I'm picking 600 DPI since you wrote archival. It's a document and not a picture so color is unimportant.
To take a readable picture of a 8.5 x 11 inch paper that works out to be this formula.
8.5 x 11 x 600 x 600 = 33,660,000 pixels
You'll need a 34 megapixel camera to get this done.
Today I only see 10 megapixel in the consumer cameras.
My old Camera just died, and I'm looking to buy a digital camera along the lines of the Canon Powershot SD800 IS or the AD570 IS (i.e. my budget is up to $300)
I will use the camera for regular family and personal shots - but I also really need the camera to take good photos of old documents (archival material) - paper size varies, but is generally a regular Letter/A4 size paper.
Please can anyone advise if it's more important to have a more powerful optical zoom (e.g. 4x) or a wide angle lens (like the SD800) in order to get a better capture of the documents. - or is there other factors I need to consider? Obviously the aim would be that after picturing the documents, that I can view the text on the document clearly, with adequate contrast. I realise that lighting is a big issue, but are there any factors in the camera that I need to be looking for as well? Any specific models you can recommend?
Thanks to all you experts for your advice!!