When digital camera manufacturers market their new models, one of the numbers they almost always steer consumers toward is the number of megapixels the image sensor can record. Cameras with more resolution can store more pixels, giving the images more information with which to work.
Today's new cameras typically have at least 16MP of resolution, but there are a few models that exceed that number, offering 18MP or greater. Here's a list of the best large resolution cameras that I've found in today's market.
One final note: Simply having a large resolution doesn't guarantee great photo quality. While larger amounts of resolution are helpful in creating great photos, other factors, such as focus sharpness, available lighting, subject matter, and depth of field all also play key roles in determining how your photos will look. In addition, the type and size of image sensor inside the camera may play an even greater role in image quality than the number of megapixels.
So don't rely only on megapixel amounts to select your camera!
Canon's impressive EOS 7D DSLR camera includes an 18.0-megapixel CMOS image sensor. The 7D offers ISO settings up to 12800, allowing for strong low-light performance. Canon offers a wide variety of interchangeable EF and EF-S lenses that work with the EOS 7D.
The EOS 7D DSLR camera includes a 3.0-inch LCD and what Canon calls an "intelligent viewfinder," which can display the camera's various auto focus modes. In addition, you'll find the EOS 7D can shoot full HD 1080p video, and it includes an HDMI connector. It's a pricey camera, but it has a lot of great features for the serious photographer.
Canon also has announced a studio version of the 7D, called the EOS 7DSV.
The Canon Rebel T3i incorporates the latest technologies and features, including 18MP of resolution.
The T3i uses an APS-C size image sensor and uses Canon EF lenses. The award-winning T3i allows for nine AF points and includes a 3-inch high-resolution LCD that can swivel away from the camera, if you don't want to use the viewfinder.
Samsung's latest DIL camera, the NX210, offers some very impressive specifications, making it a model well worth considering.
The NX210 carries a 20.3 megapixel image sensor, Wi-Fi capabilities, 1080p HD video capabilities, and a 3.0-inch high-resolution AMOLED screen. With its interchangeable lenses, you'll have a lot of flexibility with the NX210, too.
Most DSLR cameras are designed to provide large amounts of resolution and that, along with a large image sensor, helps provide great image quality.
However, Sony has taken the resolution in its recently released Alpha a65 DSLR interchangeable lens camera to a really high level for an advanced consumer-level camera: 24.3 megapixels.
The a65 offers high-end shooting features to go with its high resolution. The a65 can shoot in full 1080p HD video, uses 15-point autofocus, and features an electronic viewfinder and a 3.0-inch LCD.
As you can see, Sony has a strong hold on the large-resolution segment of the market. Another 24.3-megapixel DSLR camera from Sony -- the Alpha a77 -- joins the a65 listed above.
The Sony Alpha a77 DSLR camera offers a powerful set of features beyond its high resolution level. It offers a 3.0-inch articulated LCD that can tilt and swivel, as well as full 1080p HD video. With a series of Alpha interchangeable lenses available from Sony, you can find the telephoto or wide-angle capabilities you need with the a77.
All of these features are in a camera body that measures only about 1.7 inches in thickness, before you attach the interchangeable lens. The thin camera body is the key design feature of DIL cameras. The NEX-7 is available in black only.
High-end point and shoot cameras have grown in popularity in 2012, with many more manufacturers showcasing these fixed-lens cameras. Sony's Cyber-shot HX30 might be the best of the lot, though.
The HX30 (also called the HX30V and HX30B) features 18.2 megapixels of resolution, a 20X optical zoom lens, 3D capabilities, a 3.0-inch LCD, full HD video options, and a 10 frames per second burst mode.
Two potential drawbacks may keep beginning photographers from picking up this model, which was announced in the spring. First, it's a pretty plain-looking camera, only available in black. Second, it carries a high price tag. Still, there are some very impressive features in the HX30.
Sony is aiming the RX100 at professional photographers who may want a compact camera as a supplement to their more powerful DSLR models. The RX100 features a 1-inch CMOS image sensor, which is much larger than most fixed-lens cameras, giving it the ability to create more precise photographs.
In addition, the award-winning RX100 offers a 3.6X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch high-resolution and high-contrast LCD, and full 1080p HD video. With its high price, the Cyber-shot RX100 isn't going to appeal to everyone, but it certainly has some impressive photography features for a fixed-lens camera.
There aren't many point and shoot digital cameras that carry an almost $500 price tag.
Then again, there aren't many digital cameras like the ultra-thin Sony Cyber-shot TX200V. The TX200V has an all black front, with a tiny lens in the upper right corner. The top, side, and back panels can be colored silver, red, or purple.
The TX200V has a high-end 18.2MP CMOS image sensor, and it can shoot 1080p HD video. The 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen is a high quality display system, and the TX200V includes a 5X optical zoom lens that doesn't extend beyond the camera body at any time.
Impressively for a point and shoot model, the TX200V can capture up to 10 frames per second in burst mode at full resolution. In addition, this model has a built-in GPS, and it'll work in water depths up to 16 feet.
Not bad for a camera that measures 0.66 inches in thickness. I'm not sure there's another point and shoot camera that can match these features, other than the zoom lens. Whether people will be willing to spend almost $500 for these features will be interesting to watch.
At CES 2012, the new expected top-end level for the resolution of point and shoot cameras was 18 megapixels. Few point and shoot models actually reached that number, but the Sony Cyber-shot WX150, which was announced after CES 2012, has hit that mark.
This is a model with quite a few really nice features for a sub-$250 camera. The WX150 has a 10X optical zoom lens, 18.2MP of resolution, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD, and a 1080p video mode.
You'll find the WX150 in blue, red, silver, or black camera bodies.