Quite a debatable topic. Most of the camera manufacturers are now a days seen emphasizing on this particular topic while selling or marketing their cameras. Few, on the other hand declare that their 8 megapixels camera is sufficient for printing superb A4 quality prints, which is, yeah of course, wrong. Even you will find it when you will proceed below.
Camera resolution is measured in pixels, or a larger unit now a day, a megapixel, which means a unit of 1 million pixels. Whereas a print resolution is expressed in dpi (dots per inch), which denotes the density or scattering of the dots on the final print. In general, a unit called pixel per inch, or ppi can also be used to express the clarity or density of a photograph. For a superb shot, it is printed on the resolution of 300 dpi. When you need bit larger images, you can get them printed at 200 dpi, but you will have to pay for, by getting a degraded image. Below 150 dpi, the images will look real disasters, and fuzzy.
Given below is a table showing the prime camera resolutions which are used generally, image size in landscape orientation. Please note that there may be slight variations in the resolutions, as per the aspect ratios of each camera setup, as well as the effective megapixel count. But, more or less, the count remains almost equivalent.
|Megapixels||Image Resolution (in pixels)||Size (in inches) of Best Quality Print (at 300 dpi)||Size (in inches) of Average Quality Print (at 200 dpi)|
|0.3||640 x 480||2.1 x 1.6||3.2 x 2.4|
|1.2||1280 x 960||4.2 x 3.2||6.4 x 4.8|
|2||1600 x 1200||5.3 x 4.0||8.0 x 6.0|
|3.2||2048 x 1536||6.8 x 5.1||10.2 x 7.6|
|4||2464 x 1632||8.2 x 5.4||12.3 x 8.1|
|5||2592 x 1944||8.6 x 6.4||12.9 x 9.7|
|6||2736 x 2192||9.1 x 7.3||13.6 x 10.9|
|7||2960 x 2368||9.8 x 7.8||14.8 x 11.8|
|8||3264 x 2448||10.8 x 8.1||16.3 x 12.2|
|9||3352 x 2864||11.1 x 9.5||16.7 x 14.3|
|10||3648 x 2736||12.1 x 9.1||18.2 x 13.6|
|11||3712 x 2968||12.3 x 9.8||18.5 x 14.8|
|12||4000 x 3000||13.3 x 10.0||20.0 x 15.0|
|13||4032 x 3224||13.4 x 10.7||20.1 x 16.1|
|14||4320 x 3240||14.4 x 10.9||21.6 x 16.2|
|15||4584 x 3272||15.2 x 10.9||22.9 x 16.3|
|16||4920 x 3264||16.4 x 10.8||24.6 x 16.3|
In the end, keep a few things in mind:
- If you want to take prints of large posters, you can decrease the dpi, as the fuzziness that appear in decreasing the dpi makes a difference in the finer details of the picture, and no much difference if seen from a distance.
- Using softwares like photoshop can amplify your stills. you can increase the size of the image, the dpi and what not.
- The simple conclusion is to apply simple maths on what your camera reads on the resolution chart, and for the best quality print, divide the pixels (width or length) by 300.
Note: The image size shown here are the general image size for the megapixels, and may vary from camera to camera. So better option would be to apply your own mathematics.