Release Issued by DxO Labs:
The Race For More Megapixels In Cameraphones Results In Degraded Image QualityFind all our PMA 2005 news and show reports here
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A must-read White Paper from DxO Labs demonstrates why, contrary to popular belief, over-insistence on increasing megapixels will amplify cameraphone image quality problems, and proposes solutions.
January 26, 2005 - Paris, France: DxO Labs, a software company focused on research in digital imaging, announces the availability of the Executive Summary of its latest white paper: “The Race for More Megapixels in Cameraphones Results in Degraded Image Quality”. The target audience includes mobile industry executives, the press and analysts.
“Users are looking for improved image quality and the mobile industry is responding with increased megapixels which, unfortunately, are not the right answer,” explains DxO Labs CEO Jerome Meniere. “It is now important that industry executives have a clear understanding of the reasons for this shortcoming and take the lead to overcome this challenge – to finally make the most of the exceptional opportunity offered by mobile imaging.”
The traditional photography industry has known for over a century that human vision is primarily sensitive to certain criteria of an image (in this order): good colors, good contrast, sharpness and, finally, presence of details. But over-insistence on increasing the number of megapixels leads to lower color quality, poor contrast and noisy images along with the inability of cameraphones to take pictures in dim light environments or in motion scenes.
Written by DxO Labs’ digital imaging experts, the White Paper analyses how each of the three components of a camera module, the Lens, the Sensor and the Image Generation Processing, contribute to the creation of a picture inside a cameraphone. The White Paper explains that image quality is the result of a successful balance between these three components, and analyses how the megapixels race damages this equilibrium.
A few words of explanation:
- The role of a Sensor is to convert light into a digital raw image. Since the camera module has to stay small, the increase in megapixels is done by reducing the pixel size. As a result, each pixel receives less light and its ability to generate an accurate raw image is reduced. The most visible effect is a noisy image (which looks dusty to the end-user).
- More pixels require more Image Generation Processing to precisely reconstitute color, contrast and sharpness. Since processing capacity does not increase proportionally, increasing the number of pixels actually limits the capacity of the processing to generate good color, good contrast, etc.
“The mobile industry has heavily invested in mobile imaging as a tremendous business opportunity. However, all recent customer studies conducted by mobile industry players demonstrate that the lack of image quality from cameraphones results in delays in customer mass adoption and usage,” adds Remi Lacombe, Vice President of Business Development, Mobile. “Consumers have become accustomed to a certain level of image quality and they are not prepared to spend their money on printing, sharing or storing photos if it doesn't match their expectations.”
Although they have a negative impact on most of the key image quality criteria, megapixels have gained the consumer mindshare and will remain a critical buying factor for cameraphones, at least in the near future. For this reason, DxO Labs’ White Paper also explores potential strategies for mobile executives to reconcile megapixels with image quality.
This White Paper is part of DxO Labs ongoing commitment to help mobile industry executives identify and implement efficient and effective solutions to their digital image challenges. The Executive Summary of this ground breaking White Paper can be downloaded free at www.dxo.com. The comprehensive White Paper will be available, also as a free download, early in February 2005.
About DxO Labs and its DxO Technology
DxO Labs is a software company developing image generation and enhancement technologies. We provide reliable off-the-shelf solutions for companies in the imaging business such as digital camera or cameraphone manufacturers, mobile operators, and printing or photofinishing professionals as well as serious amateurs and professional photographers, and photography journalists and experts.
The company's patented DxO technologies, the DxO Foundations, are the result of state-of-the-art academic mathematical research. The DxO Foundations comprise a set of software components to generate images or correct major imaging defects, such as Color, Contrast, Blur, various Optics faults, JPEG artifacts, etc.
For more information, visit DxO Labs online at www.dxo.com.