Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than megapixels

Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than megapixels

Summary: A new 5-star rating scheduled for release in June may help consumers more accurately compare image quality among cell phone cameras.


Though it's been hard to convince mainstream consumers otherwise, resolution alone isn't a good predictor of image quality. Cramming more megapixels onto a smaller sensor can actually reduce your image quality, which is why high-end compact cameras with the best image quality have kept (or in some cases reduced) resolution to 10 megapixels, rather than ratcheting up to the 14 or even 16 megapixels that we see in most new compacts. In camera phones, which have even tinier sensors than compact cameras, more megapixels certainly does not equal better image quality in all cases.

That's why the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) is championing a new consumer-oriented, 5-star rating system for camera phone image quality, to be released this June. Part of the industry group's Camera Phone Image Quality (CPIQ) initiative, the new rating uses results from the CPIQ's measurement and testing scheme and will combine objective measurements of factors such as acutance, color uniformity, geometric accuracy (lens distortion), and chromatic aberration, with subjective (read, human) attribute assessments.

The actual test metrics and rating system will be published at the I3A's annual conference, June 22-23, but the ultimate goal is to provide a standardized, repeatable methodology for assessing and comparing image quality, "so that carriers, manufacturers and consumers can evaluate and choose the right camera phones for their imaging needs," according to Lisa Walker, I3A president.

[Via CNET Deep Tech]

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Telcos

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  • RE: Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than megapixels

    Okay, so when will they test the current crop of phones?
  • I can see it now...

    Someone's manufacturer or device of choice comes up short in this test and we all begin to bicker among ourselves endlessly. There is the test metrics to argue about. The results to argue about. The moon was in the wrong phase when they tested the WP7 phone, and Venus was on the rise when they tested the iPhone comments. Oh the joy of it all...

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • RE: Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than megapixels

      @James Quinn Wow, unbelievably inept... DXO Labs has standard testing for cameras...

      Most reviewers use resolution and color charts to measure detail, noise, dynamic range and white balance accuracy.

      It is highly doubtful that it will be as uncontrolled as you believe.
      • And DxO would rate a 1 pixel camera very high.

        @Peter Perry

        While DxO's tests do a decent job of trying to quantify things, they still have lots of issues and detractors.
  • Trading resolution for sensitivity

    As digital cameras get higher and higher megapixel counts, I've often wondered why they don't trade that off for greater sensitivity instead. Camera flashes simply don't range more than between 1 and 2 meters; with the flash off I get much better results, but need to fiddle with self-timers and a tripod to achieve that. More sensitivity - allowing a shorter shutter speed in the dimmest of situations is the way to go.
  • untapped consumer potential, -- camera phone, of course.

    If I wanted a new smart phone, what would I really use and what would I initially think was cool but not use?<br><br>Watching movies? I thought watching movies on a tiny screen was cool at first, but if I'm commuting on a bus or train, I'd rather listen to music and/or get some shut-eye, and/or get work done, rather than add to my daily eye strain by watching video content that really was not created for watching on a tiny screen.<br><br>Camera or video recording? Yes, actually pocket space is at a premium. I'd rather have a device that combines both a good camera (with a good CCD) and a phone.<br><br>GPS? Yes, -- International GPS with offline-able maps would be the best.<br><br>The point is that too many smartphones try to do everything -- and thus wind up doing nothing well (even to the point of crappy call quality). <br><br>Multi-model phone manufactures should take heed, and create phones that do a few things <i>REALLY</i> well -- to provide a colorful and varied line of phones.<br><br>And the addition of open sourced OS's provides a rich software platform to create mashups of great mobile user experiences tied to the phone functions. This means greater opportunity to be innovative and creative -- and not just copy Apple (and appear to be 2nd best <b>brand</b> in the process).
  • RE: Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than megapixels

    It's about time, buying a camera involves walking into a store to be met with a bewildering array of choices, you can spend hours researching on the net looking for "reviews" which lead to online shop fronts or services.

    A simple star system would make it a lot easier.
  • RE:Image-quality rating system for phone cameras will measure more than meg

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