far from the whole story. Likely the higher pixel camera also has more other good stuff as well.
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Old Dec 5, 2002, 10:55 PM   #7
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8) I agree with Walter and Bill. I say buy the "most" camera you can comfortably afford. 2MP could be perfectly adequate for your needs now, but what about when you get to like it and decide to make enlargements and/or crop images? How about when you get good enough to see the difference between your pictures and those of a friend who has more MP's?

For my friends who only want snapshots and will probably never go beyond 5x7, I try to steer them to 3MP. It's not that much more money to guard against the risk of being sorry. OTOH, if your budget says 2MP, you can get a nice camera that will give you very good pictures.
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Old Dec 6, 2002, 10:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your help. To address the other-important-issues post, the only other important considerations for me are speed (the least amount of shutter lag). I mostly will be shooting my 3-yr-old and am expecting another. That and pets. They all move and shift and change positions/expressions so quickly that that shutter-lag business is a bad thing. The Canon reviews say they're a little better than average. Other than that, all the bells and whistles on these things I don't believe I'll use. (Background: I have an old Canon EOS Rebel 35mm SLR, on which I use the same setting every time. None of the other 13 or so.) But my original question still remains: If I were to look at a 4x6 (or 5x7) print made from a 2-MP beside one from a 3-MP, am I going to see a difference?
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Old Dec 6, 2002, 10:39 AM   #9
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Oh -- One more thing. I narrowed my selection to those two Canons mostly because of the reviews I've read. I tried out someone's old Olympus digital recently and hated it. I also have a newer point-and-shoot film Minolta and LOATHE that piece of work. I guess I just LIKE my Canon SLR, so I feel good about that brand. (Definitely not comfortable with one from a non-camera manufacturer (e.g., Sony, etc.). But there is a HUGE price difference between the two Canons, which are the closest notches away in the line-up. The A40's what I expected to spend (~$250); the S30's pretty high (~$450 -- almost DOUBLE), making me need to postpone a printer purchase for now (which I wanted to get at the same time).
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Old Dec 6, 2002, 1:29 PM   #10
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If you are on a budget, go with the A40. Great camera for $250 USD. But if you are willing to spend more, go with the suggestions that the others offered.
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