An eight megapixel camera phone may be nothing new (I covered a 10MP model all the way back in October last year), but we're no longer talking prototypes...
Today sees the Korean monolith announce a market ready 8MP CMOS sensor which measures just 10.5 x 11.5 x 9.4mm (roughly the same as today's existing 3MP sensors) and declare that mass production will begin early next year in time for a late Q2/early Q3 release.
Is this wonderful? Great? Fantastic? The end of the portable digital camera as we know it? Nope, it's frustrating and annoying and irritating. Why? Because development is headed in completely the wrong direction!
This is because we don't need more megapixels - that is only one part of the image quality puzzle and one which comes with hefty file size penalty, what we need is better light sensitivity, faster shutter speeds, a proper flash and some form of optical zoom. I mean, really, have you (away from broad daylight and perhaps Sony's Cybershot range) noticed any great advance in picture quality between your 1MP, 2MP, 3MP and even 5MP handsets? Or, in fact, have you just found the need to buy a larger memory card and a prop for your hand as you wait an eternity for the photo to take?
My point exactly.
Truth of the matter is beyond 5/6MP other factors become important to image quality. It's like putting one litre then two litre, then three litre, then five litre, then eight litre engines into a VW Golf. Sure, it'll grab headlines but perhaps performance would benefit from some work on the brakes, suspension and aerodynamics too...?!
Anyway, hooray hooray - technology leaps forward *sigh*
Note: Yep, the ugly photo did come from the official press release - probably taken on an 8MP cameraphone in poor light...
Press Release Translated so in the usual word soup