Consumer Reports: The Myth of Megapixels

Ted Friedland sells digital cameras. He says most of his customers are looking for one thing - more megapixels.

"Some people come in and that's all they want to know about. And you can't talk them out of it," says Friedland.

Consumer Reports recently tested nearly 70 digital cameras and says the emphasis on megapixels is part of the game manufacturers play to get people to buy more expensive cameras.

Consumer Reports says many people just share photos online or make small prints. Tests show for that you don't need a high megapixel camera.

"We have here two photos - one taken with this ten megapixel SLR. This one taken with this five megapixel point-and-shoot. And as you can see, there's very little difference between them," says one expert while making the test.

So for small prints and sharing photos online, Consumer Reports says the five megapixel Canon PowerShot A530 is a very good choice. This compact digital costs about $180.

But if you're giving a camera to someone who's interested in cropping photos and blowing them up to 8-by-10s - that's when higher megapixels can pay off.

So, to be able to make big prints Consumer Reports recommends a ten megapixel SLR from Nikon - the D-200. It costs 17-hundred dollars.