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Mega pixels for Digital Cameras


New Member
With so many new digital Cameras out there, i am confused as to what to buy? Can some one shed some light in to what kind of resolution is sufficient for an average photographer who wants to take some nice shots of children in Park or a function on a stage or outdies scenaries.

Do I need a 7.2 Megapixel camera? At one point people were saying that if you have 4.x MP camera that would be sufficient for most of yoru photographic and printing needs, but now that we have 7.2 available, i am wondering why is everyobdoy going for higher resolution if all you need is a 4.x MP camera to get good prints even at 8x10 size.

Secondly, which type of battery is the best choice - a camera that uses AA batteries like the Canons or a camera that uses prepacked proprietery batteries that needs to charge before you embark on a photo expedition. Some people say, if you the camera uses AA, you can never run out of battery even if you are in the middle of a nowhere away from a power receptacle, if you can find a store that sells batteries you will be okay. Any value to that argument? Does these prepacked Li-Ion run out of jusice that fast? (I know it depends on the usage, but assuming avaerage usage where you end up taking some pictures every day for a period of few days out in a sky resort).

Thank you


Well-Known Member
Detailed info:

In short - Lithium ion batteries don't have the memory effect (though that does not mean they don't "degrade" with time). However, they are more expensive and you need a spare anyway - no particular indication that they don't deliver "the juice". Also, you'll not be throwing away any of these for a while, so there is an environmental consideration as well (?). I've not had any problems with mine, but you do have to plan your photo trips to be sure you're all charged up.

AA is a good option for travel etc. for reasons you already stated, but if you're thinking about just using alkaline batteries then you'll run into problems because they don't deliver sufficient power to last very long. You will still need to buy a charger with a set of rechargable NiMH batteries (refer to second and third link) as your "primary" power source. Backup sets also required here - but cheaper than lithium ion - though with memory effect.

Check that the camera you want to buy can use specific battery types.2

As for megapixel resolutions, personally I'm more concerned with the optical zoom of a camera. As far as I can recall, the Mars lander probes were fitted with 1 MP cameras - however, they had great lenses fitted. In my mind, megapixels = print quality, while optical zoom = photo quality (in most cases). For general picture taking (which is what you seem to want it for), I'd go for a middle range one - 5 MP is more than sufficient, and you can use the difference in price to get some other features - stability control, lenses, etc. - maybe try to get one with optical zoom greater than x3 - though these get bulkier in general, so figure out what you're happy with lugging about. I think you'll have a more rewarding digital camera experience that way instead of just going for the "megapixels".


Well-Known Member
i had a canon powershot a20 2.1mp. it gave good pictures. it didn't have enough zoom for me(3x). so, i got a kodak z740. 5mp, 10x optical zoom. it was in my price range. $500. that was a couple of years ago.
my daughter plays sports and i like the zoom and the quality i get.

i just use AA batteries.

if this camera came with 3mp and 10x optical zoom, i probably would have bought it. i'm not going to print out anything bigger than 8x10.


Active Member
My first digital camera (Olympus E-10) had 4 megapixels and I got excellent 8x10's from it. It used AA batteries and I used the nickel metal hydride rechargables and got over 200 shots per charge. These are not very expensive. I got a charger and 4 batteries for $10.

I have seen prints made from a 6 megapixel camera that were about 40 inches long that looked good.

I now use a Nikon D70 and the battery it uses gives over 1600 exposures per charge, I've never had one run down while using it. But a spare is small and easy to carry.