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

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]