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View Full Version : To many megapixels.....!!!



Omikron77
09-14-2004, 11:28 AM
Why does it seem that all the camera makers are clamouring to spit out cameras with a huge amount of pixels....

Most un-educated people are going to be in for a rude surprise when they get these cameras home. Alot of people associated megapixels with picture quality and this just isn't the case. Manufactures should be focusing on making better cameras rather than just seeing how many megapixels they can cram into current versions.

Mom and Dad and going to be terribly upset when they drop 400 bucks on that 5 MegaPixel camera only to find out that the memory card that came with the camera only hold 10 pics....and the ones it does take are so enourmous that they are choking their older computers with these huge files. I think manufactures and resellers are doing their customers a disservice by pushing more and more megapixels....

Best Buys website even says that if you want to do an 8x10 you should have a minimun of 5 megapixels....this just isn't true and they are trying to use the learning docs on their sites to sell more expensive cameras.....

What do you guys think?

Just my rant after shopping around for a good 4 megapixel which is more than enough for 99% of the people out there.....

John_Reed
09-14-2004, 11:52 AM
Why does it seem that all the camera makers are clamouring to spit out cameras with a huge amount of pixels....

Most un-educated people are going to be in for a rude surprise when they get these cameras home. Alot of people associated megapixels with picture quality and this just isn't the case. Manufactures should be focusing on making better cameras rather than just seeing how many megapixels they can cram into current versions.

Mom and Dad and going to be terribly upset when they drop 400 bucks on that 5 MegaPixel camera only to find out that the memory card that came with the camera only hold 10 pics....and the ones it does take are so enourmous that they are choking their older computers with these huge files. I think manufactures and resellers are doing their customers a disservice by pushing more and more megapixels....

Best Buys website even says that if you want to do an 8x10 you should have a minimun of 5 megapixels....this just isn't true and they are trying to use the learning docs on their sites to sell more expensive cameras.....

What do you guys think?

Just my rant after shopping around for a good 4 megapixel which is more than enough for 99% of the people out there.....I agree with you 100% - It's all marketing hype. If you look at digital camera ads in the paper, the only parameter they banner is "4MP, 5MP, 8MP..." The camera might have a 20X f2.0 lens, and the headline would read: "4MP camera!" You say 4MP is enough for 99% of people's needs, I'd say that 2MP is pretty durn good. I've got a 13X19 print hanging on my wall from my 2MP FZ1 that's sold 3 or 4 new FZ1 users, bought after they saw my print. One thing I do like about having 4MP is that I don't have to "crop in the camera" so much as I used to with the 2MP camera to get a printable image, but I still believe that 2MP is enough pixels, before or after crop.

Rhys
09-14-2004, 03:07 PM
I agree with you 100% - It's all marketing hype. If you look at digital camera ads in the paper, the only parameter they banner is "4MP, 5MP, 8MP..." The camera might have a 20X f2.0 lens, and the headline would read: "4MP camera!" You say 4MP is enough for 99% of people's needs, I'd say that 2MP is pretty durn good. I've got a 13X19 print hanging on my wall from my 2MP FZ1 that's sold 3 or 4 new FZ1 users, bought after they saw my print. One thing I do like about having 4MP is that I don't have to "crop in the camera" so much as I used to with the 2MP camera to get a printable image, but I still believe that 2MP is enough pixels, before or after crop.

I decided that 3mp was adequate for enlargements to A4. Hence I decided to standardise on 3mp.

I replaced my 2mp Olympus with my 995 and found that was excellent for A4 macro photos of flowers. Then I had my 3100 which was excellent for A4 photos from holidays. Later I got my S1, which is great for the kind of photos I used to do with my 35mm SLRs. I'm happy.

I'd like to be able to print bigger but I looked at the kind of prints that I used to do anyway and realised that my most popular print size was 8x10 or 5x7. As somebody once said "how many 10x8s can you hang on a wall". Sure it'd be nice to print to a much larger size but honestly, for the number of times that would be required, it's just not worth the expense.

Dave Dilks
09-14-2004, 03:38 PM
Count me as another one in complete agreement. When my in-laws were looking for a digital camera last year, I offered them my 2MP Nikon 950. They weren't sure they wanted it, because a friend of theirs had just gotten a new camera and was bragging that 5MP was the only way to go.

Just last week they told me "We don't understand how, but the pictures we take with our camera look so much better than xxxx's 5MP camera."

D70FAN
09-14-2004, 04:17 PM
Count me as another one in complete agreement. When my in-laws were looking for a digital camera last year, I offered them my 2MP Nikon 950. They weren't sure they wanted it, because a friend of theirs had just gotten a new camera and was bragging that 5MP was the only way to go.

Just last week they told me "We don't understand how, but the pictures we take with our camera look so much better than xxxx's 5MP camera."

People ask me why I recommend cameras with less than 5MP, and then I show them the panorama of Mt. St. Helens taken 4 years ago with my Nikon 990. A picture is always worth at least 1000 words.

It's part of the reason that I recommend the A75 to a lot of people new to digital. It has everything they need (and more) for less than $250 (now getting down to the $199 area on a regular basis). And the Panasonic FZ3 is a monster ultra-zoom bargain at $399. Both are 3MP.

At print sizes of 8 x 10 and smaller I have rarely been able to tell the difference between a consumer 3MP and 5MP image, and in many cases even 13 x 17. I suppose the main benefit to higher pixel density is being able to crop (which I rarely do).

marianne
11-04-2004, 07:14 AM
What you guys are saying just rings so true!!! :)
My trusty old Canon Powershot A5 Zoom seems to have died quietly. All I ever missed from it was a bit more light sensitivity (I have a good number of bluish pictures from cloudy evenings) and a bit more zoom (it had 2x optical).

I'm now looking at a replacement. I was thinking of something like a Canon G6 but I've also had bad luck with money lately. So I was considering keeping it simple, and saving some space in my hard drive while at it. The Canon Powershot A75 is definately one I was considering and the Panasonic FZ3 reccomended above also looks tempting. Any other suggestions of other cameras to check out?

Thanks!


Marianne

Rhys
11-04-2004, 07:35 AM
What you guys are saying just rings so true!!! :)
My trusty old Canon Powershot A5 Zoom seems to have died quietly. All I ever missed from it was a bit more light sensitivity (I have a good number of bluish pictures from cloudy evenings) and a bit more zoom (it had 2x optical).

I'm now looking at a replacement. I was thinking of something like a Canon G6 but I've also had bad luck with money lately. So I was considering keeping it simple, and saving some space in my hard drive while at it. The Canon Powershot A75 is definately one I was considering and the Panasonic FZ3 reccomended above also looks tempting. Any other suggestions of other cameras to check out?

Thanks!


Marianne

The Canon S1 IS is worth a look. That's a long-zoom 3mp camera with Compact Flash and AA batteries. I decided to go for 3 cameras to suit all my needs - My Nikon 995 is great for macro photos. My S1 is great for freedom of expression. My Nikon 3100 is a good pocket camera.

damax452
11-04-2004, 07:52 AM
So are you guys saying I should stop agonizing over whether to buy the 3.2mp sd200 or the 4mp sd300 (both by canon)? They are the same camera except for the extra .8mp and $100 on the sd300.

This will be my first digital camera, and I just want something simple and small that takes good pics. I don't think I will be printing any pics above 5"X7".

John_Reed
11-04-2004, 09:23 AM
So are you guys saying I should stop agonizing over whether to buy the 3.2mp sd200 or the 4mp sd300 (both by canon)? They are the same camera except for the extra .8mp and $100 on the sd300.

This will be my first digital camera, and I just want something simple and small that takes good pics. I don't think I will be printing any pics above 5"X7".Yep. Quit agonizing.

Terracotta
11-04-2004, 10:05 AM
Looking at it from an engineering perspective, using current fabrication techniques 5MP sensors give by far the best resolution v's noise, in fact in true readout noise of the CCD a 5MP sensor is easily within a factor of 2 noisier than the best 2MP CCD, problem is that digi cams don't take full advantage of the CCD output. Okay they can't have nice quiet op-amp as & supporting electronics that require seriously stable & precise voltages but I'm sure that if R&D was put in they could get close to what people are doing out in the field with telescopes based around CCDs use in compacts. Then again maybe not, as I suddenly remember TEC cooling is often used...

When I look at a camera I more look at the features it has & the price range rather than the MP rating, biggest problem is often the more features the camera has the more MP it has :S.

Rhys
11-04-2004, 12:08 PM
So are you guys saying I should stop agonizing over whether to buy the 3.2mp sd200 or the 4mp sd300 (both by canon)? They are the same camera except for the extra .8mp and $100 on the sd300.

This will be my first digital camera, and I just want something simple and small that takes good pics. I don't think I will be printing any pics above 5"X7".

Yes. Quit agonising.

Look at it like this...

3 megapixels is 2048 x 1536
4 megapixels is 2272 x 1704

ooh... That's a whole 224 pixels wider and a whole 168 taller.

That's really not worth an extra $100, IMO.

misterMe
11-05-2004, 03:07 PM
I have a CASIO QV5000 I've had for years and it takes great photos. It's also durable and has never needed a repair. Everyone needs to get off the Megapixel craze and just go with what works.
Cheers.
Tim

ARP
11-07-2004, 08:49 PM
I think we're all in agreement here that packing more megapixels on the same size CCD will result in poorer image quality and more noise. It seems foolish that people are rushing to get higher megapixel cameras to solve their noise and image quality issue when they could be making it worse.

Interesting fact: the camera's on the Mars rovers are only 1 MP. But the CCD is almost 3 times the size of a standard digicam.
Here's an article (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/pancam_techwed_040114.html)

It just goes to show that if you build a 3-5 MP camera with a appropriately sized/designed CCD and a good lens, then there isn't the need for the Megapixel wars...which might be why they'll never do it.

ReF
11-07-2004, 10:46 PM
they'll probably just have megapixels wars with large sensors when we eventually get to that point, but anyways I do agree that what manufacturers should do is to spend more money on developing bigger CCD's for a lower cost, instead of spending $$$ on how to cram more megs into the same freakin' sized sensor year after year. I mean, I could easily see successful ad campaigns that show off how much better pics come out with bigger sensors, but then again, who's willing to take the risk? Most of the public is too numb to even know there is a problem with the tiny sensors in their cams anyway. Funny thing is, people buy higher meg cams cuz they want the best cam or they go into a store and say "i want the best" but they don't know what makes a good cam, don't bother asking, and don't do any self educating. I could sell one of those "I want the best cam" customers a junky Olympus Stylus and they'd be happy, not knowing the difference from the S410. I am glad there are sites like this one to help those who are lucky enough to stumble upon it.

marianne
11-08-2004, 01:17 AM
Hi!

Thanks for the reccomendations... those do look quite good, in fact! :)

I also find the conversation on CCD size fascinating!

Cheers!


Marianne

ReF
11-08-2004, 01:24 AM
Hey, just a thought, but smaller sensors = larger crop factor/focal length conversion factor right? So that means with smaller sensors, you get more telephoto power out of a lens right? (please correct me if I'm wrong) If that's true, then it could be that manufacturers aren't willing build bigger sensors on consumer cams because they would also need to spend more $$$ on the lenses to get the same telephoto power out of them, while trying to keep prices competitive.

John_Reed
11-08-2004, 07:02 AM
Hey, just a thought, but smaller sensors = larger crop factor/focal length conversion factor right? So that means with smaller sensors, you get more telephoto power out of a lens right? (please correct me if I'm wrong) If that's true, then it could be that manufacturers aren't willing build bigger sensors on consumer cams because they would also need to spend more $$$ on the lenses to get the same telephoto power out of them, while trying to keep prices competitive.I think you're absolutely right. Case in point: The Panasonic FZ cameras. If the FZ20, for example, had a larger sensor than the "1/2.5" sensor with which it's equipped, its already-big Leica lens would have to be scaled up to fit. If Matsushita had decided to create a lens of equivalent zoom range, (36-432mm equiv), same maximum aperture (f2.8) along with a sensor the size of the Nikon D70's sensor (Nikon DX size), the FZ20's lens would have to be ~3.5X the size of the current lens. So, instead of having a 72mm filter thread on the lens hood, imagine a lens with a 250mm filter diameter? Not on any camera I'm going to carry around anytime soon! Indeed, the "small sensor" technology, and the ability to make the most of the small sensor in terms of light collection efficiency is really the key to being able to offer so much lens performance in a reasonable (albeit larger than the competition) and user-friendly size, while still holding their own against the "noise wars."

Iso67
11-10-2004, 06:50 AM
so 5 mp are more than enough?!?!

Iso

John_Reed
11-10-2004, 07:25 AM
so 5 mp are more than enough?!?!

IsoRead the entire thread.

LittleKezza
12-08-2004, 05:18 AM
Would you recommend Canon G6 (399), Lumix FZ3 (260) or FZ20 (330)?

I need high aperture and have been agonising between the 3. I need to print up to 8x10.

Portability is also an issue.

HELP!
K x