A friend was showing me her new Fuji Finepix F601 camera over lunch on Saturday (note how the information in the table is presented, and which specification is in bold).
“It’s SIX megapixels and I got it for only S$600!”
She added that it was originally worth S$1000 but she got a trade-in deal.
Hmm. Something still didn’t sound quite right. I’ve been looking around for a 5 megapixel camera (Nikon 5700, Olympus 5050), and their price range is around S$1300-1800. Which I thought was reasonable.
I remembered what my ex-colleague, who wrote for our newspaper’s Tech Desk, warned me about when I was planning to purchase my own digital camera, three years ago: that Fuji misleads buyers into thinking they’ve got a camera with more megapixels, when actually there are two sets of numbers and naturally they quote the higher number, which other brands do not use.
Fuji quotes ‘effective pixels’, which, in other-brand-speak, means the normal number we use to describe how many megapixels the camera has. We usually call it the CCD. However, this number, being smaller, is usually downplayed by Fuji.
Fuji likes to emphasise their cameras’ output resolution, that is, the size of the image produced. Which is always larger than the good ol’ CCD/’effective pixel’ resolution. You can imagine that many customers have been taken in by this misrepresentation, thinking they’ve got better bang for the buck with Fuji.
[ If you visit the Fuji camera link provided in the first paragraph of this post, look at the camera reviews further down on the right. At least one reviewer has been fooled by the stats as well, raving about the 6 million pixels and giving it a 91% rating. Shows that not all reviewers do their homework properly. ]
And it turns out that I’m not the only one writing about this:
The article has a technical explanation which I recommend you read, and discusses how far companies can go before getting into legal trouble.
Moreover, in a separate forum discussion:
In the words of my late great-grandmother: “Good things are not cheap, and cheap things are not good.”