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-   -   The world's going megapixel CRAZY and I feel like crying (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87656)

slitchfield 04-09-2009 08:31 AM

The world's going megapixel CRAZY and I feel like crying
 
As you'll see from the photo below, 12 megapixel camera phones are now starting to be sold on the High Street. On the face of it, more is usually better in a specifications battle, so why should I be so irritated by the latest battlefront? Read on for my thoughts on why the entire phone market is being somewhat misled.

Read on in the full article.

yade 04-09-2009 08:37 AM

I agree with this nonsense. Although I see the benefits in detail of 8mpx over 5mpx I think 5mpx would suit almost everyone and 8mpx is the maximum that should be expected. It is marketing for the general public, i have quite a few less techy mates who would say their phone has an 8mpix cam compared to 3 or 5 so they think it is better so its a marketing ploy that works in selling phones.

I personally would prefer to see 8mpx being worked on to provide better low light performance (e.g. N86) the option of Zenon and bring back optical zoom.

There is a rumour that Samsung will do a Pixon 12 with optical zoom but I doubt the sensor size will increase

Unregistered 04-09-2009 08:42 AM

12 mp
 
As many people here I am an N97 user, but suppose I make a photo of a crowd, wouldn't it be better to have a 12 MP camera when I want to zoom in on the photo to see if I recognise people in the distance? Or would the small sensor ruin that advantage?

Jejoma 04-09-2009 08:49 AM

If only the manufacturers could forget this competition to have the most pixels and instead compete for the best lens!

pintofale 04-09-2009 08:53 AM

Steve - take a deep breath and relax. Such products exist to sweep up the muppets, those who are too lazy to enquire. They are, in the words of Lord Sugar's legendary Ratnerism, a "mug's eyefull".

stuclark 04-09-2009 09:31 AM

And which phones are you using at the moment Steve? (and do at least 2 of them happen to have 8MP cameras?)

Megapixels SELL - its as simple as that! The average consumer doesn't care less what OS, processor, flash, or screen is on a device; they just want to know if it looks cool, can play their music loud enough, and how many MPix the camera has.

I think you'll find, however, that life is going to start slowing down now - Samsung aren't going to flood the market with12MP cams tomorrow, for now it's just the Pixon (with some more maybe following next year) but most of their range is still sat at 5MP with a few (3 or 4) 8MP cam phones.

SonyEricsson will launch one 12MP cam phone this year, in October, but as most of the rest of their range is still sitting at 5MP or lower, they won't be flooding the market either.

Nokia have got.... 1 phone above 5MP and don't seem too keen on putting their 8MP module into new phones (based on recent announcements), so it's safe to say they won't be launching any 12MP cams in the next couple of months.

Eldar (who usually knows these things) has stated that the MPix war is essentially now over, with most manufacturers taking until 2011 to reach the 8MP / 12MP level across their ranges; with only one or two (Samsung, SonyEricsson) releasing niche phones with 15MP cams...

... so there's not going to be as much to rant about in the future...!

celios 04-09-2009 09:37 AM

Although there is little benefit to more MP vs better lenses, decent distance between sensor and lens, etc. there is one benefit... If you take a picture in focus at full resolution and end up with something 4000 x 3000 pixels, when you resize it to 1000 x 768 it will usually look very sharp.

malerocks 04-09-2009 09:40 AM

I agree with your article Steve and also agree that most purposes of printing photos for the album or emailing or viewing on the computer monitor, 5 MP pics (or 3MP) should more than suffice.

BUT there are occasions where a larger image helps. As an example, I recently wanted to enlarge an image (really enlarge) of me and my wife and hang it on the wall of my room. My target photo size was 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall. Luckily, the image was clicked on my 10MP Sony Cybershot camera and the photoshop had absolutely no issues in creating a photo of that size for me (and on canvas!! :)) Now had the camera been a 3MP or a 5MP one (though admittedly an 8MP might have sufficed), I am sure the picture hanging on my wall would not have been created with the clarity that it currently has. (I must also admit that the hardware of the camera did play a bigger role in capturing detail rather than the 10MP capability).

12 MP might be an overkill for casual photographers like you and me, but it might help the professional ones. But then, who has ever heard of a professional photographer using a camera phone (they probably dont use anything else apart from SLRs).

8MP is fine. Now bring on larger sensors, optical zooms, better flashes, etc.

Jaggz 04-09-2009 09:40 AM

Here here! Matthew 6:22 also applies nicely. ^_^

Give me a 5 mega pixel camera with a 5 times optical zoom and I'll be happy until about 2014.

... Just wait until the 3D battle kicks off Steve. Man it's going to get crazy then believe me.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 09:44 AM

Fully agree with you Steve. I've been told that 10 Megapixels are enough for a DSLR camera, so i really can't see what are doing 12 megapixels on a tiny and low quality sensor of mobile phone. 12 mp are too much even for a compact camera.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 09:57 AM

Agreed. Great, that's established then. 5MP is enough. You just need a decent lens, firmware, and what else would be useful? Oh yes, a non LED flash, because as we all know, but some (particularly those who've spent money) are unwilling to admit, Xenon is the ONLY way to take decent low light shots ESPECIALLY when the subject and/or camera aren't rock steady, which is most of the time.

I really hope Nokia get around to making such a device one day, it would be really good.

D'oh! OH. THEY HAVE. it's called the N82!

The N82. All I or most cameraphone users will ever need.

snoyt 04-09-2009 10:04 AM

megapixels
 
If with the added megapixels the same sensitivity for light per pixel is kept. Added megapixels can be used for digital zooming. preventing the need for heavy and expensive lenscomponents. keep your mobile phone light and cheap. Keeping Steve's remark about 3 Megapixels is sufficient. Properly done digital zoom with8/12 Megapixels seems an excellent alternative for optical zoom in the case of mobile phones. The current implementation of digital zoom in the newer Nokias as demonstrated in this post.

Nokia Creative/James Burland.

splus 04-09-2009 10:52 AM

I have to say that I prefer more megapixels, but REAL megapixels, not some marketing trick where a 12MP photo is of same sharpness as a 5MP photo.
The thing is that I often need detail in pictures, and IF the 12MP photo has more detail than 5MP photo I would choose it any time.

If someone doesn't need many megapixels then it is very easy to set the 12MP camera to take 3MP photos, I don't see a problem in that...

What would make me extremely happy (this goes for both phone and digital cameras) is if they would improve overall and especially low light quality of photos. I would much rather buy a 5MP camera that takes perfect photos than a 50MP camera that takes fuzzy photos...

Unregistered 04-09-2009 10:55 AM

There is a point that is usually missed when manufacturers are playing the numbers game. The sensors are all the same size, yet one packs on more elements than another.

A printed image (or even a stored jpg image) doesn't store the raw detail, i.e. a colour variation per pixel. It is actually the result of masses of digital signal processing and it is the DSP combined with the quality of the raw sensor output that is critical.

When the elements on the sensor are smaller and more densely packed, they have a physical effect on each other that results in them inducing electronic noise in each other.

Consequently, there needs to be more DSP noice eliminating processes applied during the image processign within the camera, resulting in degradation of the actual image detail (because the algorithm has to make a decision about whether it is dealing with genuine picture detail or noise).

As less densely packed sensors (lower megapixel) naturally have less of this cross-element noise, they often produce better quality and more faithful images which can be magnified to larger images and prints than higher MP sensors before the image detail degrades too much.

IF you need more detail, more pixels can help but you need a larger sensor to get the best out of them. With current low cost technology (CMOS and CCD) there is an optimum megapixel count per sensor area. Pushing higher reduces image quality.

Reda EK 04-09-2009 10:56 AM

correction
 
Sorry James, I think you are mistaken.
if you are zooming, you are maintaining the same resolution and if you are digitally zooming at 12mpx you are losing quality. What you probably meant is that you can crop the image at max resolution and you can zoom at lower resolutions but then it's not an 12mpx camera anymore

Besides, I really doubt you can have a decent sensor at that mpx count and in such a small form...

Unregistered 04-09-2009 11:00 AM

The fact that higher megapixel compact cameras that are marketed to please the ignorant are producing lower quality images than their predecessors is well know already in the digital camera world. Even the higher end Canon C9, G10 etc sufered from this. Just check their reviews.

But the average buyer just imagines that the picture he takes with his little plastic lens will blow up to poster size. LOL! I will be OK if you view it from 50 metres!

Tzer2 04-09-2009 12:11 PM

Quote:

The fact that higher megapixel compact cameras that are marketed to please the ignorant are producing lower quality images than their predecessors is well know already in the digital camera world
It's because numbers are quick and easy to digest. People like to think "X is higher so it must be better!".

If the industry could agree to a formula for a number that includes image quality instead of just a pixel count, that would be a much better figure to provide than megapixels because it would provide a more useful guide to how good a camera actually is.

Unless someone comes up with an industry-wide quality number, most consumers will default to the megapixel count. Most camera users don't care about camera technology enough to look into its subtleties.

ericklamothe 04-09-2009 12:32 PM

Ignorance in imaging on a mobile device
 
I agree completely with the arguments put forward in this article.

Practically all mobile devices lack optical zoom and lack a decent size sensor commensurate with the level of resolution that the devices claim to have. This does not mean that mobile devices such as the N86MP, etc are not competent and convenient devices for imaging. They should however be viewed as complementary to dedicated digital cameras and camcorders, not alternatives. Viewed in this light, they are a welcome addition to the technology eco-system.

The megapixel craze is a very puzzling one and I agree the points made about unless needed to carry out massive prints is it really necessary to have that level of detail which can translate into noise in low light conditions.

I personally have taken some very good shots with the 3.2 megapixel Nokia5800, N78 and Nokia 6500 Slide. And to be honest for the purposes of sharing and use online the pictures are absolutely fantastic particularly on clear day. I am sure 8 megapixel units are good, etc. but if you regard mobile devices as complementing rather than substituting digital cameras and camcorders, 3 and 5 megapixel units are sufficient.

Savvy buyers will of course benefit from all this megapixel craze as the price of competent 5 megapixel devices has dropped as a result of the arrival of the 8 and soon 12 megapixel units. But seriously, even compact digital camera manufacturers, as Olympus recently mentioned, are regarding 12 megapixels as the ceiling and are focusing on lens quality and image processing.

Letīs hope sanity returns to the mobile device market!

Unregistered 04-09-2009 02:21 PM

Steve your point is not well taken.

A camera phone capable of taking 12MP photo doesn't necessarily mean a user have to take 12MP all the time.

The user can set it to maybe 5MP for normal usage which allow them to better share and store photos.

And then when the time comes, the user may want to set it to 12MP to really make a poster.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 436292)
And then when the time comes, the user may want to set it to 12MP to really make a poster.

They won't get a poster because they have a very limited camera, not a DSLR. 12MP won't help.


If you wan't a poster get a real camera.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 05:01 PM

The N82 is becoming vastly overrated at just 8mp, the only reason why people are not upgrading to other phones with xenon is due to blind brand loyalty.
The Xenon argument is getting boring now. Just how many photos do these people take in low light? Do they live in the arctic circle or something?

I see the goalposts have shifted now as well concerning the flash. Now xenon flash owners have stepped up to complain about movement in photos on led equipped phones. What about movement in videos with the N82 in low light? Not an issue eh? Surprise!

Unregistered 04-09-2009 05:04 PM

uteri rohdenburg
 
Of course, I meant the N82 at 5mp.

Super Chimp 04-09-2009 06:41 PM

The picture examples I have seen from actual users & not from professional reviews posted about the place for the Pixon 12 look pretty impressive to me. Whether this is purely down to the megapixel count or the other features added in that it shares with the N86 it's obviously hard to say. But needlessly knocking a device without seemingly even examining the results it produces seems a pretty low blow to me.

stuclark your wrong about there not being another 12Mp device this year or have you forgotten LG as people usual seem to do. Their new 12Mp device should see itself at least announced before the end of this year.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 06:47 PM

Why are you irritated by the MP race?
Because Nokia is not even in it. That's why!
Fanboy, it wasn't long ago that you were rubbing in people's faces how many MPs you N95 had.

Unregistered 04-09-2009 06:58 PM

12 mega-pixel camera mobiles
 
Samsung seem to trying push things further with the 12 megapixel camera mobile,but they do not seem to realise this type drains the batteries quicker, as the i8510 there 8 mega-pixel one they released i tried it an was amazed how quick the battery drained out using the camera an there tocco ultra does the same thing,o.k we want better camera functions on mobiles but if its got no battery to back the camera up,the cost of buying an running any mobile will turn out very expensive indeed,hope we do get better mobile released from Nokia as the N86 was a cheap an not very outstanding mobile by just upgrading the N85 but buttons an speakers let the N86 down

Unregistered 04-09-2009 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 436373)
Why are you irritated by the MP race?
Because Nokia is not even in it. That's why!
Fanboy, it wasn't long ago that you were rubbing in people's faces how many MPs you N95 had.

Duh! 5MP is an appropriate MP count for this size of sensor.

cooli 04-09-2009 09:54 PM

Steve, there is a light at the end of the tunnel ;-)
 
-> http://www.mondaynote.com/2009/08/23...egapixel-wars/

Tzer2 05-09-2009 01:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 436373)
Why are you irritated by the MP race?
Because Nokia is not even in it. That's why!
Fanboy, it wasn't long ago that you were rubbing in people's faces how many MPs you N95 had.

Maybe you might want to try actually reading this site regularly instead of doing hit-and-run troll attacks. The stuff you're writing is amateurish, might as well say "your mother smells".

Is this site called All About Nokia? No, it's All About Symbian.

When Samsung's Symbian-based Innov8 with its eight megapixel sensor came out AAS was just as excited about that as any Nokia model and we covered it. We're just as excited about Sony Ericsson's upcoming 12 megapixel Satio/Idou because it too is Symbian-based. See the connection here?

As for calling Steve a Nokia fanboy, you clearly haven't seen his multi-format Phones show or read his articles on All About iPhone.

Tzer2 05-09-2009 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericklamothe (Post 436259)
even compact digital camera manufacturers, as Olympus recently mentioned, are regarding 12 megapixels as the ceiling and are focusing on lens quality and image processing.

Definitely, and a further ceiling would be when digital is the same resolution as film. No ordinary user could possibly want more detail than that.

From what I understand, for a digital camera to show as much detail as an average film camera it would have to be around 20 megapixels, which isn't a million miles from 12 mp and for almost all practical purposes they're the same.

It's like when colour screens on phones, there were "battles" over who had the most colours. By the time devices reached the hundreds of thousands, most people just totally gave up following it because the differences were invisible.

maartenmk 05-09-2009 10:16 AM

Not exactly a cry in the wilderness after all, as it seems I am about the only one to disagree here;
People have been saying the extra megapixels on phone cameras don't help , ever since two/three MP cameras started to appear, perhaps sooner. The line of what's considered useful just seems to shift.
And looking at the best camera phones out there at the moment, there is definitely a correlation between quality and MPs. Pixon and SE Satio, each at 12 MP, seem to be the best, closely followed by I8910 and N86, at 8 MP. This may have nothing to do with the amount of megapixels, but I don't have any real reason to think that, except for theories about noise levels and interference.
There certainly is too much noise in camera phone pictures overall. But zooming to 100%, the amount of noise on the I8910 doesn't seem to be any higher than on my N82, on the contrary.

Maybe it only helps a few percent in the quality. But I'd take them. The file size isn't really that much of an issue with 16 or 32 GB storage. Camera speed is, that's true. But you always have the option of switching to 3 or 5MP if needed.

IAmUnregistered 05-09-2009 12:05 PM

This is just another stupid rant from Steve Litchfield the Nokia fanboy. He's only published this stupid post to defend his beloved Nokia who are no longer at the top of the hill in terms of megapixels AND picture quality (ermm, and also Xenon flash, video recording - you get my point).

It's quite obvious that a fanboy is defending his beloved company when he raises a silly point like:
"A 12 megapixel photo will take longer to save to card, meaning longer shot-to-shot times, and longer to load up later on, when browsing through your phone's photo gallery."

If you hadn't noticed, everyone apart from Nokia is using the newest and most powerful processors and fast internal flash memory in their new phones, which renders the above 'point' useless.

Nice try, but try harder next time, Nokia fanboy.

Unregistered 05-09-2009 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maartenmk (Post 436474)
Not exactly a cry in the wilderness after all, as it seems I am about the only one to disagree here;
People have been saying the extra megapixels on phone cameras don't help , ever since two/three MP cameras started to appear, perhaps sooner. The line of what's considered useful just seems to shift.
And looking at the best camera phones out there at the moment, there is definitely a correlation between quality and MPs. Pixon and SE Satio, each at 12 MP, seem to be the best, closely followed by I8910 and N86, at 8 MP. This may have nothing to do with the amount of megapixels, but I don't have any real reason to think that, except for theories about noise levels and interference.
There certainly is too much noise in camera phone pictures overall. But zooming to 100%, the amount of noise on the I8910 doesn't seem to be any higher than on my N82, on the contrary.

Maybe it only helps a few percent in the quality. But I'd take them. The file size isn't really that much of an issue with 16 or 32 GB storage. Camera speed is, that's true. But you always have the option of switching to 3 or 5MP if needed.

Nope. This debate has already been fought and won in the world of compact digital cameras. It's an acknowledged situation that small sensors + high MP = poor quality. The case in point being Fuji where it is accepted that quality doesn't match that of lower MP 3 years ago. Canon G9 to G10, read the reviews of these cameras on expert sites like dpreview.com. It's not a theory, it's fact and it's not a new fact, it's years old.

Unregistered 05-09-2009 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maartenmk (Post 436474)
N
There certainly is too much noise in camera phone pictures overall. But zooming to 100%, the amount of noise on the I8910 doesn't seem to be any higher than on my N82, on the contrary.
.

It's not the amount of noise in the images (although it gets far worse in low light). It's already been explained that the problem is the amount of processing that has to be performed by the DSP in the camera to reduce the noise. The more noise that has to be processed out, the more detail that is lost. Have 4000 x 3000 pixels of junk if you want.

Unregistered 05-09-2009 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IAmUnregistered (Post 436485)
This is just another stupid rant from Steve Litchfield the Nokia fanboy. He's only published this stupid post to defend his beloved Nokia who are no longer at the top of the hill in terms of megapixels AND picture quality (ermm, and also Xenon flash, video recording - you get my point).

It's quite obvious that a fanboy is defending his beloved company when he raises a silly point like:
"A 12 megapixel photo will take longer to save to card, meaning longer shot-to-shot times, and longer to load up later on, when browsing through your phone's photo gallery."

If you hadn't noticed, everyone apart from Nokia is using the newest and most powerful processors and fast internal flash memory in their new phones, which renders the above 'point' useless.

Nice try, but try harder next time, Nokia fanboy.

Looks like the crazies are still loose!

Unregistered 05-09-2009 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IAmUnregistered (Post 436485)
This is just another stupid rant from Steve Litchfield the Nokia fanboy. He's only published this stupid post to defend his beloved Nokia who are no longer at the top of the hill in terms of megapixels AND picture quality (ermm, and also Xenon flash, video recording - you get my point).

It's quite obvious that a fanboy is defending his beloved company when he raises a silly point like:
"A 12 megapixel photo will take longer to save to card, meaning longer shot-to-shot times, and longer to load up later on, when browsing through your phone's photo gallery."

If you hadn't noticed, everyone apart from Nokia is using the newest and most powerful processors and fast internal flash memory in their new phones, which renders the above 'point' useless.

Nice try, but try harder next time, Nokia fanboy.


Usually these posts are from Fanboys themselves, how sad.

TheSpecialBoy 05-09-2009 07:46 PM

to be honest I do not feel like cry.

I am happy and I do enjoy such news because this means progress and we go further.
as long as many phone producers including nokia, sony or LG anounced this 12 megapixel
barrier being broken, why not to enjoy it?

We will be able to record HD videos soon on our mobiles.

Is this not a good news.

What I do not understand why the majority of users get cons and against 12 Mega pixel camera phones.

just because we do not own such a phone does not mean it is not good.
or, that phone might not be good as camera, but for shure we will get the most benefits of this technology soon....

Unregistered 05-09-2009 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSpecialBoy (Post 436518)
to be honest I do not feel like cry.

I am happy and I do enjoy such news because this means progress and we go further.
as long as many phone producers including nokia, sony or LG anounced this 12 megapixel
barrier being broken, why not to enjoy it?

We will be able to record HD videos soon on our mobiles.

Is this not a good news.

What I do not understand why the majority of users get cons and against 12 Mega pixel camera phones.

just because we do not own such a phone does not mean it is not good.
or, that phone might not be good as camera, but for shure we will get the most benefits of this technology soon....

This is why the manufacturers can get away with it. Gullible consumers.

rvirga 06-09-2009 01:16 AM

To me, the ones who are truly deserving of the 'ignorant' label are those who are passing judgement on the Pixon12 purely on the fact that is a 12MPx, without having had the chance to see what's capable of in a review.
So educate yourself, head to GSM Arena which did an exhaustive review of the Pixon12, testing it again your champion the mighty N86. Here's a preview: the Pixon12 wipes the floor with the N86 in all conditions, including low-light. While there, take a look at the flash tests too; I find them... illuminating.

rvirga 06-09-2009 01:22 AM

Here is the link to the tests performed by GSM Arena.

maartenmk 06-09-2009 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 436513)
It's not the amount of noise in the images (although it gets far worse in low light). It's already been explained that the problem is the amount of processing that has to be performed by the DSP in the camera to reduce the noise. The more noise that has to be processed out, the more detail that is lost. Have 4000 x 3000 pixels of junk if you want.

Well it may have been already explained, but how do you explain that the low light performance of the Pixon12 is actually quite good, even without flash? And it clearly uses far less noise reduction than the N86.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 436513)
It's not a theory, it's fact and it's not a new fact, it's years old.

Outdated then maybe? Again, the 12MP cameraphones produce the best results. Maybe this is despite the high MP count, but why would I think that? Because it used to be like that, for some dedicated cameras?


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