[scribus] OT: Interesting Camera/Mega-Pixel Article

Gregory Pittman gpittman at iglou.com
Wed Mar 11 13:46:47 CET 2009

John Beardmore wrote:
> Asif Lodhi wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> IIRC, there was long thread on Camera/Mega-pixel on this list.
> :)    Missed it !
>> Knowing
>> the interest of those users (and probably others), I would like to
>> share this article link:
>> http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/03/why-weve-reached-the-end-of-the-camera-megapixel-race.ars 
> What I am starting to find doing energy audits etc is that the better 
> resolution images capture things that the human eye might have missed 
> at the time. That has commercial value, and in itself is an 
> interesting development.
> Going from 1 megapixel Kodak, to 3 megapixel Sony, to 5 megapixel 
> finepix, to 10 megapixel finepix has always brought about improvement.
> Of course optics and light sensitivity are important too. They 
> complement the light sensor. The cameras we've had have always had 
> optical zoom, 10X in the latest models which is great. A camera is a 
> complex system, and in any given application will always have its 
> performance limited by all components in the system. Cameras can't go 
> on getting better without improving all the elements in the system, 
> INCLUDING the number of pixels.
> Personally, if I could get twice as many pixels at a sensible price, 
> I'd go for it, as long as the optics etc were up to the job. We 
> haven't reached the end of any race, but the race isn't megapixels, 
> it's the quality of whole package, and that depends on amongst other 
> things megapixels.
On a practical level, the article is rather off-base. There is some 
sense needed, as we have said many times on this list, of having an 
image resolution correlated with intended use and the ability of your 
output device to handle the data. If you're using an image to make a 
web-based PDF, lots of data just drags down the processing time. But you 
may use the same image for multiple purposes, so you may want the 
original image to have a very high resolution. Furthermore, you may have 
a very large multi-MB image, but crop it down to only a small piece, and 
once again, you need that high resolution.

As John points out, more megapixels does not necessarily mean a better 
camera, yet it's obvious that when many (most?) people shop for a 
camera, image quality is not something they are likely to assess in 
detail, since the typical buyer is mostly looking for ease of use and 
small size of the camera. I also suspect many don't understand the 
difference between optical and digital zoom.


More information about the scribus mailing list