Saturday, February 14, 2015

150 megapixels

News came my way of a 150 megapixel sensor that one of the camera manufacturers had demonstrated. All I can say is "How utterly ridiculous". Currently we have digital SLRs that produce 50 megapixel images. Again, how utterly ridiculous! Just what in tarnation would anybody want that many megapixels?

I'm trying hard to fathom what anybody would want with 50 megapixels let alone 150. There's a crazy notion that all photos should be printed to 300dpi whereas in fact, the human eye cannot see more than 150dpi. So, putting reality to one side for a moment, a 50 megapixel sensor is used (for this calculation 54 megapixels) with dimensions of 6,000 pixels by 9,000 pixels. At 300dpi that would yield an image printed to 20 inches by 30 inches. Drop to the sensible 150dpi and the image grows to 40 inches by 60 inches.

Now, how big is the biggest picture hanging on your wall - the image size itself, not the matte or the frame? I bet it's nowhere near 10 inches by 15 inches. I wouldn't mind betting it's 10 inches by 8 inches. This is just ridiculous!

The biggest and most ridiculous thing ever is that many amateurs foolishly believe they need ever more megapixels when in fact 6 to 10 is about all they really need. Given that most images are now viewed solely online or on a tablet or digital picture frame, even 2 megapixels is excessive. Truth be told, the biggest argument I hear is "But more pixels means you can crop" yet the fools don't realize that correctly composing means that cropping is unnecessary.

So, how big would a 150 megapixel image be, anyway? Well, 128 megapixels is 8,000 by 16,000. That's an image size of 53 inches by 106 inches. That's so ridiculous that it's unbelievable. In terms of storage, it's 192mb per image. That's over 100 floppy disks for one image, 3 images on a CD or 40 on a dual layer DVD. That's just ridiculous.

My recommendation is that rather than join onto the stupid upgrade bandwaggon, you stick with what you have. I've been using 8 megapixels for 10 years. I'd like a few extras on newer cameras but I'm happy with what I have despite almost selling the lot to be free of bad memories.

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