Full HD – not all it’s cracked up to be


Full HD - not all it's cracked up to be

Being embroiled in a digital compact cameras group test at the moment, I’ve noticed an insidious little logo starting to appear on boxes and the little tags attached to new cameras. The logo says, “Full HD”. Nothing wrong with that of course, except it often refers to still-image resolution.

It’s not wrong but it’s certainly surprising, if you do the maths.

The little logos appear to be implying that full HD-resolution photos are cutting-edge, and a marvellous reason to buy the camera. The example above is from a Fujifilm tag, but Fujifilm isn’t the only one to be doing it.

Full 1080p HD resolution is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Thus, the total number of pixels in a ‘full HD’ photo is 1,920 multiplied by 1,080. Here’s the sum in all its glory:

1,920 x 1,080 = 2,073,600.

Yes, that’s just over 2 million pixels.

Two megapixels.

prodec2002A glance back at the PC Pro archive reveals that 2-megapixel cameras were bog-standard as far back as issue 98, the cover of which you’ll see here and which graced the shelves of your newsagent in December 2002.

Full HD video is certainly something to look out for in a compact camera, and I love the fact that digital compacts have become viable stand-in camcorders. But full HD photos? Sooo last decade.

Don’t get suckered by the marketing.

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