Why Thom is wrong...

Started Sep 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
paulkienitz
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Re: Why Thom is wrong...
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Sep 25, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

Cell phones and tablets compete strongly on thinness, and the only way to make a cell phone camera significantly better is to make it thicker.

That depends on your definition of "significant".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/24/samsungs_new_image_sensor_promises_better_snaps_in_smaller_devices/

There will be an ongoing progression of small incremental improvements.  But they will never make all that big a difference as there just isn't that much more performance to be gained within physical limits.  Also, such progress lifts all boats equally, and the gap between phone-size cameras and cameras with medium size sensors will remain the same.  This affects not just low-light performance but also sharpness.  There is a physical limit to how finely light can be focused, and some phone sensors with ridiculous megapixel counts have already passed that limit for practical purposes, while larger formats have not.  The low-light issue intersects the sharpness issue in that the noise level of scant light imposes a necessary lack of detail, and the resulting unavoidable blur circle gets larger as the light-gathering aperture gets smaller.

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