The Megapixel Myth: And other nonsense from the n95 brigade...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dombookpro, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. dombookpro macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Some people like to talk about how many megapixels the camera on their phone has in the same way that Ferrari drivers like to talk about how fast their car can go... I've got news for those people... The speed limit is 70mph. Likewise, the average computer display can only show 1.5 megapixels worth of picture area.

    Do you REALLY think that any of the people who own an N95 are printing those images onto paper, and mounting them in an A3 sized frame (as process which would actually justify the need for 5 megapixels)? I would venture to suggest that hardly anyone is doing this. So, it effectively means that 3.5 of those megapixels is one big penis-waggling exercise... "My camera has more pixels than yours" - but without any justifiable reason.

    Likewise, GPS... How many people really use the GPS on their n95? Do n95 users find themselves hopelessly lost in a wilderness, and have to have GPS to bail them out? I somehow don't think that Bear Grylls, when he's not living it up in a luxurious hotel room, has the need for an n95 to navigate himself round a remote location. Again, all a load of todger tugging.

    3G: On You Tube, there is an interesting, although completely unscientific test of the relative download speeds of the iPhone and n95. (sorry, can't find link now!) What it shows is that the loading speeds of each device are pretty close. What this test suggests to me, is that the n95's software prohibits its 3g capability. 3g is undoubtedly faster on paper, but does the n95 actually load its pages any faster. Who knows, but the truth of the matter is that browsing on the n95 is a completely soulless waste of time. Hence the fact that people who have iphones report that they spend a lot more time surfing on their phone than they ever did with previous devices. How many Gs have u got in your phone? That doesn't stand for girth by the way!

    So, in a nutshell, the owners of the "Fisher Price: My First Smartphone" n95s can get lost... well, what i mean is, get lost in a remote location and have to find their way out again with the aid of their GPS system. Whilst I happily surf away on my iPhone. Well, once I push thru hundreds of spotty mac freaks in Regent Street later on...

  2. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Actually phones with cameras are increasingly now used to produce 'real' photos... it's quite common rather than carrying an extra camera around. You can stick the memory stick from the phone in a machine in the supermarket and get them printed out quite cheaply. It's not an N95 thing it's a 'modern phone camera' thing that apple completely missed. Likewise shooting video.. quite common at parties etc.

    As far as 3G goes. You're trying to say that a 3.5Mbps connection is as fast as a 160kbps connection? In that case I'll ditch my ADSL and go back to ISDN.

    I know you're deliberately trolling, but at least try to make the comments smart...
  3. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    This argument is only compelling if you're the sort of person who tosses out your photographs after a year. The thing to keep in mind is that the pictures you take today you may still care about in two, three, five, or ten years. I've got a bunch of photos in iPhoto that I took with my bleeding-edge digital camera in 1996 that produced stunning 800x600 images which were (iirc) right on par with the average display sizes at the time. I still have those pictures today, and still care about them, but they all look comically bad on modern hardware.

    A 30" Apple Cinema Display is a four megapixel monitor and they've been around for years. That's hardly exotic hardware. Apple's pushing for resolution independence precisely so that they can move towards much higher-dpi displays. It's only a matter of time...

    The onward march of technology is a tough nut and high-res photos taken today are a hedge against it.
  4. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    Granted, half my degree was in photography, but I can certainly tell the difference in a six by four inch print taken on a 2 megapixel camera and a 3 megapixel one pretty easily.

    After 3.5 megapixels and up I think you might have a point, but up until that point higher resolutions definitely deliver genuine quality improvements even for holiday snap printing.
  5. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    The Megapixel Myth

    The original poster has rather missed the point about the megapixel myth. The point is not that these images are being displayed at monitors that don't do them justice but rather that crowding additional photo sites onto a tiny sensor doesn't make for better images. Indeed what tends to happen is that the noise increases because of signal leakage (i think) between the sites. In addition the other parts of the camera are not of sufficient quality to resolve the image adequately onto those sites. The main reason that the N95 has a better camera is the addition of a flash.

    As for people using phones in place of cameras. Yes, people seem to take a lot of photos with these things, often in situations where they would never have bothered (concerts being a frustrating example) but the pictures they get, whilst perhaps a nice reminder of the evening past, are by and large crap.

    Competing interests: Off to buy iPhone
  6. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    It's not just the camera or the 3G putting me off the iPhone. It's the lack of MMS, forward messages and being able to send texts to multiple people with no hint that it's on the horizon. I use those features more than I do YouTube or the Web on my iPod Touch.
  7. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    You might be right about the webpage load times, this is called Lag!

    Try downloading a purchased song over EDGE and 3G then come back and tell us 3G is useless
  8. Jocko macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    It's not the megapixels of the iPhone that concern me. It's the horrible, horrible picture quality. I really can't think of another device I've ever encountered that takes such bad pictures.
  9. Derwood macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2005
    It's all a nonsense...

    I hate my e65 with a passion. It hangs, it shuts down randomly, shuts down when you use the slider to answer and end calls, has no dedicated application manager so you have no visibility of what processes/apps are running and it is constantly telling me that I need to close some applications and try again, the faux rubber finish has peeled to reveal a nasty camel-poo brown plastic underneath.

    Prior to this I had two SPV's running Windows Mobile from Orange (UK). They were pretty bad. The sad thing is I have the most recent one in a drawer and I'm seriously considering switching back to it. I went for the e65 because, at the time, it was one of the few phones available with Wi-Fi.

    And whaddayaknow?

    The Wi-Fi range is bobbins and it takes your battery life down to laughable.

    Never again...
  10. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    These things are a simple software update away. Granted, Apple aren't talking about doing this currently, that's because they're busy trying to sell the current model. If they were promising improvements down the road, today's market might dry up.

    Expect to see a whole host of fixes once the major international launches are out of the way. Now that Leopard has hit the streets, I bet the software folks are now feverishly working on dealing with some or all of the flaws with the iPhone. Of course, the camera isn't going to get any better - they can't add megapixels or a flash - but they can add a digital zoom, for example.

    Also, the iPhone will shortly be thrown open to third party developers to put native apps out there. That is when the real genius of the iPhone, and its Mac OS X framework, will really shine.
  11. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    I agree! The N95 looks better on paper but the iPhone is clearly the best. The Gadget Show hosts should be forced to say they gave incorrect information and that the iPhone kicks ass! (Did anyone see the episode of The Gadget Show where they said the N95 was better than the iPhone?)
  12. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    More megapixels is always better, don't see how it can be a bad thing?? Better lense of course would be nice but I don't expect much from a phone. I have a "real" camera that I use when I want to take pictures, but always wanted a slim pocket camera to snap a few here and there. I have that now with the iphone.
  13. bogman12 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    Likewise the average computer user is used to speeds that are much faster than 2G.. so N95's 3G is really a huge plus. Barkin up the wrong tree dude.
  14. PieMan macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2007
    The N95 camera has auto focus and a flash. Thats why it's better. even a 2MP phone camera with auto focus is good. Phone cameras a rubbish because you cant focus most of them
  15. Astral Cars macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    St. Paul
    The whole camera phone and megapixel thing is messed up. As the OP said it's not really the megapixels that matter, although I would somewhat disagree, I think a 5 MP camera is a good place to be if you're going to be making any prints bigger than 4x6s. The fact of the matter is, even if your computer may only display it at 72dpi, an actual photo quality print is much much higher. In that case a 2MP camera is only going to offer a tiny sized print.

    However, the real issue is the quality of the sensor in the camera. No camera in a phone has a sensor good enough where any of this matters. Actual high quality prints of these pictures will look like crap, not because of the number of megapixels, but because the camera sucks to begin with. That being said, I use the camera on the iPhone but never with the intention of having a good quality picture, more just to capture a moment that would otherwise go uncaptured.
  16. Telp macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
    True, although i rather think iPhones pictures come out fairly decent for a phone camera. Maybe thats just me and my non-expertise :D
  17. dale.albiston macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    i've currently got a k800i, the camera is amazing and it has a decent flash.

    i did consider upgrading to an n95.. but all of the useful features appear to require an additional payment, e.g. turning the gps into a navigation tool costs extra.

    plus it has that god awful nokia four way pad that i tend to find difficult to use without pressing the centre at the same time (clumsy fingers)

    n95 wins on features, but they appear half crippled.

    the cybershot cameras are amazing, but the rest of the k800i well.. the games supplied are crap, and beyond making calls and sms i don't use much else

    the web surfing may or may not work but given o2 charge the earth for data i've never looked.

    The iPhone was looked at by moi, but the camera isn't good enough for me and the lack of a flash is a problem.

    frankly the way o2 defines 'unlimited' is the biggest problem though, and if they have network issues they will probably change it again.

    waiting for the w960i on t mobile.. least the browser will be able to grab data faster and the data limits are probably better to boot.

    pity the iphone wins hands down on looks and the interface looks very nice as well.

    but in the uk.. if i buy the phone outright whats with the contract tie in? isn't that meant to pay for the phone? i mean paying for a phone and having a contract...

    um no.
  18. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    The real megapixel swindle that you are all missing though is that more pixels does not equal greater quality in any case. It's always good to have more pixels because the more information the better, but the quality of the image has little to do with the number of pixels in general use.

    The quality of the lens, the CCD and the software are much more important in terms of determining picture quality than the sheer number of pixels but no one ever talks about them.

    The OP is perfectly right then, that pixel count is just a cheap and easy measuring stick that has little relevance. It's just a number to put on the box that joe six-pack can understand easily.

    I found this article:

    and this one:

    to be fairly enlightening on the subject.
  19. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Apple have bragged in the past about being able to get better performance out of Edge because not only are they a software company (unlike nearly all the other phone manufacturers), but they are also a damned good software company.

    To be honest I sympathise a little with the original poster, because I too am sick of the people who rush to the trumpet the N95 as better than iPhone.

    Hardly anyone blinked an eyelid when it launched as it simply does not represent the huge leap in usability that iPhone does. iPhone is a far greater engineering feat.

    Any medium-large sized phone company can go and buy a 5MP camera or a 3G chipset from SE Asia and stick them in the phone, but the work Apple has done in revolutionising the user interface with multi-touch is a far bigger deal.
  20. tomacintosh macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    I agree with what this poster has said to be honest.

    Before my iPhone I owned Nokia N80. I have to say that the speed my N80 rendered webpages over Wifi was only slightly quicker than my iPhone does on EDGE. If you put the performance of Wifi loading a page side by side the iPhone will beat every other mobile on the planet, guaranteed.

    I remember doing a speed test with my N80 over Wifi and it used to tell me my connection speed was about 600Kbps, that's simply because the phone wasn't good enough to take full advantage of the bandwidth on offer, the same test on my iPhone gives me 3Mbps easily.
  21. OdduWon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2006
    usefulness is key. Most sub 2MP pohone take pics that are almost wothless. hard to tell what they are, and forgett about printing it for a frame. Since the erricson had a 2.0 MP camera other have been trying to catch up. The erricson phones have usable oistures. they can even fill the desktop as a background, i think some have panorama too. The point is not how many MP you have, but if the pictures you take are usable to you.
  22. mpuck972 macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2007
    It really never ceases to amaze me how fanboys love to justify the shortcomming of Apples products. Some even go as far a digging up links to explain why a higher megapixel is worse than a lower one!

    The iSheep need to face the fact that the iPhone is not what everyone expected, and it lacks many features found on $69 pay as you go phones. The general public is starting to figure out while the iPhone is neat, its way over priced, and over hyped for what you really get.
  23. tomacintosh macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    My N80 cost me nearly £350 unlocked when I first got it, the iphone cost me £200 from USA and a couple of clicks of iNdepence unlocked it. I know it hasnt got the most spectacular feature set, but then neither have most Mac computers, its the way Apple bring everything together thats so impressive, software and hardware working in perfect harmony. Sure the N95 has amazing features, but it just doesn't put them together in a seamless experience. Lets not forget this is an infant iPhone, Apple are new to this market and they are already challenging at the top, we know they are going to to add more features down the line, things like iChat and MMS are bound to come. Just wait till they open it to third parties early next year! One thing that constantly pleases me about my iPhone is the speed of the thing, and it even has the cheek to throw in some nifty core animations, no other phone ive owned has this kind of menu speed or usability. I challenge you to use an iphone for two weeks and not love it.
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I have to agree the mega pixel argument is laughable at best. Saying average computer screen is only 1.5 mega pixels. weather or not that is the average it not the reason why more pixels are better. The advantage of more mega pixels is it allows for one to blow up a sectoin of the photo to a larger size with out degrading the quality of the picture.
    Basicily it allows for much better digital zoom after the picture is taken. There is a reason any photo that is really truly important to me I take I take a max size with my digi cam. It because it allows me to look at it closer with out degrading the quality of what I am seeing.

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