Variegated grasshopper

Above: Variegated grasshopper, Ghana, 2017. Credit Charles Sharp.

How Many Megapixels?

For me, number-of-megapixels (that a camera can capture an image at) is rather like suction power in a vacuum cleaner. More power ceases to be a selling-point once a certain reasonable suction force is reached. Once the power is such that I can effectively clean my room, I don't need more power, and it might actually become a hassle as I watch precious things being sucked up into the nozzle--if suction is too great, the vacuum will begin to suck up my valuable rug, not just the dust and crumbs on its surface.

And so it is with a digital camera: once the same level of quality of 35mm is surpassed then the ordinary user is generally going to be happy--in the days of 35mm the snapshot print of 5x7 inches did not require the level of detail that was actually retained in the neg (it was there only if the person wanted to get a "blow-up"). We are seeing cameras with 48 mega-pixels coming out, sure, fine. But in all honesty, 24 meg is really ok. It is a tiny group of tech-fetishistic photo-enthusiasts who are going to follow the tech beyond their actual needs.

(6 December 2018)