Do We Really Need 13 Megapixels?
Apparently not, according to David Pogue’s experiment. The NY Post blogger and Discovery Channel host took pictures with a 5, 8, and 13 megapixels digital camera, did some image processing (a questionable step as it is indicated by the comments on his blog post), printed them to the same size, and did a quick survey on the streets of New York. He asked passersby to tell which picture belong to which camera. And, you’ve guessed it, the majority of them couldn’t spot the difference. Several attempted to guess and failed.
Dozens of people stopped to take the test; a little crowd gathered. About 95 percent of the volunteers gave up, announcing that there was no possible way to tell the difference, even when mashing their faces right up against the prints. A handful of them attempted guesses–but were wrong. Only one person correctly ranked the prints in megapixel order, although (a) she was a photography professor, and (b) I believe she just got lucky.
So, what is the moral of the story? Regarding megapixels, size doesn’t matter. Especially if you’re a casual photographer, like myself. I think after around 6 or 8 MPs, the quality curve just flatlined. If you’re planning to buy a new digital camera, do yourself a favor: pick one of the middle-ends, save quite some bucks and go splurge on larger memory cards or even one of those photo printers.
For me, I’m already settling for my lowly-but-lovable Canon Ixus 50.