I have been hearing and seeing a lot of digital cameras out there and all of them seem to offer the resolution - ex. 1024 x 768 - as a selling point. I don't see how increasing the size is a selling point. Isn't dpi the important factor? Monitors can do between 70 and 75 dpi, but minimum professional print quality is 300 dpi. I don't think these cameras are capable? So what is the advantage of the higher resolution? Is it so that you can squash the picture down to 3" x5" size and get a pretty good pic? I am just not sure the quality is there for print. Please someone let me know if I am missing a big link here.
Size and quality?
Imagine you had a picture 2 by 2 points big.
No mather what you take picture of it'll look preaty the same (4 points won't tell you much).
With 640*480 You'll already see if it's a car, mouse or Bon Jovi on the picture.
But if you look at that picture on the monitor featuring 640*480 resolution picture will be grainy and far from film prints quality.
If you look at the same 640*480 pic on the 1600*1200 monitor
picture will look better at first sight, but wery wery small.
On the other hand picture tahen in 1600*1200 will look very fine and full size on 1600*1200 monitor.
BTW: I scan even my old film pictures, to organize them and prevent forom colour degradation, so I don't care about prints so much, but anyway, with higher resolution pic you get more quality and/or size of prints.
When I compared quality of averge amteur usual film photography and averge quality of printed in equal size (by Epson stylus photo 870) digital photograpy in 640*480 (by NIKON C950),
even that low resolution prints looked much better than averge amateur photos. (becouse of mistakes regarding light conditions, focus, timing,... are much more severe on final quality than dfault 'high grain' of low resolution).
Using 1600*1200 gives me posibility of biger quality prints
and more room for croping and zooming in.
The 1024x768 resolution that the camera is advertised as is the maximum number of pixels that the camera can take a picture with. This means that at the highest setting, a picture is comprised of 786,432 pixels. This is enough to get a decent print-out of 3x5. However, if you want to get a print-out of 8x11, you will need a picture that is made of at least 1 million pixels. Basically, the more pixels a picture has, the more resolution it is capable of having, and the larger the print out can be without having any appearance of the box-like pixelation.
For a consumer-grade camera, the resolution of the picture, regardless of the size setting, is 72 ppi or 96 ppi. At this resolution, a one million pixel picture fills up the entire monitor, but it appears fuzzy (big in size, but low in resolution). When you print this out, it will be larger than 8x10 inches, but the image is still fuzzy because you have not increase the resolution. Therefore to sharpen the printed image, decrease the printout size to 8x10 and increase the resolution to 300 dpi. This can be done with Photoshop. This is a great program to have, albeit expensive, for those who wants to edit and publish pictures in both the digital (Web) and printed form. It includes color management for both outputs. When you have used Photoshop for a while, you will understand the relationship between the digital and print format, including the ever confusing pixels per inch and dots per inch.
If all you want is to display the picture on the screen, then just decrease the image's size to that of the appropriate size depending on the monitor size and resolution setting. A 300 dpi image and 72 dpi image look the same on the monitor but the former takes up a lot more disk space.