Originally Posted by tipoo
What matters more is that they keep the sensor size/pixels ratio the same or better. Cramming that many more pixels on the same sensor would introduce more noise, and require more artificial noise reduction, and overall reduce quality.
Originally Posted by BenRoethig
Some of you guys are getting into a reverse mega pixel mentality (more megapixels = automatically bad) and not even bothering to do some research on the part in question. Do some research on the Xperia NEO's picture and video capability and come back and tell me this is a bad thing.
My brief checks found the images on the Samsung Galaxy more pleasing IMHO than any of the three reffed in the thread, tho' the iPhone had less noise on the color swatches.
What was not stated is whether or not the iPhone was working in HDR mode. On the faces the iPhone image had blown out highlights while the Galaxy had fairly pleasing skin tones.
Originally Posted by digitalclips
Apple's use of small, low end camera / software technology is pretty advanced. The iPhone 4 uses similar technology to the latest Nikon DSLRs that can take a photograph in a room and correctly expose the darker inside as well as the window's far brighter outside in a single shot in idiot mode. Previously high end software was used to combine several radically different exposures of Raw HD images to achieve such results. So simply comparing the hardware, be it sensor size or pixel density doesn't give the whole picture even if traditionally these were good metrics for comparisons and expected resolution / quality. This new technology is simply in another dimension. I have faith that the iPhone 5 camera will blow our socks off in price / performance and we need not worry that some Android has a seemingly better hardware configuration.
Originally Posted by tzeshan
The quality of a photo depends on how much light each pixel gets. With higher megapixels the amount of light each pixel gets is less if everything else is the same.
Thankfully there's actually been some discussion of lenses, often missing in these pixel back and forths. I've never read a comparison of the various popular lenses used in smartphones, tho' there's a latent consensus they're all "cheap." But is there a hierarchy of "cheapness" and light-gathering capacity, and if so where do Apple's stand on that spectrum?
Another thing unmentioned in this thread is the light path. Every iPhone has been thinner than the last, decreasing the light path - unless it's bent, e.g., by a mirror. The same amount of light reaching different amounts of pixels/sq MM gives no advantage to a sensor of the same size but containing more pixels.
And if Apple's adding, e.g., NFC and/or LTE in a maybe thinner phone with the same or better battery life (while running an A5 and possibly more storage or RAM, it's gonna get crowded - and power hungry - in there). No room for a physically bigger sensor or ways to bring more light to it over a path that would take any real advantage of the upped pixel count.
Also mentioned briefly is the quality of the software that encodes and renders the image. Here my sense is it's generally believed that Apple's been at least up to par in getting the most out of the pixel registrations it is recording, and that the HDR is reasonably well-implemented. But there's always room for improvement.
Meanwhile, while they're focusing on marketing the current SKU to casual gamers, I keep humping for an iPodTouchCam (64 GB and up). With the extra depth of an iPhone case and unencumbered for space by phone radios/other phone parts, I believe Apple could leapfrog "smartphone quality" picture-taking and truly strike fear into the hearts of P&S cam makers, none of whose cams would include a fully functional iPT and could integrate new pix and flix into the FaceTime experience on the device. Also access to DropBox/Sugar Sync, the new Mobile Me we're all expecting, and the best on-board quick editing tools in the class.
Maybe I'm starting to sound like the eternal boosters of the MMMM (Mythical Mid-range Mac Mini-Tower), but I don't see how this cannibalizes anything Apple's offering, nor, like the MMMM would it be targeted at a stagnant market. (I'm just guessing the P&S sales trajectory looks better than that for AC-tethered PC's, btw.)