Why some smartphones shoot worse than others (Topic)

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Why some smartphones shoot worse than others


You have an Android with a 20MP camera, but a friend still takes cooler pictures with his old iPhone 5s, and you stubbornly don't understand why? It's just that the quality of pictures is determined by more than one number of megapixels.

At the beginning of this century, phones had cameras with a resolution of no more than 2MP. If you needed to print a picture from such a camera on A4 sheet, you would get a daub that only vaguely resembles a photo.

A 10x15 cm picture would look more legible, but still far from ideal. Smartphones today have much more powerful sensors.

For example, Sony Xperia Z2 has a 20MP camera, while Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16MP camera. As for the iPhone 8, its camera resolution is only 12MP, which is not that high compared to the other models mentioned. Does this mean that the iPhone takes the worst quality photos? No.

Megapixel is a myth

It is wrong to believe that the more megapixels, the better the pictures will be. Nevertheless, this does not stop manufacturers from wanting to promote their product just because it has “more number” than its competitors.

And it’s easier for a common man to reason. It is logical: if there are more megapixels, then the camera will be more powerful. In reality, everything is not so simple.

Matrix is to blame for everything

Let's start a little from afar - with the matrix. A matrix is a sensor that picks up light rays. Its characteristics determine the image resolution, angle of view, frame depth, contrast, and more.

With an equal number of pixels, the physical size of the matrix is critical. The larger it is, the more light will fall on it, and as a result, the picture will be more detailed. This is why smartphones with the same number of megapixels can take pictures of very different quality.

However, due to size limitations, a large sensor cannot be installed in a smartphone, so digital cameras will remain leaders in quality and resolution for a long time.

But you can reduce the pixel size, and then their density on the sensor will increase significantly. You will show off your 20MP on board some Chinese know-name (in general, it may even be quite good), but the pictures will obviously lose to the same iPhone 8. And all because of the matrix size.

Why Apple is replaying everyone as a photo

In the iPhone 5s, the pixel size has not been reduced, but rather increased from 1.4 micrometers to 1.5 micrometers. At the same time, Apple managed to fit into the smartphone a larger aperture and a matrix, the size of which was 15% larger than that of previous models.

The result of the combination was overwhelming: the iPhone 5s defeated all competitors in the mobile photography market. Photos taken with this smartphone were larger, brighter and had less artifacts (noise).


There is no point in buying a phone with a large number of megapixels if its matrix is small. You won't be able to crop such pictures, and they won't look their best on a computer when zoomed in. MR is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you're looking for a phone for good mobile photography, you don't need to go into processor specs and protective coatings. But technical questions about the camera will have to be studied in detail.

The Topic of Article: Why some smartphones shoot worse than others.
Author: Jake Pinkman