The Quasi-Sexual Flurry of Consumerism in the Digital Camera Market

“How many megapixels does that have?”

It’s a question I hear all the time, not just about my own photo gear, but in the air surrounding photography. As a seasoned and skilled professional photographer, I am here to tell you that not only is the megapixel race a waste of time, it is one of history’s biggest scams.

Consumers are lured to purchase cameras that they don’t need, can’t use, and don’t understand, by the successor to the high fidelity stereo sales scene, the consumer electronics industry. I know you remember hi-fi. People with expensive stereos would talk about specs and stats and total harmonic distortion and signal to noise ratio like anyone gave a crap. And someone did give a crap: other people who talked about expensive stereos.

There is an ego race in equipment. It’s not about artistic achievement, the ability to appreciate beauty, or the efforts to expand the human condition. It’s about genital size. And in digital photography, gear size represents junk size, usually represented by the irrelevant megapixel count.

Ken Rockwell has an excellent essay on this subject here. But I am hear to tell you (less politely than Rockwell) that the megapixel race is about getting a boner, not about taking pictures.

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