So I was taking Snapsort out for spin today at the office here at Canon USA as part of my regularly scheduled “Keeping on top of things in the industry” sessions, when I saw the following bit of information:
When we say clean megapixels we’re referring to the quality of the pixels, are they actually capturing detail or are you just using a bunch of pixels to capture a lack of detail (motion blur, out of focus, Airy disk limitations, lack of dynamic range, poor color depth, image noise, jpeg and noise reduction artifacts). Many years ago photographers with 5MP high end pro DSLRs were printing giant prints that looked amazing. The reason is every pixel was used perfectly, in focus, great dynamic range, beautiful color, low noise, no blur. Most people think megapixels are important, believing it will actually provide a better photo. The real story is they’re not important at all because the rating of megapixels does not indicate the resolution of the resulting photos, most of the time a 6MP image and a 14MP image shot on the same digicam are indistinguishable and to make things worse those 6MP digicam photos have image detail that is not nearly as high quality as an old pro DSLR with a giant but lower resolution sensor that can capture more contrast detail using better lenses with lower noise.
This website is one of the most positive developments I’ve seen online in the industry in a long while. It was about God damn time someone stepped up to educate consumers about these things. Because God help me, I can’t get Tokyo to listen to me when they keep telling me “consumer are want more pixel” while waving “market research data” in my fucking face every time. And not only is this information there on the website for everyone to read, most importantly, it is actually being USED now to help people determine which camera will be the better choice, and in this particular case certainly when image quality is concerned. What this means is that finally this information is being used to directly influence buying decisions. You would have thought that sites like dpreview would have thought about this long ago instead of slapping a “Highly Recommended” rating on every fucking camera they review. I guess they’re just better at deleting posts and banning people on their forums and sending their lawyers after people who disagree with them.
But back on topic, Snapsort allows the user to quickly find the camera he’s looking for based on easy to understand parameters (explained in simple words). Most importantly the information is concise and presented in a clean layout. It has the potential to become the Google of the digital camera industry. No more reading of countless pages of camera reviews and all kinds of tests with important information burried on page 12 of 25 of the review where you’ll never find it and finding out in the end that all cameras are being “Highly Recommended” anyway making you wonder why you just read through 5 reviews. No more browsing review sites with countless reviews, not knowing where to start and what to look for. These guys appear to know what they’re doing.
The reason why I’m discussing all of this though is not to promote Snapsort, and I’ll understand if you think otherwise, but I’m doing it in the hope that those morons at Canon Inc. in Japan read this and that somehow, God willing, they can begin to understand that we stopped looking for more megapixels years ago. Now we’re looking for higher quality pixels or, as the people at Snapsort put it, CLEAN MEGAPIXELS. Those of you who’ve been following my blog since the beginning know how many times I’ve mentioned this, how many times I mentioned user feedback I’ve gotten on this issue, and how many times Tokyo just ignored all of it. Those guys at Nikon sure seem to have taken note of this and the D3s is evidence of that. The demand for the D3s and the fact that people are now worrying about a higher resolution D4 not being able to match the D3s image quality further shows that people value quality pixels. Quality, not quantity. If you want more information on the megapixel mess then read this.