updated 10:10 am EDT, Thu August 3, 2006
More Pixels Less Focus
HP recently released the Photosmart R967 point-and-shoot camera, which boasts a 10-megapixel sensor. To the stereotypical amateur camera buyer, that sounds like incredible quality for the money. After all, that's similar to more professional cameras such as the Nikon D200, which is well over a thousand dollars more even without a lens. However, with 7 or more megapixels so common on models like these, are we ignoring the underlying quality issues surrounding point-and-shoot cameras? Professional photographer Ken Rockwell has already argued against the importance of megapixels, since even cropping doesn't benefit as much from current megapixel counts. In the meantime, almost all compact cameras are still limited to 3X optical zoom and display visual artifacts such as purple fringing (the off-color "glow" you sometimes see around trees and other objects set against the sky). While optics aren't easy to fix in such small spaces, amateur photographers might appreciate the ability to keep more of the photos they take instead of more pixels to crop.