In middle income countries like India, smartphone industry is booming for many years. Smartphone camera is one of the most popular features of a smartphone. People pay lot of attention to camera quality before deciding which phone to buy.
In this article, we will try to find out how to decide quality of a smartphone’s camera. Is it all about the popular word “megapixels”, or some other factors are also involved in making a camera good or bad.
Following are the factors which play a crucial role in deciding the overall quality of a smartphone camera :-
1. No. of Megapixels
The surface of each sensor is made up of very small pixels, and word mega means million. So, if you have a camera of 8 MP, it means that your camera has 8 million pixels on the surface of its sensor.
More megapixels, generally mean that camera will provide better picture quality. It is more true for low end devices having cameras of 4, 8, 12, or 16 MP. Because having more pixels allows the camera to obtain greater amount of visual information, which leads to finer quality.
But, it’s not fully true for smartphones having surprisingly high amount of megapixels. Smartphones companies use a trick to attract more customers. They reduce the size of every pixel to adjust greater no. of pixels on a sensor. It creates an illusion that camera is of higher quality.
For most smartphone users camera of up-to 16 MP is enough. It can provide excellent picture quality for taking photos and creating videos. Most smartphone camera which are of 64 MP, or 108 MP don’t really provide significantly better picture quality. No. of megapixels in such cameras is mostly a marketing trick.
2. Quality and size of sensor
Sensor is a small device which is made of very small parts called pixels. These pixels absorb the light they get from outside and send it to image processor. Image processor converts the light it has received to a proper and fully developed image.
Size and quality of the sensor is very important for a smartphone camera. Size of the sensor decides how much light it will be able to absorb from outside. Whereas, quality of sensor decides how well it will process the amount of light it has received.
Size of sensor is mostly mentioned in inches. Traditionally, smartphone camera has a size significantly smaller than a proper DSLR camera. Some of the biggest sensor used in a smartphone are close to 1 inch.
3. Size of aperture
Aperture simply means the diameter of opening through which light enters the camera. A wider aperture allows more light to enter the camera, which leads to better picture quality.
In conventional DSLR cameras, aperture is variable, and one can change its size according to need of specific situation. But, in a smartphone camera, aperture is fixed and it can not be changed.
4. Quality of lens
Lens of a smartphone’s camera is made of plastic, and is different from traditional camera lens, which is mostly made of glass. But even then, mobile phone cameras have really good picture quality due to technical improvements done by brands.
A good quality lens provides a clear and sharp photograph. Whereas, a poor quality lens provides blurred or bad quality visuals.
Most mobile phone brands don’t provide information about camera lens to consumers. So, the best way to understand its quality is to read user reviews related to picture quality of the camera.
Quality of a smartphone camera can’t be decided only on the basis of its megapixels count. Several factors like quality of sensor, size of aperture, quality of lens, quality of image processor etc. are equally important.
So, if you need a high quality camera in your smartphone make sure to look at multiple details. Don’t take a decision only on the basis of 1 parameter.