Camera Resolution 101

Posted on November 6, 2008. Filed under: Net Spy | Tags: , , , |

Making sure you are equiped with the right camera that meets all your needs is the most important thing to consider if you want to win photo contests. Unlike film cameras, advanced digital cameras use CCD (charged coupled device) instead of film. Whether in photo contests, special occassions or in your everyday use, using digital cameras will save you time and money in the long run.

To give you a glimpse of how CCD works – light enters the camera, through the open shutter, and strikes the CCD where it is converted to digital data before being stored in the camera’s memory. Yes, knowing the basics of digital camera is child’s play. However, using your digital camera as a tool for photo competition will make things pretty complicated without proper knowledge and enough practice.

The first thing you should familiarize your self with is how to choose the camera you should buy. The price and quality of digital cameras depend on their megapixels and resolution.

Resolution is a measure of how many pixels are used to make a digital copy of an image. Pixels are tiny dots of light that make up a digital image. While the quality of a digital camera’s image is usually measured in ‘Megapixels’ where each megapixel represents one million pixels. You should be able to determine how many megapixel and how high the resolution of the camera you want to use for the quality of image you want to produce. In photo competitions, the higher the resolution, the better is the quality of the image. Most photographers use cameras with the highest possible megapixel to produce stunning images. Photography contests is not only a battle of skills but also a battle of tools. Having the best camera will greatly increase of your chances of winning photography contests.

Here’s how to determine how many megapixels you’ll need depending upon the type of photos you will be taking and what you intend to do with them.

1 megapixel – Digital cameras having 1 megapixel are almost obsolete and you don’t want to buy these kind because of very poor image quality.Nobody uses cameras having the least resolution in picture contests, yet, you might still find them in mobile phones, PDAs and PC web cameras.

1.1 to 2 megapixels – A bit better than 1.0 and has an average of 4×6 snapshot but still produces poor image quality.

2.1 to 3 megapixels – A reasonable resolution for 5×7 images and produces excellent 4×6 images. Cost effective for beginners and provides a fair platform.

3.1 to 4 megapixels – These are neat cameras way better than those with resolutions from 1-3 megapixels. You get professional quality 4×6 images, real good 5×7 and 6×9 shots, and somewhat decent, but not great 8×10 images.

4.1 to 5 megapixels and up – You will be taking pictures like a pro, provides many options, and an excellent platform very useful for any kind of photography. You can count on professional images all the way up to 8×10’s. Of course, as the megapixel count goes up, so does the price.

To see how John Warton, senior photo editor at Photo Laureates reviews photographs and meet, go to


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