Q: When I shoot photos, each picture comes in as more than 1.5MB (megabytes), sometimes 2MB. What setting do I need to use to get the best photo quality, with small photo file sizes around 200KB (kilobytes) to 300KB?
A: Reducing the file size of a photo is as easy as reducing the image quality. With digital photos, less data in the photo reduces the file size. You then just have to find the balance between a small photo file size and the best photo quality.
Every digital camera's menu structure is a little different, but you should be able to set the number of megapixels in each photo through the menu. With the point and shoot camera I'm currently using, for example, I can choose from several image modes, ranging from 10 megapixels to 0.3 megapixels. Just press the menu button, and look for the menu setting that controls the number of megapixels in each image.
With my camera, a 5MP (megapixel) photo (about 2500x2000 pixels) requires about 1MB of storage space on the computer. To reduce this number to around 200KB, I'd have to reduce the number of megapixels in the photo to around 1MP.
You'll have to test your camera's image settings to find the best combination of image quality and file size to meet your needs. If creating the smallest possible file size is the most important factor for you, nearly all cameras allow you to shoot in "VGA" or "Web-ready" image mode, which is 640x480 pixels (0.3MP).
Find more answers to common camera questions on the camera FAQ page.