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Ending the megapixel wars: Beat your swords into tripods

image The mood was quiet but not desperate last week at PMA. Some of the standout cameras included the Sony HX1 with its crowd-pleasing “sweep panorama” mode, the chunky Kodak Z915 compact 10x superzoom, and the Panasonic Lumix GH1 micro-four-thirds system now with video. Samsung seems to be gearing up to go head-to-head against the Lumix G series with its “hybrid” NX series that will pack an APS-C sensor into something that’s more of a point-and-shoot form factor, but there were only very early prototypes on display.

An article on Crave last week noted that Olympus cannot see its consumer DSLRs going past 12 megapixels. Perhaps the industry is finally starting to see the increasing diminishing returns of higher resolution not only for better image quality per se but as a benefit to promote versus other functionality. I thought the camera that demonstrated this best was Fujifilm’s F200 EXR which uses the Super CCD EXR sensor. In short, the camera can be used to take 12 MP photos when there is ample light or 6 MP when there is less light; the other 6 MP can be used for enhancing dynamic range. This could be a small step toward cameras that can produce true HDR photos in the camera. Fujifilm isn’t the only brand to cut down on megapixels for some other aim, such as the Casio Exilim Pro FH20 high-speed cameras that use smaller photos to produce higher frames-per-second, but I like the trend