Camera phone megapixel race getting out of hand?

Friday, February 20, 2009 9:36
Posted in category Cell Phones, LG

Think back two to three years and try to remember what camera phones were like…0.3/1.3 megapixel cameras were the norm (and sadly more or less still are), and 2 megapixel camera’s instantly shoved you to the VIP club of cell phone users.  My how times have changed.  While 1.3 megapixel cameraphones still make up the majority of cell phone cameras, 2 and 3.2 megapixel cameras are swooping in fast.  And at Barcelone this year many 8+ megapixel camera phones were shown off including word from LG of an up and coming 12 megapixel camera phone!  Now at what time does the pixel count become ridiculous?


You thing you’ll notice with all of these high MP count phones is that *most* will tout the number of pixels they’ll capture, however they stop there and leave other very much needed camera functions such as a flash and actual optical zooming ability *not that worthless crap they call digital zoom* on the drawing board and never actually making it to the device itself?  What good is a 12 mp phone if you need to take a longer distance shot and can’t zoom in enough to fully use those 12mp’s to their fullest?  Some will say “Just use a normal digital camera then”.  Well then what’s the point of getting a 12mp camera phone that you can’t replace a normal camera with?  Isn’t that what they’re marketed for?

Flash on camera phones is starting to slowly creep into feature standardization, however, it has a long way to go.  Some of the more glaring offenders of flashless photosnapping are pretty much every “smartphone”.  For example, Apple’s iPhone, Android G1 and many HTC WinMo phones lack the simple ability to take a dark shot.  Why?  My old Blackberry Curve (8320) had a flash.  Not to mention many bargin basement phones incorporate a flash.  Granted the lower end phones use a simple LED which is only good for a few feet…but still.  Hopefully as the “one device to rule them all” comes closer to reality manufacturers will actually finish their designs and make the camera’s on their phones useful for more than 10-12 hours out of the day.  Take for example, LG’s rumored 12 megapixel phone currently in development.  Sure it will almost certainly take beautiful images during the day.  However once the light dims those 12 mp’s that you payed so dearly for will be useless. 

The lack of an actual optical zoom feature also renders pretty much all camera phones worthess if you’re trying to snap a picture of anything not immediately around you.  Distant detail forget about it.  Again, why buy a 12mp camera phone if it isn’t going to be your only camera?

Am I just blowing smoke?  Or do you feel I have a legitimate arguement?  Is the megapixel race getting out of hand and manufacturers losing sight of what really needs to be focused on?


Source: Engadget, Slashphone *pic*

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One Response to “Camera phone megapixel race getting out of hand?”

  1. Gib says:

    February 22nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    They should stop at 12 and move on to more productive things (like the flash aspect). One thing I have been waiting for is xray on my phone. And at this point I’ll take a VGA xray over nothing

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