Olympus: 12 Megapixels is Enough

Camera makers suggests megapixel race is over for consumer SLRs

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I've noted how camera makers were moving beyond megapixels. I recently looked at five cameras with features that will help sell us new snapshooters.

Turns out that Olympus thinks 12 megapixels is enough for even high-end consumer cams, the digital SLRs that are increasingly popular. At least that's what a company exec told Stephen Shankland for his Underexposed column:

Olympus has declared an end to the megapixel race.

"Twelve megapixels is, I think, enough for covering most applications most customers need," said Akira Watanabe, manager of Olympus Imaging's SLR planning department, in an interview here at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA). "We have no intention to compete in the megapixel wars for E-System," Olympus' line of SLR cameras, he said.

Instead, Olympus will focus on other characteristics such as dynamic range, color reproduction, and a better ISO range for low-light shooting, he said.

It's going to be a tough time for camera makers, who already saw sales dropping before the recession. Most consumers don't understand things like ISO and dynamic range. But makers are trying to market those features in compacts, as well.

Numbers, like megapixels, are so much easier to sell.