Digital camera resolution vs print quality

Capture Resolution

Video Display

Print Size

2x3"

4x5"/4x6"

5x7"

8x10"

11x14"

16x20"

20x30"

320x240

OK

Good

OK

Crap

Crap

Crap

Crap

Crap

640x480
0.3Megapixel

Good

Excellent

Good

Crap

Crap

Crap

Crap

Crap

800x600

Excellent

Photo Quality

Very Good

Reasonable

Crap

Crap

Crap

Crap

1024x768

Excellent

Photo Quality

Excellent

Good

OK

Crap

Crap

Crap

1280x960
1 MP

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Very Good

Good

Crap

Crap

Crap

1536x1180

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

Very Good

OK

Crap

Crap

1600x1200
2MP

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Very Good

OK

OK

Crap

2048x1536
3 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

Good

OK

OK

2240x1680
4 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Very Good

Good

OK

2560x1920
5 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

Very Good

Very Good

3032x2008
6 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

Very Good

3072x2304
7 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

Excellent

3264x2448
8 Megapixel

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Excellent

10 Megapixel +

Excellent

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Photo Quality

Crap

Horribly pixelated blocky mess, like something out of 1987

OK

Looks reasonable enough, but nowhere near photo quality

Good

Pretty good all round, with a fair bit of detail

Very Good

This will be fine for most uses, unless you get up reeeeal close

Excellent

As good as a photo for most purposes

Photo Quality

Woohoo! Fantastic quality print, full of detail and perfect for your picture frame or for your showing off your very best shots.

WANT TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO PHOTO AGENCIES?

There's no hard and fast rules for stock library resolution requirements, but as a rough guide, you should be looking to get a dSLR camera 10MP and above (you might just get away with 6MP or less for web use only) and remember you'll need model release forms for people featured in your images.
Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the agency you're submitting your work to very carefully and think twice before signing off your very best photos.

Here's a useful guide from a stock library agency: external linkAlamy.com