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by Brad Soo on November 6 2011

Cameras in today’s market are becoming increasingly versatile as technology improves. Cameras are getting more compact with larger zoom lenses and better image quality. A good example of this would be usable ISO speeds for acceptable image quality; a few years back, ISO 200 on a compact camera would be as high as one would dare to go if they wanted a decent photo quality, but nowadays, pushing things to ISO 800 or beyond is possible and with more megapixels too, thanks to improvements in the field. This allows for a higher percentage of shots to make it for use in display and photo poster printing. Image quality of cameras has also improved in other ways outside of better and more sophisticated imaging sensors. With the advent of zoom lenses spanning huge ranges but miniaturized to fit cameras usually as small as a deck of cards, in-camera processing has also seen an improvement in leaps and bounds over the early models in the digital camera era. Current camera processors typically handle noise reduction plus corner sharpness enhancement, lens distortion correction, color fringing reduction, digital redeye removal, face detection and recognition as well as overall contrast optimization. Combined with a large amount of megapixels, photos from modern cameras can be easily sent in for poster printing and images will come up looking great. Current compact cameras top out at 16 megapixels and using backlit CMOS sensors, while smartphones are hitting 8 megapixels; I’m sure this won’t be the end of the megapixel race but as long as image quality gets better and more usable, why not let manufacturers continue the trend, right? And then the task of downsizing photos to more manageable sizes, with the added benefit of less visible noise at lower resolutions, come later with the change of a setting in the camera.

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