There's been a tense competition between smartphone manufacturers in the megapixel spec race to prove that their camera is better than their rivals. We have reached a point where even the cheap and lower-end camera smartphones are packing more pixels than they should. This has made it hard to differentiate between the camera hardware.
The unfortunate reality is that of most of us believe that a smartphone whose camera has more megapixel takes better pictures than those with few
megapixel. However this isn't always the case. This is because you can’t be able to note any difference in resolutiontaken by two different phone cameras, since most screens you will be viewing them on are not capable of displaying the
range of megapixels it supports.
Let's say that anything bigger than 8 megapixels tends to
be only helpful for cropping. What I'm saying is that a smartphone taking images of 12 megapixels can be cropped by approximately 50 percent and its resolution will still be as high as a 4K TV.
Here are some factors to consider if you want the best of the best out of your camera.
P.S - I might get into a little bit of Physics to explain these factors but don't worry it won't be too complex to understand
The Sensor size represents a lot of important values regarding the camera such as the necessary focal length, the crop factor, and its f-number. Most OEMs have that figured, leaving the only vital thing you should worry about: the light
intensity gathering properties of your camera’s sensor.
This is a bit easy to understand. A large sensor has more area for light to penetrate giving a greater capability to gather the light.
The pixel size comes handy in measuring how larger individual photodetectors are in a CMOS sensor. Pixel size for a
smartphone camera fits in a narrow range that's between one and two microns or micrometers (abbreviated as µm) in either the vertical or horizontal direction. The larger it is, the more light each pixel will collect. That’s why the HTC One M8’s camera with 2.0 µm performs better than in dark conditions than the Galaxy S5 that has 1.12 µm pixels. This
is simply because the M8’s pixels are a obviously larger and can capture more light. In summary , a camera with a high pixel size tends to capture more light than that with a lower pixel size.
Another spec to look is the aperture size that is represented
by f divided by a number (eg. f/2.0). Since ‘f value is divided by’ the setup, this is one of the rare camera specs where a
small number produces a better image than a larger one.
The key benefit of a wider aperture is that you the camera
will take better low-light photos. This is because a wider aperture lets more light to be captured at once when taking a
picture. You should keep in mind that a smaller number means a wider aperture.
Image stabilization is either listed as OIS or EIS. This means Optimal Image Stabilization and Electronic Image
OIS technology means that the camera sensor moves physically to compensate for unexpected shaking while holding your smartphone. If you are walking when you are recording a video, for example, the steps you take shake the
camera. However, OIS ensure that the sensor remains steady even if the rest of your smartphone shakes.
Unfortunately the downside of the OIS is that the hardware required tends to be
costly and takes up the previous space, hence it is not included in many smartphones . Instead, most smartphones use EIS to try and achieve the same effect. EIS works by stretching, cropping, and changing perspective on individual frames which make up a video.
In general, it is much better to have a camera that is running OIS since stretching and cropping can reduce quality or create a ‘Jello effect ’ in videos.
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