What to do with the extra megapixels?
First came the 4-6 megapixel cameras and everyone was happy that they had instant pictures without waiting for the 1 hour drug store negative development (The D-lux was created in 2003 with 3.6 effective megapixels). Then came the 9-12 megapixel cameras and pixel peeping was born. With the increased picture quality everyone wanted to know just how much detail they could capture (The D-lux 3 had 10.2 megapixels, the M8 had 10.3 megapixels). Finally, the 18-24 megapixel cameras arrived and everyone again wanted to know how much more detail their lens would capture in an image (Think M9, M240, M10).
Today, with 40 megapixels in the new M10 Monochrom, 47 megapixels in the SL2 and 64 megapixels in the upcoming S3, pixel peeping has changed to resolution limits. We have started to realize that we can capture more detail than we need. Discussions on various forums are beginning to surround two concepts: image noise, and lens resolution. I see questions about the image noise resulting from using 25,000 or 50,000 ISO. I also see questions about whether the image will be “sharp” enough from a classic lens.