16MP images and 1080p video on cellphones. Seriously, why?

I understand the insatiable need for technology to move forward as all kinds of interesting and fun things come into our lives as a result but at some point you just gotta step back and go – do we really need this?

Such is the case with image and video quality on cellphones. I mean it’s nice having a phone that can snap a great image at 5 megapixels (MP) but why do we think that more is necessarily better?

Of course this isn’t something that Sony is wondering about in the least as they begin offering a new sensor to manufacturers next spring that will allow for 16MP pictures and 1080p video, yes 1080p … on a cellphone.

Besides just questioning the over all quality of images based on lens quality Devindra Hardawar at MobileBeat raises some valid points about the idea of 1080p on cellphones.

It’s also worth questioning the usefulness of 1080p video on a cellphone. On the iPhone 4, 10 minutes of a 720p recording takes up around 1GB of space. With 1080p video, that number may hover around 3GB depending on the compression used. Regardless of the specific file size, 1080p video is going to take up a big chunk of space on cellphones for very little benefit. The difference between 1080p and 720p video isn’t easy to tell in televisions under 50-inches, and it’s certainly overkill for video meant to be watched on the web. The large file size will also make it unfeasible for cellphones with less than 32GB of storage.

Not to mention the whole idea of watching video of anything on a cellphone has always struck me as being a waste of time.