The humble pixel

By Adrian Toon, director of a2n.

The pixel race has all but stopped over the last couple of years with smartphone companies and camera manufacturers are now concentrating on camera sensor quality not pixel count.

The misconception that a higher pixel count offers a better image quality, just does not add up. There are many other factors to take into consideration when looking at image quality, such as the quality of the sensor’s pixel arrangement, the lens, and the camera software, to name but a few.

But as storage becomes even cheaper and technology moves on, inevitably camera pixel count will be on the rise again.

Professional cameras have long been using sensors which are 30MP up to 50MP, which is OK for quality printing at full frame, but when you wish to crop images, you lose some of that quality.

Lenses are getting better and offer increased resolutions, so the sensor does need to keep up. Canon recently filed a patent for an 83MP full-frame (35mm format) image sensor, which is rumoured to be put into their new flagship digital viewfinder model, the EOS R.

Further rumours suggest that this could be launched as early as February 2020.

The move, if true, will mean the gap between smartphone camera and professional camera will widen as there seems little point in offering larger file sizes on a smartphone – or is there?