There may be more to it, but the main purpose of megapixels is for that larger print size. The larger the megapixels are, the larger the picture can be printed --- i.e. poster size.
In terms of colors, the sensors are more important, and that definitely gets into a lot of technical stuff I don't understand. These sample photos can give a good idea of what a camera can do.
I think the most important thing is knowing what you want from a camera, so you don't end up with a bunch of extra features and things that just add price to the camera, especially if the features never get used.
Mmm...help me choose one of the digis...I can't seem to choose one, while I prefer the casios asthetically, they are pricier and the Canon seems to be a little more powerful mechanically so...I don't know what to do...help
Casio exilim s770
I just got the pink Sony Cyber-shot camera for Christmas and I absolutely love it!! I had received a Casio Exilim for Christmas last year and I found it wasn't very good. It didn't take pictures in the dark, you couldn't really adjust settings and it didn't have a motion stabilizer. With my new Cyber-shot, I can do all those plus much more. Even in pitch black, the pictures come out crystal clear as if there was light. And if I wanted to take pictures of my dogs running around and stuff, the motion stabilizer would catch them completly still in the pictures. Plus the small and slim size of the camera is great for small purses!
I got a Nikon D50. It's an entry-level Digital SLR in the price range of around $650-700 if you buy the 18-55mm lens kit. It's one of the best camera you can buy for that price. (Except the D40, which was just released and is around $600.)
I recommend atleast looking at it, unless you want something more professional, less expensive, or less bulky. (I'm actually considering buying a more portable camera for myself, but not giving up my D50!) This is a generally camera for casual photographers who want great quality pictures.
Sorry for all the love. The few complaints that I have for it are that it doesn't photograph red very true (most cameras I've seen have a problem with this), the built-in flash can be quite strong on people indoors (but there are attachments or diffusers that you can buy), and there is no B&W mode (is that not less-than-difficult to do on the PC?).
The nearest alternative to this (atleast as of last September) is the Canon Digital Rebel XT, but it costs a bit more. There are other options from the Nikon line, like the D80 (around $1,000) or the D40 ($600), if you're interested.
I have a canon IXUS 65, I bought it on the spot without knowing anything about it, just the design looked very appealing compared to other digital cameras(and then...I was like "dad, I WANT this!"). I thought maybe my decision was hasty but I love it, its very efficient, great quality I think, lots of picture effects and options to choose and that makes it very easy for you to take the shots you want on the spot in different ways. Very useful for taking quick sneaky shots too :P. Also the digital macro tool enables you to take really great, quality close-ups. So the canon IXUS series is nice and reliable