From all the functions of a smartphone, taking photos is one of the most used. Because of that, the phone’s camera is a very important aspect to consider when buying a device. Just think about how many important moments in your life you will immortalize with the easy-to-use camera your device has built in and I bet you would like the images to be as high quality as possible. But now pops out the question: What makes a phone’s camera great? Well it’s not that simple, there are many factors to include and we will go through the most important ones.
I decided to start with this because the number of megapixels a camera has is still a very deceiving and overestimated criteria to choose your camera after. So, is the number of pixels important? Well, yes, but up to a point. And that point is between 5 MP and 8 MP; beyond that point the megapixels are not very useful to a phone’s camera.
You would say: But many pixels don’t mean better image quality? And I will say: No, this is wrong. Many pixels mean a bigger image and a more space to work with your image, like cropping, resizing and other stuff. Also if the image has many pixels then the lines and the edges are sharpened and look smoother, but that is up to a point where the human eye can make the difference, and that point is around 5 MP. Another thing is, if the camera has many pixels, the images will have at least few megabytes, so if you are short on memory that is a disadvantage, but you could always buy an SD card and boost your memory.
So, a phone camera with many pixels is good but is not useful. If you want a professional photography device, then buy a really good camera and not a phone.
2. Image sensor
The image sensor is one of the components that have a great impact on the overall quality of a camera. The sensor is responsible for converting light into electrical signals that the hardware can process and compose digital images out of. There can be a large variety of sensors and it is pretty difficult to judge them only by their specifications. Most of the current sensors have backside illumination (BSI). The physical aspect matters when it comes to an image sensor. A bigger sensor is supposed to give a better performance than a smaller one , but you can’t rely only on that when comparing two sensors because there are other factors that come into play like different qualities and how the sensor interacts with the device’s software and results a better image or not .
The image sensor is important criteria for picking a camera but you can’t really trust the specifications, so make a wise choice and only trust the actual image that it takes.
Lenses are a crucial part of the whole camera system because they guide the light towards the image sensor so it is a must that they are high quality. But very few manufacturers give much information about the lenses, sometimes not at all which is not right so you would have to trust the phone company’s word. Also, there is an alternative; these days there are on the market many third-party lenses that could boost your camera’s performance and they are very easy to use. They stick to the phone through a magnet or any other grabbing method and can be removed with ease and put in the pocket and get it out when you need it. This also gives you the possibility to take macro pictures which you couldn’t do with normal lenses, at least not at the actual phone’s camera standards.
This is the end of the Part 1 of this article. Stay close for the Part 2 of What Makes a Phone’s Camera Great?
In the second part we will discuss about the importance of Flash, Aperture and Camera Settings in the quality of the camera system.