Let's say you're trying to decide whether to buy a new mobile phone and you like taking photos. The Google Nexus One's 5-megapixel camera has 56 percent more pixels than the iPhone 3GS's 3.2 megapixels, but it's clear the camera isn't 56 percent better.
Now let's say it's 2012 and you're trying to decide whether to buy an Apple iPhone 4GS or a Google Nexus Three. You might be able to make a better choice this time.
That's because the International Imaging Industry Association, a consortium involving more than 30 companies, is working on a test that will use a five-star rating and a basic accompanying chart to judge image quality.
Of course, reducing image quality to a single five-star rating scale can oversimplify a complicated situation. There's a bit more, though: a chart that shows how well the camera fares with increasingly demanding tasks--mobile-phone sharing to a print mounted on the wall, for example--and showing different uses such as portraits, sports, and landscape photography.
For more on this story, read Help coming for judging phone camera quality on CNET News.