Apple expected to sit out on megapixel horserace with 2014 iPhones

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  • Reply 101 of 151
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     
    Adopting stuff:

    - USB 1.0 for keyboard and mice.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - 802.11b wireless networking.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry. 802.11ac came on both their Access Points, Time Capsule and MBA.  Not sure we need it yet for iPhone However. 

    - PDF.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - Thunderbolt.

    - 1394 Firewire

    - Bluetooth keyboard and mice. I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - Wired Ethernet 

    - SCSI

    - DVD Burners

    - H264 HW Video playback and encoding

    - Java


     

    I'd forgotten some of those. PDF is an excellent example of Apple getting it very, very right!

     

    TB and FW are both examples of what I meant about Apple getting on it quick as long as they're the only ones doing it.

     

    There are a couple others we could quibble over whether Apple was early or late, but they're all probably within the range of reasonable explanation.

     

    Maybe I'm over-sensitized because USB3 and AC wireless were both features I was champing at the bit to get!

  • Reply 102 of 151
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

     
    What did this megapixel race end up at (on average)?  Was it around 8 MP?


     

    In my extremely humble opinion, up to about 10MP is actually useful. That's 8x10" at 300 dpi, the accepted benchmark for good quality printing.

     

    Beyond that, the extra allows for cropping I guess, but it seems like it would just add noise without benefit.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     
    Three days ago I tried out a Nikon Coolpix S02 (13 megapixels) and took identical shots with it and with my 8 MP iPhone 5, and it's clear that the iPhone pictures were far superior.  The 13 MP Nikon photos were fuzzy to the point that they had an effective clarity HALF that of the iPhone.  For a device weighing the same and having no other functions than taking snapshots, I can't recommend it.  At all.


     

    If there's just one thing we can ask average consumers to do, let's make it "compare noise." It's amazing how much difference you can see between cameras when taking a shot with the lens cap on!

  • Reply 103 of 151
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    The problem is the number of photosites in the sensor.   When they are densely packed, which they are in all small sensor phones (and point-and-shoots), they generate heat.   Heat makes for noise.    All other things being equal, a 16MP sensor will have far better high-ISO (low light) performance than a 32MB sensor.    

    So if you increase the MP count without increasing the size of the sensor, you decrease quality.     A Nikon D1 camera from 1999 with 2.74 effective MP will still provide far better images than those from any of today's cellphone cameras and in some cases better quality than much larger cameras with higher MP counts. 

    Unfortunately, most consumers are idiots and buy into the myth that more megapixels = better quality.   Even those who buy full-frame DSLRs fall into this trap.    It's because it's a simple concept to understand ("oh..a higher number...that must be better").

    Although it's very cramped inside the phone, I would definitely like to see Apple provide a larger sensor and a larger lens in future generations of the iPhone, especially if they increase the screen size in future models.   In fact, what would be great is if Apple made it so the lens was removable and one could screw in different lenses (instead of putting an accessory lens on top of the built-in lens).    But Apple will never do that because they don't like "seams" in the surface of their products.   

    Of late, Apple seems to be making incremental improvements to their products.   I'd like to see them once again be far more aggressive coming up with new concepts and ideas.    
    Apple should go to dual cameras on the back. There are so many things people could do with biopic device
  • Reply 104 of 151
    hill60 wrote: »
    The Note 3 is already capable of taking 4k video, I expect the S5 will be too.

    Anybody know the data rate on these 4k video streams?

    It still amazes me that many digital cameras and phones do1080p @22-30 Mb/s which is the same data rate that we had back in the 1990s with MiniDV and DVCAM standard def.

    Granted these current 1080p ones use h.264, a more efficient codec, but the data rates haven't increased in two decades. At the same time hard drive speeds and interfaces have improved.

    Are the data rates the same because the industry focused on miniaturization, like SD cards. Maybe most video isn't edited/post processed anyway, so not need for higher data rates?
  • Reply 105 of 151
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by enzos View Post



    Better 8MP of goodness than 30MP of crap. Indeed if it improved low light perf and S/N I'd be happy if there were a 5MP setting, which is more than enough for on-screen viewing.

     

    I wouldn't want to see it go back down but I do agree that the 8-12 MP range is as good as it needs to get for the common user. Especially if they deal with low light etc (video included). if they could work out a way to have lens attach (magnet around the lens cover?) that wouldn't be bad either. the 5% of users that are pro or think they are pro photographers/videographers can get a 'real' camera

     

    and do something about the front camera

  • Reply 106 of 151
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abazigal View Post



    but can apple also improve the iPad's camera to 8 mp as well? The iPad's current 5 mp camera seems like an artificial limitation just to ensure the iPhone retains the better camera quality between the two.

     

    yep. I know a lot of folks think talking photos with an iPad is lame but given its larger field of vision sometimes it is the better choice (it's all about not being an donkey's beret when you do it). so it would be nice if it had a similar level of quality. Front one included. 

  • Reply 107 of 151
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,071member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    I found a website site, cameraimagesensor.com, that has some mobile phones listed with information about their sensors. The iPhone 5 sensor size is 1/3.2" with a sensor dimension of 4.54×3.42 mm. The Nokia Lumina 1020 with it's huge sensor of 2/3" and sensor size of 8.80×6.60 mm means it's 4X the size of the iPhone 5. With 38MP (effective pixels), it's actually a bit more than 4X the number of the iPhone's 8MP (effective pixels). This should mean the pixel size is at least close to the same size so they both should about the same amount of light gathering capability. The Lumina's size is also the reason why it requires a big bump on the phone and why it takes up so much real estate inside the camera. Camera physics require a certain focal length to cover that large sensor. There comes a point where trying to cram a good quality CMOS sensor into a small device just doesn't fit the size requirements of that device. There have to be trade-offs.

     

    One thing this article leaves out is the photo compression factor of the cameras in these phones. How much data is lost to this compression to allow more than a few photos to reside on the phones internal memory? We all know the Samsung phones don't have very much memory left for photos with all the garbage that's loaded on them so just how many 38MP photos will fit on the Lumina? What happens with video? What happens with a panoramic photo? How long does it take these photos to transfer to your computer or the cloud?

     

    btw: my Canon 60D's 18MP sensor is 22.30×14.90 mm or 9X the size of the Lumina and has a pixel size of 18.5 microns; way more than any mobile phone would ever be capable of using. 


    Thanks, that website is great.   Makes you wonder how much better cameras can get in a small frame when you look at the hump on the 1020.

  • Reply 108 of 151
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    The Nokia Lumina 1020 with it's huge sensor of 2/3" and sensor size of 8.80×6.60 mm means it's 4X the size of the iPhone 5. With 38MP (effective pixels), it's actually a bit more than 4X the number of the iPhone's 8MP (effective pixels). 

     

    ?I recall reading somewhere that while it takes a photo at that 38MP level it doesn't save it at that. It saves at the same 5-8 as everyone else. 

  • Reply 109 of 151
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I wouldn't be surprised if we see a doubling of capacity, H.265 and 4K video this year.

     

    I can see h.265 but I don't see them putting in a camera that could do 4k in devices this year. Maybe 2k but 4k not until next year. 

     

    Now in the iTunes Store I hope to see h.265 since they can up the quality and keep the videos the same size. But I still don't think we'll see 4k on the devices (i.e. iPhone and iPads) this year. maybe a switch to 2k as a step to it. perhaps 4k on the Apple TV and Mac even if maybe only limited titles at first. Big stuff like the Marvels, Transformers etc. They might even be a new price point. Apple could drop the SD only option for items with HD (as they move to make all titles have the HD), hopefully with a lowering in price and the ability to 'iTunes Plus' to the higher level for titles bought as SD or HD and not SHD (super HD). Yes it would feel a bit like the whole paying more to see it in 3D but if they lowered the baseline that might not suck so much. And who knows, perhaps they will find a way to make at least some variants of 3d work with the Apple TV (if not even Mac and later devices) and add that for big titles. Get the iTunes Extras working on iOS (at least for the Apple TV) and get studios to put in all the features, audio tracks etc and it could get wild wild west against optical disks. Since Apple appears to be aiming to dump the drives completely they would use this kind of scheme.

     

    Apple is about smaller leaps than going from old school 1080p to 4k at once. 

  • Reply 110 of 151
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

     
    TB and FW are both examples of what I meant about Apple getting on it quick as long as they're the only ones doing it.


    I think a lot of people think Apple is behind TB and FW.  However, this is not true.

     

    For TB:

    Intel, is the one who primarily developed TB.. As you know it basically PCIe and Display Port (VESA) over a different transport.  Apple's contribution is the mini Display Port compatible connector. 

     

    For FW:

    As you know its really called IEEE 1394 and was developed by an IEEE working. Firewire is Apple's branding, like of like "Super Drive" for DVD Burners. Other companies brand it differently, like Sony iLink.  Its became the defacto standard transport for digital video editing (DV) protocol and in the US the FCC mandates it for Digital Cable Boxes to allow recording and watching digital video.   For the most part Intel is to blame for not adapting this superior standard into it's chipset because USB was cheaper and required a good deal of CPU to drive it, IMHO.  If you have ever worked with USB from a low level device driver and stack it would be obvious that USB is an inefficient pile of dog poop designed to burden the CPU in comparison to Firewire which does not really require a CPU to be involved all that much. Think Peer to Peer DMA.  No, I am not bitter. ;-) Par for the course for the PC market in the age of WinModems and other cheap peripheral designed to remove processing capability out of the device and onto the 4Ghz CPU.   Really crappy design for embedded CPUs.

  • Reply 111 of 151
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

     
    What did this megapixel race end up at (on average)?  Was it around 8 MP?


     

    In my extremely humble opinion, up to about 10MP is actually useful. That's 8x10" at 300 dpi, the accepted benchmark for good quality printing.

     


    Lorin,

    that pretty close, 300 dpi over 8x10 print is just a bit over 7MP.   300dpi is beyond "EXCELLENT" quality.    10MP will allow to print 20x30 print at beyond Excellent quality and that print will cost you over $25 to make. Not including framing costs. Price in the glass, frame and mat and you are looking at some serious cash to print from that 10MP camera phone. 

     

    here is chart from B&H Camera which might help align need MP to desired print size. 

     

    The following chart can be used as a guide to help you decide what resolution camera you should purchase
















































































































































































    Digital Camera Resolution Chart



    Capture Resolution



    Video Display*



    Print Size***



    2x3"



    4x5"/4x6"



    5x7"



    8x10"



    11x14"



    16x20"



    20x30"



    320x240



    Acceptable



    Good



    Acceptable



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    640x480 - 0.3 Megapixel



    Good



    Excellent



    Good



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    800x600



    Excellent



    Photo Quality



    Very Good



    Acceptable



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    1024x768



    Excellent



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Good



    Acceptable



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    1280x960 - 1 Megapixel



    Excellent



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Very Good



    Good



    Poor



    Poor



    Poor



    1536x1180



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Very Good



    Acceptable



    poor



    poor



    1600x1200 - 2 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Very Good



    Acceptable



    Acceptable



    Poor



    2048x1536 - 3 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Good



    Acceptable



    Acceptable



    2240x1680 - 4 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Very Good



    Good



    Acceptable



    2560x1920 - 5 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Very Good



    Very Good



    3032x2008 - 6 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Very Good



    3072x2304 - 7 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    Excellent



    3264x2448 - 8 Megapixel



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Excellent



    10 Megapixel +



    Excellent**



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality



    Photo Quality


     




























    Poor

    Noticeably Grainy (pixelated)

    Acceptable

    Obviously not a real photo, but some details are visible

    Good

    Can tell it is not a photo but most details are discernable

    Very Good

    Can tell it is not a photo at normal distance, but good enough for many uses

    Excellent

    Difficult to tell from real photo at normal viewing distance

    Photo Quality

    On a photo-quality printer, the human eye should not be able to tell the difference at a normal viewing distance

  • Reply 112 of 151
    abazigalabazigal Posts: 114member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     

    I think Lorin was referring to standards.  I am not sure we can always say Apple is behind in adapting new standards or getting rid of them as appropriate.  Lets see.

     

    Adopting stuff:

    - USB 1.0 for keyboard and mice.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - 802.11b wireless networking.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry. 802.11ac came on both their Access Points, Time Capsule and MBA.  Not sure we need it yet for iPhone However. 

    - PDF.  I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - Thunderbolt.

    - 1394 Firewire

    - Bluetooth keyboard and mice. I think they lead here compared to rest of the industry.

    - Wired Ethernet 

    - SCSI

    - DVD Burners

    - H264 HW Video playback and encoding

    - Java

     

     

    Killing stuff off:

    Floppies

    Optical Drives

    Bluray

    Flash

    Retail software packages mostly full of empty space

    DRM


    Steve once mentioned in the D8 interview that Apple likes to cherry-pick which technologies and standards to adopt. I think a lot of this can be attributed back to Apple's product design philosophy and their business practices.

     

    For instance, I can see the rationale behind PDF - you need a document standard that works regardless of platform because iWork's didn't work well with Office (and vice versa), in case Microsoft ever dropped support for Apple. Bluetooth meshes well with their desire to reduce the amount of cable clutter in their products; that's why the iMac has just one cable. Same with thunderbolt (and firewire adds to speed too). They may not be widely adopted standards, but I think they do help reinforce the perception that Apple is a serious platform for productivity (namely photography and video editing enthusiasts, who do benefit from higher transfer speeds). 

     

    Likewise, for flash and retail boxes, they were competition to their app store distribution model. Basically, Apple has this end user experience that they want to cascade down to the consumer, and they will adopt the technologies which allow this, as well as abandoning tech which doesn't. It's just business, nothing personal. 

  • Reply 113 of 151
    abazigalabazigal Posts: 114member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

     

     

    yep. I know a lot of folks think talking photos with an iPad is lame but given its larger field of vision sometimes it is the better choice (it's all about not being an donkey's beret when you do it). so it would be nice if it had a similar level of quality. Front one included. 


    And as a teacher using my iPad in my teaching, I do use the camera a lot. Be it as a document scanner (I use scanner pro to scan copies of text like pupils' work, then export as pdf to notability to annotating), recording videos (I have this green screen iPad app which lets me change the backgrounds in videos), to blogging (take photos and insert them directly into the wordpress app for iPad), while 5mp does suffice, I certainly don't mind the iPad enjoying parity with the iPhone (8mp camera, at least a decent flash) in this regard. 

  • Reply 114 of 151
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abazigal View Post

     

    For instance, I can see the rationale behind PDF - you need a document standard that works regardless of platform because iWork's didn't work well with Office (and vice versa), in case Microsoft ever dropped support for Apple. 


    I think the decision for PDF may have been a bit more simplistic and historical in nature.   As you recall, Apple and Adobe got together and developed the Laserwriter printer. This printer used the Adobe Postscript language as its basis for rendering.  It produce beautiful  output but it was not exactly "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) at the time because the display rendering engine was not in sync with the printer rendering engine.  So when Steve got kicked out of Apple, he wanted for the NeXTSTEP Workstation to support Postscript rendering directly in GUI rendering engine to put this problem to rest.  This resulted in "Display Postscript" support.  So in short, the screen and printer both render the same because they spoke the same language.  When Apple bought NeXT Computer, they based Mac OS X on NeXTSTEP OS with a few UI changes.   Since Adobe PDF was derived from Adobe Postscript and had grown in popularity (overtaking Postscript), one of those changes was to update NeXTSTEP Display Postscript Rendering Engine to  Render PDF.  Not sure how many people know this, but your Mac and your iOS device's display rendering engine understands PDF directly.  So support for PDF is by design based on its roots from NeXT Computer and the Laserwriter and a desire for true WSIWYG. This is what allows you to "Print to PDF file" from any application in Mac OS X because its already in PDF on the screen.

  • Reply 115 of 151
    abazigalabazigal Posts: 114member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     

    I think the decision for PDF may have been a bit more simplistic and historical in nature.   As you recall, Apple and Adobe got together and developed the Laserwriter printer. This printer used the Adobe Postscript language as its basis for rendering.  It produce beautiful  output but it was not exactly "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) at the time because the display rendering engine was not in sync with the printer rendering engine.  So when Steve got kicked out of Apple, he wanted for the NeXTSTEP Workstation to support Postscript rendering directly in GUI rendering engine to put this problem to rest.  This resulted in "Display Postscript" support.  So in short, the screen and printer both render the same because they spoke the same language.  When Apple bought NeXT Computer, they based Mac OS X on NeXTSTEP OS with a few UI changes.   Since Adobe PDF was derived from Adobe Postscript and had grown in popularity (overtaking Postscript), one of those changes was to update NeXTSTEP Display Postscript Rendering Engine to  Render PDF.  Not sure how many people know this, but your Mac and your iOS device's display rendering engine understands PDF directly.  So support for PDF is by design based on its roots from NeXT Computer and the Laserwriter and a desire for true WSIWYG. This is what allows you to "Print to PDF file" from any application in Mac OS X because its already in PDF on the screen.


    Not what I would call simpler, but it also makes sense. I would never have thought of looking at it from a printer perspective. Thanks for the share! :)

  • Reply 116 of 151
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     
     300dpi is beyond "EXCELLENT" quality.  


     

    The definition of "excellent"must vary!

     

    I used to do pre-press work for material going to an actual printing press. The standard for that is 300 dpi.

  • Reply 117 of 151
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by abazigal View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     

    I think the decision for PDF may have been a bit more simplistic and historical in nature.   As you recall, Apple and Adobe got together and developed the Laserwriter printer. This printer used the Adobe Postscript language as its basis for rendering.  It produce beautiful  output but it was not exactly "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) at the time because the display rendering engine was not in sync with the printer rendering engine.  So when Steve got kicked out of Apple, he wanted for the NeXTSTEP Workstation to support Postscript rendering directly in GUI rendering engine to put this problem to rest.  This resulted in "Display Postscript" support.  So in short, the screen and printer both render the same because they spoke the same language.  When Apple bought NeXT Computer, they based Mac OS X on NeXTSTEP OS with a few UI changes.   Since Adobe PDF was derived from Adobe Postscript and had grown in popularity (overtaking Postscript), one of those changes was to update NeXTSTEP Display Postscript Rendering Engine to  Render PDF.  Not sure how many people know this, but your Mac and your iOS device's display rendering engine understands PDF directly.  So support for PDF is by design based on its roots from NeXT Computer and the Laserwriter and a desire for true WSIWYG. This is what allows you to "Print to PDF file" from any application in Mac OS X because its already in PDF on the screen.


    Not what I would call simpler, but it also makes sense. I would never have thought of looking at it from a printer perspective. Thanks for the share! :)


    abazigal,

    you are quite welcome. Ironically this takes us full circle to think about camera MP needs from a printer perspective.   These days most photos never get printed and live out their life on a 72 dpi screen (typically 1MP - see the chart I posted above) or Phone screen with about the same effective pixels.  If you are lucky enough to have a Retina iPad, we are talking 3MP.  For those which do make it to prints, most are 4x6 (which if you look at the chart above requires just 1-2 MP).  For the few prints that get printed at 8x10, requires just 4-6 MP.  Anything beyond that like 20x30 posters, we are talking maybe once or twice per lifetime and requires about 10MP. I would hope people would have enough common sense invest into more serious camera equipment than a smart phone if they ever attempted to print something that large and truly understood the costs involved for making and framing a print that large. Its gonna be expensive and noticeable flows will be very apparent and regrettable. We are easily talking $70-100 for that print size completely framed up.  

  • Reply 118 of 151
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     
     300dpi is beyond "EXCELLENT" quality.  


     

    The definition of "excellent"must vary!

     

    I used to do pre-press work for material going to an actual printing press. The standard for that is 300 dpi.


    You are right on the money. Commercial quality printing is 300 dpi.  You said 300dpi was "Good".   If that is "Good", then what is flawless? Also keep in mind the larger the print, the longer the effective required viewing distance (i.e. lower required dpi).  This is why 10MP scales out to a much larger print size than 7MP.

  • Reply 119 of 151
    ireland wrote: »
    Megapixels matter, but only to a point. I'm sure if they are not adding pixels this year they have their reasons. Phones are very thin, anyway. Perhaps phone manufactures including Apple should consider stacking the cameras vertically inside their phones so they can put in better cameras than the physical thickness will allow.

    MP does not matter. 5MP is more then enough for general use and general printing. unless you print 20x30 daily
  • Reply 120 of 151
    MP does not matter. 5MP is more then enough for general use and general printing. unless you print 20x30 daily

    20x30 is the max print size for 8MP, btw
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