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  1.    #1  
    I use my Treo to take snap shot from time to time. It's adequate for what I want to do with those photos. I have a Canon SLR with some great lenses, so I don't really think of the Treo camera as a real camera.

    That said, it drive me nut to see the marketing driven megapixel race. It seemed that the market equates high pixel count with better images, while the opposite has a better chance of being true due to the law of physics. Everything being equal (lenses, sensor technologies), it's just plain harder for smaller sensors to get gather enough light for all those pixels compare to larger sensors. That's the main reason a 3 megapixel SLR will take better photos than a 10 megapixel point-and-shoot.

    That's why I am hoping that the next treo would have a camera with a lower pixel count, a good size sensor, and a faster lens. I will take a good 1/3 megapixel picture any day over a crappy 1 megapixels photo.

    Here is a good read on sensor size and image quality:
  2. #2  
    But the fact that you need a couple of hundred dpi to achieve something like photographic quality means that your 1/3 MB image, when printed, can only be a few inches wide.
  3. #3  
    The sensor in the Treo is probably a few mm across I am guessing. They're not going to put a larger sensor in there, as it costs more and takes up more room.

    The sensor isn't the only problem, the fixed aperture, focus, and crappy lens contribute to the craptastic results too.

    The sensors seem to have VERY LITTLE dynamic range as wel.. If there's any range in a scene, something is going to be completely blown. If the scene has very flat lighting, at least then it just has poor details and awful color.

  4. #4  
    Unclejung and Johncc are both right. More pixels on a small sensor means more noise, worse low light capability, and less dynamic range.

    More pixels does get you a larger print size at a given level of sharpness, but lets be realistic: very, very few, if any, cell phones make images of good enough quality to make a print I'd want to hang on my wall. A $100 digicam will do a hundred times better. It's also going to be almost as big as a Treo, so forget all about getting the equivelent of a true camera in your Treo, along with everthing else that's crammed in there.

    The sad truth is that for what I use a cell phone camera for, my Treo 650 took better photos than the 700, with the same craptastic optics and fixed aperture. 640x480 is ok for taking a quick grab shot and posting it to the web.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  5.    #5  
    johncc - you are right about needing more dpi for larger images, but I can't imagine wanting to use a cell phone camera for prints.

    khaytsus - yes, there are all sort of cost saving compromises in a phone camera, and that's why I think they can make a better camera by not adding another compromise which is cramping in more pixels.

    meyerweb - I am using my 650 camera mostly to document things. It's nice that the file size is small. I find it fun in a challenging way, being creative with a limited tool. Still, if Palm spend $15 to put in the camera, I would like it to be the best $15 they can spend on it. Instead of megapixels, I would rather have a decent lowl light capable 320x320 images. If they can quadruple the pixel counts and maintain the quality, then sure I will take 640x640.
  6. #6  
    I ranted and raved about this a long time ago (do a search here). They weren't listening then and I have no expectations of them delivering anything better with the next Treo.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  7. #7  
    I want crystal clear pictures on the phone only to message friends or to archive on the computer. A 640x480 picture on a typical computer screen is kind've like having a 5x7 print. If I wanna share it with someone, I'd email it first rather than print it, regardless of size and quality.

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