There’s been much jawing about David Pogue’s claim in the New York Times that 5 megapixels is enough. He didn’t just claim it, he claims to have proved it. I think he may have a point, but the quality of evidence is crappy. First of all, he doesn’t say where the 13MP picture came from (probably a pretty high-end camera), nor how he photo-reduced it (PhotoShop and friends have all sorts of smart anti-aliasing), nor how the print enlarging was done (are the results comparable to the ones you’re going to get at your local print-shop?) It would have been way more interesting if he’d taken a two carefully-composed pictures, one with a 5MP camera and one with a bigger one, had them both photo-enlarged at the nearest drug-store, and compared those. Also, he ignores a real advantage of having more pixels; you can crop a picture way down to focus on the interesting parts and still have enough pixels to look good. Weirdly, he also fails to point out the downside of bigger pictures; they’re slower to transfer, edit, and display on-screen. So this is hardly a triumph of journalism. In this week’s other photo-news, the much-ballyhooed Leica M8, maybe the world’s most expensive consumer digicam, turns out to have quality issues. I still want one; but that would be unforgivably self-indulgent, I’ll only award myself one as a prize, say if I manage to bring peace to the Middle East, or (even tougher) make my Ruby parser go fast.