November 3, 2005 - Sharp on Tuesday announced the development of a 10 megapixel CCD designed for use in compact digital cameras, measuring only 7.17 mm by 5.31 mm, or roughly 38 mm square. While the original Japanese press release says this is the smallest 10 MP CCD at 1/1.7", the drawbacks of so many megapixels at such a small physical size have many hesitating to praise it.
Fitting more megapixels in the same small amount of physical space means that all the receptor sites on the sensor must be smaller, which means that each site has less light hitting it. Less light per pixel means images that are less clear and sharp.
In a report by Humphrey Cheung at Tgdaily.com, he says, "While more pixels sounds good on paper, the resulting picture quality may not actually improve and companies are often forced to increase technical specs just to please dealers and retail stores, an analyst told TG Daily today."
The original Japanese press release states that concerns over image quality are understandable but unfounded, and that Sharp has redesigned their CCD with "microprocessing technology" and "pixel cell reduction technology."