Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Does a cameraphone really need 41 megapixels?

From the BBC

"The launch of a new cameraphone boasting 41 megapixels has caused a stir on its launch. But how many megapixels do people need?

Nokia's 808 Pureview has dramatically upped the ante on the number of megapixels on a cameraphone. Many smartphones today, like the iPhone 4S, have an 8MP camera.
Now Nokia has blown that standard out of the water. But are megapixels the key thing for consumers to focus on?
Photography enthusiasts have been warning about the "megapixel myth" for some time. In the myth, more megapixels means a better camera and a better photograph.
But that's not necessarily the case.
Damien Demolder, editor of Amateur Photographer, says that at first glance 41MP seems "ridiculous". Professionals doing billboard photography use 25MP cameras. For people wanting to share holiday snaps online, 8MP is more than enough.
But Nokia says people are missing the point. It is the way the pixels are used that is the real "quantum leap", a spokeswoman says.
The information from up to seven pixels is combined to create a new, single, better pixel, in a process termed "oversampling". The company likens it to how compact discs decode more data than needed so they can retain better quality data or information.
The 41MP figure will get people excited but that's not really what this is about, says Nate Lanxon, editor of "People will think 'wow' this is better than a digital SLR [single lens reflex]."
He argues the camera will still produce pictures at eight megapixels - but they will be sharper. "It's really about making better use of the available light and using software to enhance it further."
Nokia for its part, says the 41MP sensor will allow enthusiasts to be creative in zooming, reframing, cropping, editing and resizing without loss of detail. A smart function on the phone will reduce file sizes, making it easy to share and store the pictures while preserving the detail, Nokia says.
Demolder argues the large zoom will be "quite useful" for some users. Few cameraphones have an optical zoom lens - those that do tend to be clunky and look strange, he says.
Cameraphones have such tiny sensors - about a quarter of the size of a fingernail - that to group 40 million pixels together means they will be extremely small. Image quality - even with the clever software - will be no match for a digital SLR. "Even on a bright day there'll be grainy bits in the sky when you blow it up big," Demolder suggests.
And Lanxon says that cameraphones are increasingly about sharing. Nokia's new phone runs on the Symbian operating system, which is "far less capable" when it comes to apps than Android, Apple or Windows devices

Nokia PureView Pro explained: 41-megapixels isn't the headline

This week

This week at Malden Camera Club we have a presentation  "Aspects of Composition" Mike Farley LRPS.

Next week  8th March Rolland Adams will be introducing a new "Chain" competition
followed by a presentation High Dynamic Range photography by Fred Dawson. Also you should have your PDI images ready for the PDI competition to be held on the 15th of March, these can be emailed to John Horne.

Monday, 13 February 2012

PAGB News Letter February 2012


2 Highlights from the February PAGB Meeting
3 Men and Women of Distinction
4 Calling all MPAGB
5 Notices
6 Featured Photographer & Permajet winner
7 APM Advice of Facebook and Notices
8 … and Finally

Link to news letter

Friday, 3 February 2012

Malden Camera Club – Chairman’s Speech AGM 2012

Malden Camera Club – Chairman’s Speech AGM 2012

What did we do last year? Well, of course, I don’t know the half of it as I was travelling a lot; but what I saw and experienced was brilliant.

I think that the programme we had was almost 100% great – the almost is there because I don’t want to go over the top … but I can’t think of any talk that we had that was boring or irrelevant. I particularly recall the talk on night time or low light photography by Tony Worobiec in May, and (I was told) that the evening on infra-red photography was a wow as well. And the competitions demonstrated a huge amount of talent in our members. And that was without the normal volume of entries by the superstars in the club (sorry about the word superstars – it can sound a bit derogatory and I really don’t mean that. The best photographers in the club are top class … more on that later). The judges were pretty good – we all have our gripes at the way they seem to miss out on accuracy (usually when judging our own pictures, mind you) but we seemed to have caught some good specimens from that endangered species – the good judge. I really valued and benefited from their constructive criticism. I don’t know about you but the quality of my photography is growing each year (well, I think so anyway) … I find that I have fewer throwers and more keepers when I upload my images to the computer. And a lot of this is down to (almost subliminally) taking into account the judge’s comments on my and other people’s pictures. Anyway – it was a good year … and an encouraging one in many ways. New people joined the club and have all added real value to us. Thank you for coming! 

And this year is going to be good too … our programme has taken a little while to be finalised – but it’s there / coming. And one thing that will be different from before is that we will have more hands on workshops and ‘how to’ sessions. Probably not all the suggestions we heard last week will come to fruition: but I hope that a number of them will and that we will all learn from them. Some of us here are expert photographers but many of us, most of us, are not and both want to and need to learn more about how to take and present great pictures. I hope that those who feel they don’t need to learn will come and share their expertise with the rest of us. And maybe you’ll find out new things as well.

One of the privileges of being chairman is that I can give you my opinions and get away with it … for a few moments anyway. 

I want to talk about the benefits of being part of Malden Camera Club and what that could mean. I joined the club just under 5 years ago after going on a photographic holiday in the Lake District … totally unreal weather – sunshine and warmth for the last week in April 2007 has gone down in Cumbria’s record books as a unique time. I learned a lot, but one thing struck me: most of the rest of the group were members of a photography club of some sort. And all said that this made a huge difference in their quality of photography. So I came to the annual exhibition that year and – I think it was Nadia – told me a bit about the club and the programme of events. So I joined and found a collection of really interesting people and a continuing challenge to my photography. I was slightly intimidated by the pictures I saw in the competitions … and quite rightly didn’t get the high scores my ego wanted. But I enjoyed the company, and I learned from listening to talks and to judge’s comments; and gradually I have moved from remedial into standard! It’s worth making the effort to come even if the topic doesn’t seem that interesting to you. And one of the things I have enjoyed over the last few months is the chance to chat with some of you during workshops or – like last week – while we were waiting for the laptop to get better. We’re a nice bunch of people and we have a load of different skills and levels of understanding of photography. I know that we do talk a lot … ringing my bell often seems to mean a redoubling of the chatter! … Let’s carry on and enjoy ourselves. I think that that is an often underrated characteristic of a club or small group. I know that most of us have busy lives and are often juggling things to get here at all. But coming to our meetings is not a chore or a pain … sometimes other things take priority for our time … but actually, in my personal view coming here on Thursday evenings is fun. Thank you for making it that way for me.

Now for the challenges: I spoke last week about the need for people to stand up and be willing to stand on the club committee … that need is still here. So don’t be shy about coming forward. And this evening, I want to ask you to help – as a lot of you already do – with some of the chores we have to do. Preparing the tea and coffee at half time is an extremely important job … we all need refuelling (Enrico, Brian, how many planes fly without fuel?). But John isn’t getting a lot of volunteers for this … please will you help him out. Then we have the setting up for each evening. I am not sure we need a lot more help here, but we certainly need a few people who can be relied upon to get here early enough to open up and get the equipment all set up. Roland and others have been absolutely brilliant at this … but we shouldn't depend on the same people each week. If you can help in this – please talk to Roland about it.

I know that some of you have responded to my plea last week – thank you very much. Truly appreciated. 

And now a nice bit. Firstly, one of our members became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in late 2010 and was given his certificate last year. That is absolutely not an easy thing to get and demands the highest skill in both picture taking and in presentation. Duncan walked it I suspect. We all know his photos and I have yet to see one with the tiniest amount of blur in the subject and any where the impact is not dramatic. Duncan … I’d like us to congratulate you (again) and to hand over this book as a token of our respect.

And finally, there is one person who has always been here helping, planning, checking, arranging and leading some meetings. I truly don’t think that we could have coped without him. Roland … I’d like us to thank you and to hand you this book as a token of our gratitude.

Thank you all, of you, for being such great people and great photographers. Keep challenging yourselves to be better in both!

News report on the highlights of the Malden Camera Club AGM held on 2/2/12

This is news report on the AGM and does not necessarily reflect the minutes which have yet to be published.

The club chairman Hugh Griffiths opened the meeting and proceeded to give a short over view of his year in office.  He gave particular thanks to Roland Adams for his work and dedication in making the 2011 programme such as success and gave Roland a book on photography in thanks for all that he has done.   In reviewing the past year Hugh highlighted the workshops which were all well attended and said that the club should continue its emphasis on providing opportunities for members to contribute their practical skills and expertise to help each other.  Then Hugh presented awards including those for the winners of the  Club league competitions.

Hugh Griffiths was re-elected Chairman, Brian Bailey Vice Chairman and Marion Strange as Club President.  John Rowe agreed to continue as Treasurer but only until the end of 2013, Richard Weston Secretary.  Enrico de Vito was welcomed on the Club Committee.


John Rowe presented the draft accounts for the year and explained how much money we have and how it’s being spent.  Mike Wood agreed to “audit” the accounts once they were finalised. John announced the subscription for 2012 was £52.50.  John went on to say that he would only continue on as Treasurer until the end of 2013. The Chairman and everyone else expressed their thanks to John for all the hard work he has done.

Club Committee

Fred Dawson was re-elected to Club Committee joined Enrico de Vito. There remain a number of vacancies on the Committee providing opportunities for members to be co-opted on.


Changes to members’ inclusion in the various competition classes were announced. There will be an intermediate class in the digital competitions. As soon as the lists are available they will be sent to members by email and posted on the Club Notice board.  Because of the lack of entries and new work, the slide class has been dropped from competitions. However this year will be a one off slide competition.


It has been agreed that the Club will use the internet and the Club Notice Board rather than a paper based club magazine to keep members up to date with new and events etc.  It was also pointed out that in order for this work well everyone needs to ensure that Fred Dawson has their up to date email address details. ( ) 


Regarding mentoring a list will be made available to members with mentors contact details and areas of interest and expertise over which they can provide advice and help.

The Raffle

The raffle was very well supported and thanks to all the members who contributed so generously to the raffle prizes and those who purchased tickets.