8 Megapixels…

When I first transitioned to digital photography seriously, my camera of choice was the Canon Rebel XT. In that camera I found a whopping 3 frames per second, 8 megapixels, and a host of other features and benefits that go with SLR photography. The times, how they change…

My Droid2 smart phone bit the bullet (this was the third one of these to die prematurely), and Verizon in its wisdom decided I needed to go to a different model phone.  After several logistical problems with getting the correct battery shipped for the correct model to the correct address, I finally got a battery for the new phone, powered it up and activated my number on the new line.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that this new phone has…yup:

8 Megapixels!

It staggers my mind that they can fit the same number of pixels on this teensy sensor that used to fill a sensor for an SLR.  My hesitancy at embracing this MP count is that there will be excess noise, and pixelation on the images.  While the smart phone features (phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) look to perform adequately, the camera is always a point of contention for me as I wish these phones could adapt somewhat and figure out a way to have an adjustable aperture.  If you can fit that many pixels onto that teensy a sensor, surely the aperture could be adjustable!

This could just be me ranting on quixotically though – so, here’s a sample image at full resolution (click it to see full size).  Does this seem decent enough for a camera phone?  Sound off in the comments with your own thoughts on cell phone cameras – what features are good, what should be thrown out, and what should be improved?  (No carrier bashing please – try thinking of this as carrier agnostically as possible! 🙂

Droix X Test Shot

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5 comments for “8 Megapixels…

  1. Dennis
    April 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    C’mon man, you of all people should know it’s not about the megapixels but the quality of the optics and the quality of the pixels! To be honest, that photo just doesn’t cut it. There is currently a popular brand of phone with a 5 megapixel camera built in that blows that image, along with most images created by entry level point and shoot digital cameras, out of the water. If having a great camera built into your phone is important to you, I think there is a better option out there.

    • Jason
      April 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      In all fairness, that shot was intentionally taken under less than favorable circumstances, but hopefully will help illustrate the point that MP count is not the factor to consider. I was rather bummed actually when I saw that, because I knew that meant the optics would pretty much suck…the post even mentioned how I wish they’d shift gears and work on making the aperture adjustable…

      (Thanks for sharing your thoughts though, and hopefully my commentary here shows that I do know better! 🙂 )

  2. April 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Wow… when will the manufacturers ever learn? Do they put the marketing people in charge of deciding things like this or something?? I don’t care what brand/carrier this is; 8 MP behind a lens that’s smaller than a dime is just ridiculous! I suppose at least now you can print all the ugly artifacting (chromatic aberrations, blooming, etc.) even bigger than before… WOO YAY!
    I’m not saying all the problems in this picture are caused by having an 8MP sensor, but what’s the point in being able to zoom in on/blow up mush like that? There’s not enough detail in that image to need a 3MP sensor.

  3. April 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Gotta say, digging my IPhone’s camera. Pretty wowed by the images produced with it. And the video? Woah! I give them props for the video that comes out of that crazy little phone!

    Of course give me my 5D II any day of the week over my IPhone.

  4. April 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve found on Flicker when I search for the tag ‘iphone’. The photo you posted certainly isn’t what I’d expect from an 8mp camera phone. They have a long way to go but they have definitely moved passed the image quality you’re showing here. I’d suggest trying some of the apps available for Droid phones, I usually use Hipstamatic or Instagram to get better quality out of my iphone3’s camera.

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