I think there’s a new resolution revolution about to be unleashed on the photography world.
Fujirumors is reporting that the X-H2S will have a 26-megapixel X-Trans V stacked sensor, which will be much like the X-Trans IV sensor but faster; however, the X-H2 will have a 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor that’s not stacked, and the X-H2 will be less expensive than the X-H2S. My interpretation of this is that “regular” X-Trans V cameras will be 40mp. Wait, what? The upcoming Fujifilm cameras will be 40-megapixels?!
I saw today that Canon Rumors is reporting that an over-100-megapixel full-frame camera is in the works to be released next year—I also saw that Sony “may have” a 102mp camera coming later this year. Yesterday I saw that, according to 9to5Google, Motorola will release a cellphone with a 200-megapixel camera.
While many people will get very excited over this, and I do find it a bit fascinating, I’m not all thrilled about it. Why? I would prefer to see advancements in dynamic range (particularly highlights) and high-ISO performance over resolution. I haven’t encountered many situations where I found my cameras lacking the resolution required for what I needed. Honestly, 16-megapixels are more than enough for the average person, and 26-megapixels are more than enough for 99% of people. Very few people (although there are some) actually need 40mp, and even fewer (although there are some) actually need 100mp. Yeah, it’s fun to pixel-peep a 100mp picture, or even a 50mp picture, but in a practical sense, it’s not “better” than 26mp or even 16mp. And, of course, the bigger the file, the more storage is required, and the longer it takes to upload/download.
Instead of extra resolution, I’d actually prefer a new film simulation or two, and a couple new JPEG options, that allow me to achieve in-camera some things that I currently cannot. I’d get really excited for that! I bet a number of you would, too. I think there are a lot of improvements and advancements that could happen that don’t require any increase in resolution, but megapixels are easy to market—it’s the tried and true method to gain sales—so that’s what we get.
Ready or not, the next resolution revolution is here. I certainly won’t complain as I pixel-peep, but I might have to replace my SD cards, buy a larger external hard drive, and get more memory on my next iPhone….