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Chapter 17. Workflow > Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras

Quality starts with the choices you make when purchasing and setting up your digital camera. There are many books dedicated to how to use a camera effectively, but for our purposes I just want to cover three concepts: resolution, file formats and histograms.

Resolution

The resolution of a camera determines how much detail it is capable of capturing and is measured in Megapixels. A Megapixel is an approximate measurement of how many millions of pixels the camera will deliver. If the camera doesn't capture enough information for the type of output you plan to use (on-screen, inkjet, printing press, etc.), you're doomed from the start (quality-wise, that is). The table above indicates how large you can print an image based on how many Megapixels it contains. Camera resolution isn't a critical factor when using an image on-screen because even the cheapest modern digital camera captures enough information to fill most computer screens. The largest screen I see high-end imaging professionals using is a 23” widescreen display, which can display 1920 x 1200 pixels, which is just over 2 Megapixels. Use the table when shopping for a camera or to determine the limitations of your hardware.


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