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  1. #1

    Default Megapixel arms race?

    With the resolution of many compact cameras having now jumped to 16MP, it is only a matter of time before they break the 20MP barrier – possibly during this calendar year.

    The question is why - who is actually driving the megapixel arms race with the ‘this one goes up to 11’ mentality? Are all consumers/users really demanding that all cameras must have ever higher megapixels, contrary to regular comment within the photography media on the usability of the excessive resolution per sensor size and its effect on image quality, and even advice from retailers that excessive megapixels are not ideal.

    There seems an odd parallel with the demise of the viewfinder on compacts; with the manufacturers claiming people want this despite offering users with little or no option other than to purchase the functionality/features implemented by the manufacturers.

  2. #2

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    The megapixel race is ending imo, no need for such high quantities, we're moving head on into the ISO race, high ISO capabilities are way more useful than such huge megapixel counts, and camera companies know this (a la d3s)

  3. #3
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    Default

    There is a mega pixel myth really. Its not just pixels that effect the quality of pictures and to me I have an old 2meg camera that i gave to a friend and they are still using it today and the quality is just great.

  4. #4
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    Hi
    I agree that megapixels are getting way out of line .I still use a fuji A205s which has 2m/pixels and it still takes a good quality photo

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis View Post
    With the resolution of many compact cameras having now jumped to 16MP, it is only a matter of time before they break the 20MP barrier – possibly during this calendar year.

    The question is why - who is actually driving the megapixel arms race with the ‘this one goes up to 11’ mentality? Are all consumers/users really demanding that all cameras must have ever higher megapixels, contrary to regular comment within the photography media on the usability of the excessive resolution per sensor size and its effect on image quality, and even advice from retailers that excessive megapixels are not ideal.

    There seems an odd parallel with the demise of the viewfinder on compacts; with the manufacturers claiming people want this despite offering users with little or no option other than to purchase the functionality/features implemented by the manufacturers.
    I guess that camera manufacturers are playing on the ignorance of some aspiring photographers by causing them to believe that more is better. It seems to work too judging by the number of comments I've heard from many camera users, so sales psychology plays it's part very well with photography as it does in every other aspect of the selling of goods. Take vacuum cleaners for example, this one has a 2000 watt motor! all this tells me is how much electricity it will use and it's not a measure of how efficient it is! The antidote to deception is education!
    Humility is an endearing quality and gains many friends, whereas arrogance loses them. Mike, 2012

  6. #6
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    I'm old enough to remember Amatuer Photographer publishing lens resolution charts with each new camera that came on the market. Film, being what it is, was a constant and it was the lens, and a few other camera system factors, that drove perceived image quality. These days no one seems to consider the lenses at all. Fact: if you photograph through a milk bottle bottom it doesn't matter how many pixels you've got, the result will be c**p! Also the same applies if you have no instinct of what makes a good photograph. An old tutor of mine called it 'seeing'. There seems to be a marketing strategy by the camera makers that implies to any casual snapper that, if you buy their equipment, you will take nobel-prize winning photographs! I have a small library of photograph (not photography) books, and do you know what? I don't think that any of the photographers - Beaton; Brandt; Adams etc - dwell on what camera/lens/film they were using. Rather they present the images as a marker of their work.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisHarvey View Post
    I'm old enough to remember Amatuer Photographer publishing lens resolution charts with each new camera that came on the market. Film, being what it is, was a constant and it was the lens, and a few other camera system factors, that drove perceived image quality. These days no one seems to consider the lenses at all. Fact: if you photograph through a milk bottle bottom it doesn't matter how many pixels you've got, the result will be c**p! Also the same applies if you have no instinct of what makes a good photograph. An old tutor of mine called it 'seeing'. There seems to be a marketing strategy by the camera makers that implies to any casual snapper that, if you buy their equipment, you will take nobel-prize winning photographs! I have a small library of photograph (not photography) books, and do you know what? I don't think that any of the photographers - Beaton; Brandt; Adams etc - dwell on what camera/lens/film they were using. Rather they present the images as a marker of their work.
    Well said Dennis, I guess it's like a famous artist for example, who has the gift and technique to paint masterpieces no matter what brush he uses. In the days when we all used film there were always the adverts which claimed superiority of their film over another and many of us had their preferred brand, but ultimately it has to be the skills of the photographer which will produce a winning image, not how many pixels he has at his disposal. All the best, Mike.
    Humility is an endearing quality and gains many friends, whereas arrogance loses them. Mike, 2012

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisHarvey View Post
    Fact: if you photograph through a milk bottle bottom it doesn't matter how many pixels you've got, the result will be c**p! .
    No, the results will be called Lomography!

  9. #9

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    The race has actually slowed in recent months with many new cameras actually seeing a reduction in pixels over the previous model, though mostly at the higher end. The fact is most consumers don’t understand the technical issues so assume that bigger numbers equals better (which used to be the case in digital’s early days). The problem is exacerbated by shop staff in the high street stores who know little more than their customers and make the same assumptions.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Atherton View Post
    The fact is most consumers don’t understand the technical issues so assume that bigger numbers equals better (which used to be the case in digital’s early days). The problem is exacerbated by shop staff in the high street stores who know little more than their customers and make the same assumptions
    Nail on the head...

    Someone has already mentioned sales psychology and I agree that this plays a huge part in this. I've worked in the retail industry for a number of years and sadly consumers are easily led. I'm learning about cameras at the moment and have a very long way to go, but most people wont put the effort in. Most consumers believe bigger is better and if you can get 20.1mp for £200 they think they've found a winner.

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