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How Many Mp Do I Need?

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#1 Christine M.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 10:26 PM

I am thinking (again) of investing in a point-and-shoot. The camera I have now, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 is just more than I need. I bought it a 3 or 4 years ago because it had all the settings of a manual or dslr camera (shutter speed, aperature, etc.), and I wanted to learn to take really great pictures, take a photography class etc.. But I have just never found the time. And it is kind of big and heavy, and I am reluctant to take it to places like the beach or the park for fear it will get damaged (considering how expensive it was).

My Panasonic is a 10.1 MP with 12x optical zoom. When I import the pictures into PSE, they are usually some ridiculous size, like 50x30 at 72 dpi. Even when I resize to 300 dpi, the pics are still 9x12 or something like that.

So finally, the question. How many MP in a p&s do I need to get scrap quality pictures. I would like occasionally to use larger pics (8x10 or a full 12x12), but most of the time I use 4x6. I don't exactly understand the correlation between MPs and dpi, other than "bigger is better." But how big is big enough without being too big?

Then, of course, what camera should I pick?

#2 PBarnes


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Posted 16 November 2010 - 10:40 PM

I would say you could probably get by with 7 megapixels for scrapping and for the occasional 8x10. The problem is finding current cameras with that low of a capability.

I have a Kodak similar to your Panasonic Lumix with more controls, similar zoom and 10 mp. I love it but I decided to buy a P&S to be able to carry in my pocket when I'm out walking or in my sporran when I'm in my pipeband uniform. I did get a 10 MP, mostly because I wanted more than 3x zoom and the 5x zoom or greater all were 10 mp or greater. I have since purchased a DSLR that is 12 MP. I use all three cameras.

Just my two cents worth.

#3 April Showers

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:39 AM

I don't know that you'll find one with less mp than what Pat mentioned. I have a little one that I carry in my purse that is 6 mp and I can scrap with the photos just fine. It is pretty old. I use my DSLR for most things though. We gave a little camera to my son for Christmas last year and it is 12 mp. It wasn't very expensive either. I find that sometimes, when I can't get as close as I'd like to something, it is really nice to be able to crop and still have a decent size left to work with. If the larger files are a bother for you, you can set the quality lower on any digital camera. I don't recommend it though. Enjoy shopping for your new camera.

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#4 SandiC.


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:12 AM

10 is good. the large files are something separated from the number of MP and can be changed in any camera. I like having a tiny camera on hand to carry in pocket or purse, however the size of the camera doesn't necessarily make it any less of a good instrument. I hope at some point you can have the time to learn more about your camera, its a really good one.
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#5 Pab


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:15 AM

I can't recall which professional I was reading said this, but he said actually 6 MP was fine for your normal picture taking. Meaning basically printing out mostly 4 x6 pics. So i guess it depends on what your style of scrapping is. Do you zoom in alot and need more MP would probably be a consideration. But I think most point and shoots are at least 8 or more anyway now.


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