Photography: Just How Many Million Pixels and How Much Zoom Do You Need On a Bright Sunny Day?

That’s quite a title. Perhaps if I used an acronym… P:jhmmpahmzdynoabsd. No, that’s no better. Well, anyway, to the point of this post…

I’ve posted about megapixels; I’ve posted about zoom length; and I’ve posted about light. Well today I’m posting about all three. The reason for this is because this morning I went on a bloody huge bike ride (by my standards), and I took five cameras along for the ride. At one location I decided to test them against each other in conditions that, I believe, levels the playing field, so-to-speak: bright, BRIGHT, sunlight. First I snapped a picture of a weathered park bench: then I snapped another from the bench itself. Nothing clever; just a point and shoot with each camera without using any of the device’s special features. The first shot is taken just a few paces from the subject bench. The second shot looks across the valley to the opposite hillside. No zoom is used on the former: full zoom is used on the latter. See what you think. I was shooting into the sun, with minimal shade supplied by a large beech tree to the left of shot.

The cameras used in order are:

3.1 megapixel Sony Cybershot

5.1 megapixel Fujifilm A5oo

7.1 megapixel Kodak C743

12.2 megapixel Fujifilm J30

16 megapixel Nikon L830

To the bench…

3.1 Sony

bench by sony

5.1 Fujifilm

bench by a500

7.1 Kodak

bench by c734

12.2 Fujifilm

bench  by j30

16 Nikon

bench  by nikon

Well at first glance there doesn’t seem to be a vast amount of difference between them. When you go in tight the difference in quality is more observable. A certain degree of evening out did occur when I reduced the photo sizes for web use. But it does look odd (to this technological heathen anyway) how it appears that I was standing at different distances from the bench when I took each piccie. Something to do with wide angle shit I expect.

Nice subject though, in a nice place too. Lucky old me.

Now the long shot did surprise me. Perhaps I hadn’t noticed how hazy the air was when I pressed the shutter button; or maybe it was the barely filtered sunlight. I dunno. See what you think. One thing’s for certain though: they’ll never give me a guest slot in Practical Camera!

Same order as last time…

hill by sony


hill by a500


hill  by c743


hill by j30


hill by nikon

Well one thing is obvious: neither of the cameras can handle the brilliant white sky on the horizon. Well that’s fair coz neither could my eyes. Another thing is the x34 zoom of the Nikon. BIG ZOOM! But what about the ancient Sony? Where the hell did that zoom come from? It says on the side that it has x3 zoom with an extra x3 digital zoom. I guess the digital zoom kicked in automatically, but without my spectacles on I couldn’t see the icons (or image for that matter) on the tiny LCD screen. But isn’t digital zoom supposed to be utter shit? Not on my sturdy old Japanese Sony it isn’t!

So in summation…well you make up your own mind. Me – I’m strictly a point and shoot genius: I know squat about photography.

One last thing though. I also own a 12 megapixel Kodak that appears to equal the 12.2 Fujifilm in every way. But when I zoom in on a photo produced by it on my computer, it pixellates WAY more than the Fuji. Can someone explain why? Does it have a crappy lens or something?