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Megapixels race slowing down...

joshwa Plus
7 846 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2011 10:10AM
The Panasonic Lumix FZ48 has just been announced, and instead of MORE megapixels, it has LESS Smile

It has a 12 megapixel 1/2.33 CCD sensor, whereas the previous model, the FZ45 had a 14 megapixel 1/2.33 CCD sensor Grin yay!


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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
21 Jul 2011 10:33AM
Canon tried this with their 'G' series. It will be interesting to see whether sales are as good. Manufacturers have shot themselves in the foot, though, and all the general mass of the public know about digital photography is the (false) equation: "more megapixels = better quality"
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
21 Jul 2011 11:44AM
Well it had to happen......Grin

Lets face it all you get with more mega pixels is a need to buy more or bigger hard drives......Smile

A well balanced 12 mega pix in full frame, Or 10 mega pix in crop is more than enough for most people ( despite what they might think ).....!!!

Unless you make a habit out of shooting & printing 30 X 12 feet advertising bill boards.......Wink
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
21 Jul 2011 12:26PM

Quote:A well balanced 12 mega pix in full frame, Or 10 mega pix in crop is more than enough for most people

To be fair, when I first joined EPZ about 8 years ago people used to say 6Mp was more than enough for DSLRs. But no manufacturer would dream of launching a 6Mp DSLR these days - it would be unsaleable.

In a few years time 10/12 Mp will probably also be unsaleable, but that depends on further advances in sensor technology.
MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
21 Jul 2011 12:37PM
I don't care how many pixels it has as long as the image is clean.

I'm sure that some 14MP images from a good, modern sensor are much cleaner than some from an 8MP sensor from just a few years ago. More detailed too [lenses etc aside].

Having said that, some of the cleanest images I ever had were from a 6MP compact camera released in 2001, though it was not good at high ISO - the real test.
indemnity 9 334
21 Jul 2011 12:56PM
Dynamic range is key.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
21 Jul 2011 1:03PM

Quote:Dynamic range is key.

Most buyers of this sort of camera wouldn't even know what you mean! Wink
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
21 Jul 2011 1:13PM
They could be told very easily
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
21 Jul 2011 1:18PM

Quote:They could be told very easily

They wouldn't even want to know! Wink Mention 'dynamic range' at a party and it will be a conversation stopper!

Viz. "Never mind effing dynamic range - how many megapixels is it - oh, only the same as my mobi then!"

Grin Grin
ChrisV Plus
11 2.1k 26 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2011 1:22PM
The big barrier - which is particularly relevant to small photosites [ie lots on a very small sensor wafer] is shot noise and the more you try and boost sensitivity, the more the effects of this are magnified [because you're further dividing the already small/ variant number of photons striking the receptor].

Don't know how this can be overcome, because as Scotty says: Ye cannae change the laws of physics. Having said that, there's obviously been lots of improvements over recent years in controlling read noise and considering the difference in pixel-pitch on larger sensors, there's probably still a bit of leeway left at the top-end.

Explanation of shot noise here.
ChrisV Plus
11 2.1k 26 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2011 1:25PM
...oh - and considering the conversation-stopper comments - I'll get me coat...
joshwa Plus
7 846 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2011 10:35AM
They've all been doing a lot of different things to try and combat noise... larger sensors being the most obvious, then there' back-lit sensors (where they move the wiring to behind the sensor) which is particularly useful for smaller sensors, more precise manufacturing allows for larger openings in the sensor, (see image below), and Panasonic's G3 sensor has new "low noise" readouts / amplification components on the sensor: ( details here ) , as well as all of this I think that noise processing software built into the cameras has been improving dramatically, especially Nikon's high ISO results, where they switch to black and white (see the Nikon D5100 , for example).


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