How many megapixels resolution should your digital
camera be able to capture? The more pixels you
have, the larger the prints you can print. Consider
the following table, and the answer becomes
It is not just a matter of print size, for you may not want to ever print your pictures. The print size gives you an indication -- serves as a proxy for -- the quality of the image you can capture. Here at Photoxels, we recommend that you consider only digital cameras with 3+ Megapixels resolution. This way, you will never regret capturing that superb shot -- but due to the low resolution of your digital camera, it does not display or print like the way you saw it in the viewfinder or on the LCD.
The higher megapixels also allows you to crop and enlarge ('digital zoom') your original image in an image editing software without noticeably losing too much quality.
[ Editor's note: A note of caution is necessary here. The megapixels resolution of a digital camera is the number of pixels it uses to capture an image. In general, the more megapixels, the more detailed the image that is captured. However, the captured image is then saved, usually as a jpeg file which is compressed. Most digital cameras allow you to specify the amount of compression to use: the less the compression, the bigger the file and the more detailed the image saved; the more the compression, the smaller the file and the less detailed the image saved. However, many beginner cameras do not give you that option and save the image with a lot of compression. So, even if a digital camera is advertised as 5MP and theoretically you should be able to obtain a 20x30 in. print from it, the truth of the matter is that it may save its final image with too much compression to provide the amount of detail necessary to print such a large print.]