Get Ready for 14-Megapixel Camera Phones

Camera phones may soon offer more megapixels than some DSLR cameras. Imaging company OmniVision announced today that they have developed a 14.6-megapixel image sensor that will fit in cell phones. These sensors are capable of both high-resolution still photography and 1080p high-definition video recording.

I wonder how long it will be before camera phone imaging quality rivals the quality of the best point-and-shoot cameras.

(via Photography Bay)

  • tcrpmg

    That's pretty impressive. A little limited without lens, but impressive. Now, if they could only do something about the shaking and the flash.

  • mattlacey

    This is ridiculous, given the size of the sensors the quality must be shocking.

  • Tracy

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Pierre

    This is great development, a huge leap from 3.2 MP — but the next challenge will be battery and memory size, as more users will want to record video.

  • Blackmore Media

    I'm wondering if I should send my my unopened D90.


  • zichi

    I don't see the point! You can already find a phone in Japan with 12 Megapixels. This New Year I bought a new phone for my wife. I looked at 3 models, including one with 12 Megapixels. Since most people at best will only post to the web I think 12 is way over the top. 3-5 Megapixels is enough.
    In the end I chose a 5 Megapixel with 3″ screen and more importantly HD video, 1280 x 720 30fps. It also as a TV.

  • Michael Zhang

    At one time people thought 500MB hard drives were enough :-)

    I think we're going to see each of these related areas increase as well (i.e. 500TB hard drives).

  • Bergur

    I wonder if cameraphones will come with interchangeable miniature lenses anytime soon

  • Michael Zhang

    Or how about a DSLR that can make calls? That would be something…

  • Bergur

    I've been thinking about a DSLR with built-in .mp3 player, now, there's an idea!

    …or an iPod with a built-in iPhone, that had interchangeable lenses, global wireless connection… I guess we could go on and on…

  • zichi

    Michael Zhang I think you're missing the point since most people will only post their photo's on the web or send via email, 14 Megapixels is way too big. Better to make better lens, the ability to shoot in low light etc. The phone I bought for my wife has a camera for video/photo's 2.5 cm x 1.5 cm x 1.0 cm. It's separate from the main body of the phone. My old phone has a 2 Megapixel camera which is more than enough for web postings.

  • Michael Zhang

    Ah, I see what you're saying, and agree that 14 is currently pretty unreasonable for typical uses of camera phones.

    However, I still think there will still be an audience who would like the higher MP, and maybe in a few more years we'll all be posting much larger photos to the Internet as everything becomes larger and faster. :-)

  • youngdesign

    If I had a 14mb camera on my phone – you better believe I'll be taking family photos on it! Even without the better lens, if I'm somewhere without my SLR and the opportunity arises – bring on the 14mb over the 3mb any day.

    I can then post it to the web (flickr/picasa) and my family could download a high-quality photo the minute after I take it!

  • zichi

    I can't see posting of 14 Megapixel photo's to the web unless we all have 60″ screens.

    “However, I still think there will still be an audience who would like the higher MP, ”
    that's is just what the manufacturers are hoping for too! Every time they increase the pixels people will dash out and buy a new phone. The “Megapixel Race” needs to end

  • aki

    Can't you ever see the web being at a higher res than 72dpi?

  • zichi

    yes I can. I already post at 180dpi but what I'm trying to statement here is that the megapixel race is nothing more than a sales ploy to get us to buy new each time it's increased.

    Most people don't even print their photo's and most don't own a good enough printer to do justice to a 14 megapixel image.

    So it's all down to what we can do with it on the web.

    There are other areas like lens, color correction, low light which could be improved.

  • Michael Zhang

    Another issue to consider is future-proofing.

    Back in 2003, I shot a trip to another country entirely in 640px because it was enough for me at the time. However, looking back, I wish I had taken it with as many megapixels as I could have (had I sufficient storage) and in RAW. That way, as technology improves and everyone starts using larger sizes for ordinary uses, I could still reprocess the original photos.

    You can always shrink photos and get the same results, but not enlarge them. Though it might not be as important as many people make it out to be, I think it's more than a “sales ploy”. =)

  • zichi

    Yes Michael while that may be true, this post is discussing camera phones and not digital camera's. With my digital camera, every week and sometimes everyday, I'm taking 10-15 Megapixel photo's including RAW. I think with digital camera's then the more Megapixels the better but with camera phones my opinion changes.
    These camera's are already available here in Japan. From the point-of-view of the phone part, most don't work outside the country so probably when going overseas you wouldn't take them with you.
    High Megapixel Phone Camera's are great to have especially with all the other functions too but speaking from someone who actually using them, I don't believe a phone camera greater than 5 Megapixels is really necessary. I would prefer they improve the other points, like lens.

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  • Leon Cooper

    “I wonder how long it will be before camera phone imaging quality rivals the quality of the best point-and-shoot cameras.” will they ever? If they can do that with a device that’s 90% other stuff and 10% camera, imagine the amazing things they can do for a device that’s just 100% camera. With a point and shoot you have the opportunity for a dramatically better lens than any phone is going to fit, and larger image sensors will almost always mean better low-light pictures.