When
· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · November
· · · · 24 (1 entry)

Photobits · 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.
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