A proposal for a better way then MP to rate cameras with one number

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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DrEli
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A proposal for a better way then MP to rate cameras with one number
5 months ago

My interest is more in cell phone based digital photography, but the issue is the same across the landscape of digital photography - all to often the quality of a camera is boiled down the the number of megapixels.

We all know that the megapixel race is pointless.

Unfortunatly there is much more to a good camera. Some are hard to quantify, such as optics, software, etc. Some lend themselves to check boxes, like optical image stabilization. Others such as sensor size and pixel size are easy to quantify, but lost, as everyone wants one simple number.

I was thinking about some type of scoring system that would rate sensors based on their total area, pixel size, and megapixels. Here is what I am thinking:

Effective (Eli's) MegaPixel Quality = Sensor Size in mm^2 + ((pixels size in µm - 1) x MP count )

Nokia 808 = 101.4 EMQ
10.7 mm × 8 mm sensor size = 85.6mm^2
1.38 µm pixels
41.5 MP

Lumia 1020 = 63.1 EMQ
8.8 mm × 6.6 mm sensor size = 58.1
1.12 µm pixels
41.3 MP

Sony Z2 = 31.8 EMQ
6.17 x 4.55mm = 28.1
1.176µm pixels
20.7 MP

Galaxy S5 = 28.6 EMQ
5.76 x 4.29mm = 24.7
1.24µm
16.1 MP

Apple iPhone 5s = 21.9 EMQ
4.89mm x 3.67 mm = 17.9
1.5 µm pixels
7.99 MP

HTC One M8 = 20.9 EMQ
5.44 x 3.07mm = 16.7
2.02 µm
4.09 MP

I tried to put the primary emphasis on the size of the sensor. I used pixels size in µm - 1, because the closer you get to 1µm, the closer you are to the wavelength of visible light and the more noise. Manufactures should be penilized in camera stats the smaller the pixels get. With this calculation they actually would start dropping in score as the size falls below 1µm, which is good.

I don't know that the units should be called or if this is the best calculation. There are a lot more experts here and I would appreciate any feedback. There is little hope of getting manufactures to adopt this outright, but ideally if some form of the idea was widely adopted in the review community it might push things in the right direction.

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