The GAO Case Study.
This GAO case study illustrates how false and misleading conclusions can result when non-imaging experts in the field of digital photography incorrectly apply technical terminology. If you have read the Monmouth County Case Study you will note the similarities.
The National Park Service issued a Request for Quotation (RFQ) that called for a microfilm scanner having a minimum camera resolution of 25 megapixels. A ScanPro with a 6.6 megapixel sensor and a 26 megapixel camera was submitted by MEDI/e-ImageData. The ST ViewScan ll with a 5 megapixel sensor and a 5 megapixel camera was submitted by NMS/ST Imaging.
In their agency report the GAO specifically points out that “NMS’s response to the RFQ states that the ViewScan product “meets and/or exceeds all of (your) stated (RFQ) specifications”, which called for a 25 megapixel camera(minimum). Furthermore, the GAO, reports that in a specific response to the camera requirement, “NMS stated that the ViewScan is capable of an 80.6 MP (megapixel) image size”.
What you are seeing here are the terms Camera Resolution and Image Size being used interchangeably. There needs to be caution when seeing the terms camera resolution and image size being used together. It is important to realize the Camera Resolution (measured in megapixels) is not the same as Image Size (also measured in megapixels). Camera resolution, achieved only by hardware, is the major specification affecting optical resolution and readability of an image. Image size, achieved by software, is practically unlimited and has little to do with optical resolution and readability of an image. What is misleading is combining these two statements so that the reader concludes that the two are the same and that the large image size number identifies the best image readability.
In this example the misleading information was provided by the ST ViewScan manufacturer.
Fig 1 is a clip taken from the ST Viewscan product brochure in the section titled Scanner Specifications. And, under the topic titled Camera is included a statement confirming that the ST Viewscan ll claims an Image Size of 80 megapixels.
This information was provided to the GAO and is information that they were using when reaching their decision.
The GAO issued the following documents concerning this matter:
1. The GAO Agency Report: In this agency report the GAO states “the agency does not purport to be experts in the field of digital photography”. The GAO then goes on to express concern that their “lack of understanding” may have affected their conclusion. You can find this information at the following link (these statements are highlighted on page 4): GAO_Agency_Report
2. The GAO Decision: Complete document available at the following link: GAO_Decision
False and misleading conclusions can result when non-imaging experts in the field of digital photography incorrectly apply technical terminology. In this case, we believe that the GAO’s application of the technical terminology provided by NMS/ST Imaging resulted in a false and erroneous conclusion.
ST Imaging provided a link to the GAO Decision but neglected to include a link the GAO Agency Report. This has excluded important information from a reader evaluating this situation. We believe these actions have added to the false and erroneous conclusions surrounding these claims.