Not bad for a mobile phone

Sony Ericsson K800i (Mobile phone), 5 pictures @ f2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 80

St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, taken two days ago using five pictures from a Sony Ericsson K800i mobile phone, stitched together on the computer using Photoshop Elements 6.

One of the great myths about digital photography, particularly with small pocket cameras and especially with mobile phones is the idea that the more megapixels the better. The problem is that the sensor is tiny (smaller than a fingernail) so the more photosites you cram on to it the harder each one has to work to get an image. In good light this is fine but in dimmer light when the ISO has to increase to over, say 200 this leads to excessive “noise”, i.e. coloured blotches and loss of detail in the picture. That’s why you can look at a low-light photo taken with a five or six megapixel camera bought a few years ago and it will look a lot better than today’s latest twelve megapixel monster – the sensor is the same size – but having to work twice as hard!

Anyway, I got a new mobile phone recently (well actually second-hand off eBay for £60). It has a camera on it that’s not bad, though not as good as the pictures from a ‘proper’ camera, such as a digtal SLR or a film camera, like my Olympus OM-1 from 1973 (I’ll put up some pictures from the latter in due course).

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One Comment to “Not bad for a mobile phone”

  1. Lovely photo of one of my favourite buildings in Ireland. I’m always amazed by architect William Burgess’s attention to detail at every level of scale from the whole building to the tiniest detail of decoration in his gothic vision, not just here but in his other masterpeices like Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch in Wales. A bit like a fractal, needing many mega-mega-pixels to capture!

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