Beyond the megapixel

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Wired just released an article on digital camera technology: why megapixels alone are not a good indicator of camera and photograph quality.

For years, resolution was considered the main measure of image quality in digital photos, but continual improvements have only shown up the fallacy: Grainy, blurry and underexposed photos look just as bad at 8 megapixels as they do at 5.

Camera vendors are concentrating on other fields to enhance camera quality:

Low-light shooting
While camera’s used to be limited to a sensitivity of 400 ISO (i.e. almost worthless in night situations), new image processing algorithms and larger sensors allow newer models to go up to 3200 ISO
Flash
Soft-flash (Casio) and i-Flash (Fujifilm) are ways to use a flash without ruining the natural lighting completely.
Zooming further in, or out
By using a right-angle construction within the body of the camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1K can get to a 10X optical zoom (35 mm to 350 mm). Kodak uses two 5X zoom lenses to get the same zoom capability
Keeping steady
Image-stabilization technologies, both optical and gyroscopic, avoid blurry photo’s.
Capturing bright and dark
enhancing the dynamic range of the sensors by using e.g. variable pixel size
Protecting shooters from themselves
Find the face in the picture and focus on it, or advise the photographer on how to improve his pictures.

And I would add to that: networking. Kodak, Canon and Nikon already have cameras with built-in Wifi, and for the ‘old’ ones that don’t have it, Eye-Fi might have a solution (via Scoble).

Read the article @ Wired, or dive even deeper in thetechlounge.com

2 thoughts on “Beyond the megapixel”

  1. Pixel pitch lower than 5μm is a lot more prone to camera shake. The velvety soft part of an image with the Nikon D700, often looks like “little sharp diagonal lines” on the D850 (camera shake), due to the higher resolution. This makes a slightly shaken pic much better looking on the D700. Thus higher res would force Leica to develop IBIS system for the sensor, in order to keep the same lenses, which will complicate both the system and the user’s experience. That’s my explanation.

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