Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Mega Pixel myth

Its about time I changed my camera. So says my wife.
Well its been on debate for a long time (and the debate is between me and myself)
Yes one part of me says “go in for a new one” and the reason being that my present camera packs off at the most unpredictable times and I miss many good opportunities. The packing off is due to my battery cover which refuses to close fully resulting in improper signal to the telescopic lens. So when the priest says “you may kiss the bride now” and I raise my camera for that special shot, my lens just retracts (like the turtle head) and just refuses to come out. By the time I switch it off and then on and have it all ready, the bride and the groom are happily sliding out of the church !!
The reason why I want to cling on to the existing Nikon Coolpix 4300 is that its an excellent camera with minimum hassles giving excellent results. I remember going for a shoot meet and one stalwart saw me clicking and said “Joe you brought this? You did not get your other one?” I said “what other one? I have only one camera” He took the camera from me (which easily fits in his palm) turned it upside down, had a closer look and said “you mean all those pictures of the war cemetery and the pictures you upload on Flickr are from this camera ?” He just could not believe it.
Kirkee War Cemetry
When people see a good photograph they assume that it must have been taken with a costly sophisticated camera.
Have you seen the road side cobbler at the corner? Have a closer look at his tools. All primitive isn’t it. But see the results he produces with those tools. All produced by his skill and ingenuity.
I believe how you use your camera makes all the difference. And you can have excellent results with a simple camera. I remember some of the initial pictures that I took with our first camera Agfa Click III.

One of them is of my parents who were ready to go to church in their Sunday best. I thought that it was the right time to click as the early morning light was perfect. Considering the fact that this was clicked almost 40 years ago with no advance technology, I think this is pretty good without a flash (and no photoshop).
dad and mom
Then came my Isoly-II which was slightly better than Click-III (more on that later)
Coming back to the present situation I am yet to decide what to buy. And that is another hurdle. So many to choose from. Did a lot of reading on the net and one thing I gathered is about the myth. “The higher the mega pixels the better your camera” Its not so. So when the salesman says “sir why don’t you upgrade your camera. What you have is only 4 mega pixels. Why don’t you go in for this 10 mega pixels” Don’t fall for it.
I read on and this is what I got:
Sharpness depends more on your photographic skill than the number of megapixels, because most people's sloppy technique or subject motion, blurs the image more than the width of a microscopic pixel. Sharpness has very little to do with image quality, and resolution has little to do with sharpness. Resolution (pixel count) has nothing to do with picture quality. Color and tone are far more important technically.
Confused? Good. So am I.
So my search is on, and hope to get the right camera at the right time.
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A camera catches your imagination. No imagination, no photo - just crap.


Sapna Anu B.George said...

Thats a wonderful read and Joe,belive me, beautiful picture of your parents

Anonymous said...

terrific picture of your parents.
Is the cemetery picture from May, 2008?

marie said...

Picture perfect ..... in their Sunday best.I do hope that u make up ur mind about the camera. Think of all the wonderful photos u missed sans the camera! So hurry!

G said...

Kirkee war cemetery! Have to go visit. :)

Seashell said...

Ahh.. Yeah I knowwww! When you take a good photograph it has to be a good camera.. All the time.. and When tell them what camera it is they do not believe you.. Ohhh I have so been through that..

I think the only trick for good photography is to pick the right moments.. BTW the war cemetery photo.. Lovely..

Gulmohar said...

I agree with you, 100%...That need not be the camera, but the moment makes it wonderful. And of course your camera eyes should sense it first. Recently read an article about a New York Times photographer, who stopped using all the hi-fi cameras and started using his cell phone camera for news photography..And he has taken amazing pics with that..:-)
BTW the cemetery pic is awesome :D

Nostalgia said...

Beautiful pictures as usual and nice read.

Neha said...

first time on your blog...and loved the clicks...your parents pic reminded me of so many old black-n-white photographs...who cared about mega pixels and light balance then? but ain't they still priceless? I also try to click nice pictures, so far the success ratio has been 5 outta 100, but those 5 always make me smile :))

thank you for sharing the info...

Haddock said...

Welcome Neha, nice to see you here......yes our old B&W pics are the real treasure that we posses.
@ Seashell - trick for good photography is to pick the right moments.......yes the right moments at the right time.
@ G ......yes its a must visit place. At least once.
@ cantony...... no it was clicked in 2005.
@ Nostalgia :)
@ Gulmohar........I think Hi Fi Cameras are good for pre planned shoots as it takes time to set up the whole thing.
@ Sapna Anu.......yep.....planning to upload some more old B&W pictures.
@ Marie.......aye aye sir , I mean madam.

LisaLisa said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Great pictures of your parents...priceless moments of B&W photos.

Matty said...

Nice post. I only have one camera too, and it's basically just a point-and-shoot. A Canon A2100. I love it. It replaced a former Canon that eventually died, and I lost a memorable moment because of it. I did a lot research before getting this camera, and while it may not be perfect, it's perfect for me.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

You are so right that it does not matter the camera but the person that is behind the lens to capture the perfect you did with you parents. Everyone has their own preference but it really gets down to creativity.

I'm so glad you visited my blog...I'm totally enjoying reading your posts!!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for your advice on curing my flu symptoms Haddock!

I followed you to your interesting blog, I find that photo of the war cemetary most beguiling, a very apt photo, well done.

Soma Pradhan said...


Is this picture taken in Pune...The graveyard in Kadki cantonment area..I remember vaguely seeing this area which looked like foreign...


The Holy Lama said...

Jolly good blog Captain. Ten thousand blistering barnacles, I know some cameras that don't live up to the imagination. Some real good stuff and eye for those pics.

Haddock said...

@ Alicia - Its my pleasure to have you here.
@ Soma - You are right - just click on the picture to get more details about it.
@ The Holy Lama - Thundering typhoons, the Holy Lama is here too :)

Professor Batty said...

The best camera is the one you have with you, and is ready to shoot. Megapixels don't matter for web pictures. Megapixels can matter, especially when cropping or making enlargements. Sensor size is what is really more important; a bigger one will make any size picture better. Most of the newer digital cameras in the last three years are much better than the earlier ones, faster operation, much better viewing screens, better high ISO results- provided the sensor isn't too small. Check out the Canon S-90.

Aaarti said...

Completely agree with u... credit always goes to the wrong source!!:D

Lovely shots.. both of em!!

denise said...

I so agree with you! It's the photographer, not the camera. Bravo to you for recognizing this truth.

janis said...

great pictures can be definitely taken with crappy cameras!

thanks for stopping by my blog!