Kodak has announced a 39 megapixel image capture chip for digital cameras – the highest resolution ever, nearly doubling the previous best. With most high-street cameras only capturing between five and eight megapixels, it represents a huge leap forward.
It may be a while before you’ll be able to get your hands on a 39MP camera, however – the new sensor is aimed at cameras for commercial photographers who need to produce massive images for billboards and the like. Indeed, this new CCD (charge-coupled device) chip has already been chosen by Phase One for the company’s forthcoming professional digital camera backs.
Not that you’d want such high resolution anyway. An uncompressed 39MP image would, by our reckoning, weigh in at around 111MB, which means you’d fill up a 20GB hard drive with just a few rolls of film – so you’re probably best off sticking to a camera with less than 10MP. Unless you really do intend to blow your pictures up to wallpaper-sizes (at a monitor-friendly 72dpi, a 39-megapixel image would stretch approximately a metre in each direction).
One thing is for sure, though: if you find yourself in front of a professional photographer, you’d better be confident your skin is totally unblemished.