[WROTE]: "Ok - I can see the logic in that - BUT I recently took 2 near identical shots.
1) with the C-740 at 3,2mp at 380mm
2) with the A-200 at 8.0mp at 200mm - with 2xdigital as well
The upshot is the A-200 pic pixalates noticably LESS than the c-740 pic
(If you like I could create a couple of comparison pics, ie paste then together)
I know that the image from the A-200 is slightly closer so tat would contribut a tad."

i came across this forum and was just wondering if you questioned whether your problem is a technical one rather than a photographical one. (haha, i probably said this wrong)... anyway, i've noticed that not every digital camera outputs the DPI (dots per inch; or resolution) of its file the same as another. For instance, my camera outputs at 72 DPI (which is what most are). It's a 6 (roughly) MP camera, so the picture size is huge (like 30 by 40 or something), but again, only 72 DPI. I always going in an change this in Photoshop before I print mine. A buddy of mine has a Sony and it outputs the files at 300 DPI (I think), which is a much higher and better quality for printing... therefore, less pixelation. So that's a possibility.

Another thing of concern, are you viewing your pictures in print or on the computer? Again, depending on how your camera outputs the file, your computer may interpret it differently than another file. For example, have you ever taken a picture of telephone wires and then viewed them on the computer? Sometimes they look all broken, distorted, and pixelated. The file doesn't fit right to the screen size.

And my last comment is about digital zoom. In my opinion, digital zoom sucks. It's an interpretive zoom, not a true zoom, like optical zoom is. It's way cheaper than optical zoom, so of course many camera come standard w/ it and they talk it up like it's something great. Digital zoom will add to the pixelation of your image, so be careful w/ that.

I hope that this bit of information helped anybody here that was having problems. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Again, I just stumbled on this forum, but i'll try and stop back.