The Fallacy of Megapixels: What it needs, to be a good Smartphone Camera?


Now -a-days, the Smartphone users are over obsessed with megapixels of the cameras and vendors are cramming in more pixel count to over satisfy the users. Is this right? But it is always hard for companies to deliver the both convenience and customer experience. In this world of Social Networking, All that matters is how easy it is to open the camera, how quickly it captures, Special effects and Fancy filters. Just look at the runaway success of Instagram. Take a photo, add a filter and share it, simple. May be this situation can change with the maturity of smartphone users and companies. The time for Change is not very far!

Still, many smartphone users believe in this myth “Better megapixels, Better Camera.” This may be true in few cases, but it is not in all the situations. The best example to consider is the 13MP camera of Redmi Note 4 performs better, in Comparison with 16MP of Redmi Note 3. Similar Case with Moto G4 plus and G5 plus. The 12MP camera of G5 plus outperforms, 16MP of G4 Plus. So, Let us shortly discuss How a Camera Performance should be evaluated. What it needs, to be a good smartphone camera?

What actually is a Megapixel?

The resolution of cameras is often measured in Pixels. Simply, one megapixel of Camera means a Million Pixels. That’s means a 12MP camera can capture 12 million pixels per inch. As the no. of pixels increases, size of the image also increases. The more megapixels of the camera will be only helpful to retain clarity in cropping the image, but not in enhancing the quality of the image. But What are factors that determine the quality of Image? They are Image sensor and the Processing unit.

Image Sensor:

The Sensor used in the Camera is mainly responsible for the quality of Image. Again, the Size of Sensor (referred as Aperture) is the reason behind the lesser noise and Dynamic range in the Photos. Large Sensors allows the more light to enter, the more light it catches the better will be the image. Digital Cameras have much larger sensors, hence an 8MP Digital Camera will easily outperform the 8MP Smartphone Camera.(even 13MP & 16MP in few cases)

Smartphone cameras
Camera aperture comparison

Image Processing:

The Light entered through Sensor captures the information and sends it to the Image processor, which fine tunes it with the Algorithms. The imaging processor is integrated with the chipset and varies with a range of Chipsets. This is also the reason why Cameras of Flagship Phones performs better as they have best in the class Image processing unit and more reliable Algorithms. The Image Processor is responsible for Colour tuning, zero shutter lag, sharpness and so on.

Again, not only the Software and Hardware but quality varies with the usability and Handling of users. Every Expert Camera needs an Expert Photographer to produce the best outcome!

 To Wrap up the things, Increasing the camera megapixels is not the efficient way to get quality images. So, Don’t fall for those Megapixel Marketing techniques, instead look out for Quality Sensors with a large aperture. Also, don’t forget to lookout for a good chipset at the time of buying your next smartphone, especially If you are a photography bug, who want best results with your smartphone camera.


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