TechSpot

Sony readies 17.7MP phone camera

By Emil
Mar 1, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. Remember Sony's 16.41MP phone camera from five months ago? Don't bother, as the electronics giant has already announced it has developed a small 17.7MP camera sensor that is harder, better, faster, stronger than earlier technology, according to Nikkei.

    Read the whole story
     
  2. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 964   +49

    One simple question. Why? I really don't see the usefulness of such a high megapixel sensor, even in the cybershots considering the technical and quality limitations of such a small sensor with such a dense pixel density. I mean an old 6MP DSLR with a kit lens outputs better than some of the newer 10MP+ point and shoots (and I won't comment about high megapixel camera phones).

    The image processing technology and chip design behind it however IS useful, so kudos to that.
     
  3. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Enthusiast Posts: 343   +20

    I agree. Much like how CPU's are going in the wrong direction of just throwing in more cores instead of improving architecture, more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better.
     
  4. Whoaman

    Whoaman TS Rookie Posts: 71

    I agree. Giant files full of bad quality pixels from small sensors only serve to waste huge swaths of storage space and processing power. Hopefully the fact that it is CMOS based will counter some of these negatives. We'll see.
     
  5. mario

    mario Ex-TS Developer Posts: 399   +17

    Instead of focusing on phone cameras they should really focus on their actual phones!
     
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    Totally agree, the actual use for the phone - to make and receive calls seems completely overlooked these days!

    I have to say I lack understanding for any reason why such a high MP camera is even justified on a mobile phone.
     
  7. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 964   +49

    Unfortunately it won't, as CMOS usually will suffer some loss in quality when the sensor is made smaller (because of the amount of space needed and complexity of the extra on-sensor features that tend to be offloaded with CCD sensors).

    Incidentally, 1080p is only 2MP in raw pixels for those that may bring up this sensor's ability to shoot video as justification.

    Call me biased, but while I believe the same applies for digital SLRs (to a degree, it depends on usage), they can get away with higher resolution sensors because those sensors are much larger in comparision and are generally better at collecting light because of that size.
     
  8. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    A friend of mine, who is a photographer, once told me that more than 12 MP is completely unnecessary, as the difference is impossible to be noticed by the human eye. I do see "Highest megapixel camera phone in the world!" as a great tagline to attract the average, uniformed (Apple-like) public, though.
     
  9. Whoaman

    Whoaman TS Rookie Posts: 71

    That completely depends on the intended usage of the image. As the image size increases (posters for example) the density of pixels becomes increasingly relevant. Good quality higher pixel densities also allow for substantial cropping to be viable - a poor man's zoom in some circumstances.
     
  10. KG363

    KG363 TS Enthusiast Posts: 524   +9

    That seems quite impressive.
     
  11. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,716

    put a 6mp shot on a billboard size then a 12mp. It's noticeable,
     
     
  12. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91


    That is quite obvious. Why would you take pictures for a poster on a smartphone, for example? That is suited for DSLR cameras or higher. I'm talking about personal usage on mobile devices; on a mobile device such a smartphone, having 17.7MP camera is just the same as having a 12 MP one or less.

    After 10 MP, other factors such as the lens' quality, focus range, flash, etc., are more important than the megapixels. On a such a small screen (I assume the phone's screen is going to be 4 inches, correct me if I'm wrong), I would argue that bigger is not necessarily better, unless, people love transferring pictures to the PC to then crop them until their size is right (because, you know, they would have <i>that</i> poster in their computer!).
     
  13. Mushroom

    Mushroom TS Rookie Posts: 32

    megapixels are a marketing gimmick, they're not as important as you'd think. The glass and sensor size is way more important.
     
  14. emzdhr

    emzdhr TS Rookie

    Awesome + Great + Elegant + all other great words = Sony..
     
  15. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    So, we end up getting Sony CyberShot cameras which can make phone calls and send text messages ?
     
  16. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 964   +49

    Megapixel count is more important than you probably give it credit for, but your second statement is correct, as is your claim that manufacturers ultimately use megapixel count for as a marketing tool.

    @woahman: The poor man's zoom is the scooching your feet forward or backwards. Not recommended when you're standing on a cliff or next to a railing. :) The digital zoom "feature" in P&S is the poor man's crop,

    @Princeton: viewed far enough away, a 6MP picture blown up to billboard size won't look much different than a 12MP picture the same size. Incidentally, a 12MP image is *only* 40% bigger than a 6MP image (assuming the same PPI/DPI). Damn the resolving power of our own eyes at a distance. =p

    @lawfer: when it comes to image quality, focus distance and the use of a flash are options, not requirements for image quality. It entirely depends on what the photographer intends to do. The internal optics of a lens ("lens quality") is by far the most important aspect, regardless of capture medium (film or digital). A film body in the most crude of descriptions is basically a box to hold film with a hole in the front to let light in. Likewise a digital body and its sensor can be viewed the same way (though needs to be refreshed more often because of newer processing technologies), though it also inherits the characteristics of the film itself.
     
  17. Mushroom

    Mushroom TS Rookie Posts: 32

    It is important in a sense, but overall it's just a number that most consumers don't understand farther than "bigger is better" which is only a partial truth. I'd rather have a 20 MP MF camera than a 17.7MP camera phone.
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.