War, What is it Good For?

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Who wants more megapixels? Everyone, apparently. According to a survey from ChangeWave Research (pdf), more megapixels is far and away the most sought after feature on a new digicam. What’s more, ChangeWave surveys generally canvas a tech savvy consumer base, the overwhelmingly majority of which already own a camera. These are consumers, in other words, who know what they want.

It’s odd, when you think about it. Everyone in the photo industry bemoans (either publicly or privately) the “megapixel war.” They claim, persuasively, that we’ve basically passed the point where upping a camera’s resolution has any meaningful relation to picture quality – even though it may deliver some benefits with digital zoom and cropping.

But much like its real-world variety, this metaphoric war has a logic and a life all its own. And consumers, who ultimately have the final say, seem determined to continue the “cycle of violence.”

From the ChangeWave Survey:

Question Asked:What are the most important features you want in your new camera? (Choose No More Than Three)

More Megapixels/Better Resolution

61%

Optical Zoom Capability

44%

Image Stabilization/Vibration Reduction Feature

32%

Smaller Camera Size

32%

LCD Screen Size

27%

Long Battery Life

26%

Interchangeable Lenses

13%

Video Capture Capability

12%

Type of Memory Card

8%

Anti-Dust Technology

4%

Other

8%

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