Friday, 7 December 2007

Technological regression

Technology marches on, unless you are making cameras.

Today I read the review for Fuji's new pocket camera, the f50fd, at dpreview. I could have singled out any other compact camera from the last few months for this comparison, however.

It seems that every new pocket camera is going backwards due to the drive of marketing over engineering sense. Ever more pixels, ever less image quality. The reviews are all stating that the new, high-count sensors (10MP+) are OK for smaller prints but no good for larger sizes. trouble is, this is exactly the opposite of the marketing intent: more pixels equals bigger prints. Actual image quality is only supporting print sizes that a 4MP camera could do.

Hello out there in camera marketing land. Wake up and see that this mega-pixel race will bite you, for sure. Buyers will keep their cameras longer or buy older, cheaper technology. They will get smarter and demand better quality results.

My advice to friends & family when buying a pocket camera - don't get any more than 6-8MP as image quality is rubbish for larger counts. Even that may be pushing it.

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