Why 0.7 MP Is Probably Not As Bad As You Think It Is [Long]

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by legendarytrainer, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. legendarytrainer

    legendarytrainer New Member

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    I see a lot of people on the forum complaining about the 0.7MP rear camera on the new iPod touch. I've come to say that everyone is probably worrying over nothing.

    Let's start with a common myth. Most people believe that the more megapixels your camera has, the better the quality of the photos taken will be. This is a lie. Megapixels are a marketing gimmick.

    A megapixel, by definition, is one million pixels. so a 15 megapixel picture will have about 15 million pixels in it. Pixels ar ejust a digital unit of measurement. A 15 megapixel picture is HUGE at full size.

    Think about your average computer screen. Mine, for example, has a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. Now if you multiply that you'll get 1049088 pixels total on my computer screen at any time. Divide that by 1 million and you get a 1 MP picture. Yes, one megapixel. That means that a 15 megapixel is 15 times bigger than my computer screen.

    If you've ever looked at different sets of camera, you would notice quickly that most of the compact digital camera are around 14 to 15 megapixels while the much more expensive dSLRs are generally a bit lower; 10 to 12 megapixels normally.

    Now why would you want to pay more for a camera with less megapixels? Because megapixels have very, VERY little to do with the picture quality. The biggest determining factor in photo quality is the sensor size.

    When you click the shutter button on your camera, your shutter opens and exposes the sensor for a set amount of time. The sensor will pick up details of light and such and turn that into a picture. When the sensors are smaller, such as on most compact digital cameras, the quality will be cut by a bit. The reason why dSLRs are much more expensive is becasue their sensors are VERY large. They are large enough so that more detail can be brought into the picture. If you look at a professional picture and a comapct camera picture of more megapixels at a same small size they will look the same.

    Think of it this way. When you're resizing a picture to be smaller on your computer, its like the retina display. When you make it smaller, you cant distinguish between individual pixels because they are so small that your puny human eyes can't see each idividual one. Now blow both of the photos up (enlarge them, no dynamite use here.) Sure the compact photo will be larger, but because of the smaller sensor, the detail will be lost. If you've ever take a small picture from the internet and tried to make it larger, it ends up pixely. Thats becasue your trying to make something show more detail that isn't even there. With a large sensor, it puts more detail into it, so when its enlarged, the detail is much, much better.

    When people on these forums are complaining about the megapixels they think they're complaining about the picture quality. Here is a picture the size of one that a new iPod touch would take. Keep in mind this photo was not taken by by an iPod touch, I am simply showing off the size of the picture that will be taken.

    960x720 Picture

    Now the size is really not that bad. 95 percent of the people owning an iPod touch will not use this camera for proffesional use. They will use it to take pictures of their friends or whatever and then upload them to Facebook or Twitter or Flickr. Most of these sites rezise your picture anyways! Go back to that picture and, if you have a capable browser, zoom out a bit to how big you think the picture would be on Facebook. Not so bad huh?

    Since the new iPod touch is capable of HD video recording (which if you didnt know, a single frame of 720p video is also less than one megapixel, it's about 0.9 megapixels) then the sensor in the camera must be atleast OK quality.

    Since the device isn't even out yet, we can't determine the quality of the photos. We can determine the size, but not the quality. Most likely the camera will be great for just web use like Facebook and such. Prints may be ok depending since most quality prints are printed at 300dpi (dots per inch) which is basically pixels per inch. Again this is why a big photos and a smaller photo of better quality look the same when at the same small size. I could be totally wrong and it could take the worst pictures on earth. I just want to point out that people should stop complaining (atleast for now while no one actually has the device.)

    UPDATE: It seems as though an Apple "Expert" has confirmed that there will be 1280 by 720 HD video. I put quotes around expert because, if you've looked around this section of the forums, you will find that some of the "Experts" have difficulty with identifying what the small hole on the back (the microphone for those still wondering) is. Some "Experts" have said its the microphone while others have said it's the illumination sensor (which is actually part of the camera peripheral.)If this proves to be true, we are back to our original theory that the still images are a restriction placed by Apple to keep the 4:3 aspect of normal photos. A jailbreak would be able to solve this, but incase you need a widescreen photo, you probably won't have a need for it. Special thanks to cacophony777 and Grun1009 for the information. Original thread along with chat screenshot with the "Expert" here.

    UPDATE: I preordered the 32GB 4G and when it arrives on Friday I will post shots in this thread. If the quality sucks for, then I will openly say it, since I already said that it is a possibility that the photos will suck. I will take some test shots in different settings and let you all know.

    HUGE UPDATE!
    There have been a few reviews so far from a few big tech blogs, namely Engadget's review which has a few shots taken with the iPod touch. You will notice that they are a bit grainy and there are artifacts. Frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised at this, but nevertheless, these shots will still be great for facebook purposes or any other website that would scale it down to about facebook size. The artifacts will be less visible either way and will probably look not too shabby. I will still be posting pictures on Friday after I film an unboxing and set it up. Then right after, TO THE CAMERA!

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    I hope this helped and if it made enough sense, maybe it will be stickied and we can stop all of these threads about the 'sucky' camera.

    *I will continue to edit this as there is new information. If you're a photographer or know enough about photography and the science behind it and have anything insightfull to add, I will edit it in and give you credit..



    Thanks to TerraPhantm, cacophony777, and Grun1009 for additional info.
  2. matt912836

    matt912836 Member

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    THANK YOU! This should be stickied! I'm tired of people complaining about how "it doesn't even have one megapixel." I was actually going to write something up similar to this but didn't want to bother because the incompetence of people to understand how cameras work.
  3. MrDodi

    MrDodi Active Member

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    Good post, but i smell incoming Forum Trolls.. cause some ppl just wont get it.
  4. I_R_CH33F

    I_R_CH33F Banned

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    Or in short: Megapixels aren't about the quality, it's about the size.
  5. Zero Gear

    Zero Gear New Member

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    This is pretty informative, and there was a ton of things on that post that I wasn't aware of because I'm not sure how cameras work, or how picture quality is determined.

    I'm sure the iPT4 camera and picture quality should at least be tolerable/good for common use.
  6. TerraPhantm

    TerraPhantm Member

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    .7MP will be useless for prints. Now I doubt most people will print photos from their iPhone/iPods, but the iPhone 4 takes images that are high enough quality that printing isn't inconceivable.

    Also the low resolution makes cropping useless


    I agree megapixels aren't everything, but .7MP is too low. If res doesn't matter, why bother with the retina display?
  7. Lux2GS

    Lux2GS Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for Posting this. I hope the trolling and flaming by people who have no idea will stop now. It was really spoiling my excitement for the new iPod.

    Vote for Sticky.
  8. 2fast4u5

    2fast4u5 Active Member

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    Wow, this answered all my questions!!!! (I know nothing about cameras/digital cameras)

    Vote for Sticky.
  9. MrDodi

    MrDodi Active Member

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    Because its a Video Camera and not a photo camera, Jobs didnt mention to do photos with it, he said "its a HD Vidoe Camera" compared to the one in the ipod Nano Camera.

    Its not build to do photos like the one in the iphone 4.

    Thats the reason.

    And yes youre a troll

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  10. Tommm

    Tommm Member

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    So how can the iPod's 0.7MP camera record in HD?

    0.7 mega pixels = 700,000 pixels
    (1280 x 720) = 921,000 pixels
    700,000 pixels - 921,000 pixels = -221,000 pixels

    Am I missing something?

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