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Megapixels versus resolution

Do megapixels always translate into resolution on smartphone cameras?
Does an 8MP photo always have 8 million pixels?

Most Useful Answer spruceyb  Mar. 15, 2014 at 09:08

To answer your second question first;
8MP images are usually 3456 X 2304 which equals 7990272, just short of 8 Million.

Now to the first one which is worded a bit oddly;
Megapixels are a way of describing resolution e.g. 4000 x 3000 is 12MP
Now if we're talking about quality of images in smartphones then a lot of things come in to play.
Sensor size, bigger sensor = more information, better quality.
Aperture determines how much light is let in to the camera, smaller is better, they usually range from f2.0 - f2.8, more light in means shorter shutter speeds which is good for smartphones to avoid handshake.
Lens quality, a photo is only as good as the data that makes it in to the photo so having a cheap low quality plastic lens is going to make pictures look worse.
Then on the software side, a lot of smartphone cameras will heavily compress a JPG before saving. So that can lead to images looking worse.

Overall megapixels are slightly meaningless, you need to look at real world photos to judge the cameras overall output.

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2 comments

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 15, 2014 at 08:45

um....

spruceyb  Mar. 15, 2014 at 09:08

To answer your second question first;
8MP images are usually 3456 X 2304 which equals 7990272, just short of 8 Million.

Now to the first one which is worded a bit oddly;
Megapixels are a way of describing resolution e.g. 4000 x 3000 is 12MP
Now if we're talking about quality of images in smartphones then a lot of things come in to play.
Sensor size, bigger sensor = more information, better quality.
Aperture determines how much light is let in to the camera, smaller is better, they usually range from f2.0 - f2.8, more light in means shorter shutter speeds which is good for smartphones to avoid handshake.
Lens quality, a photo is only as good as the data that makes it in to the photo so having a cheap low quality plastic lens is going to make pictures look worse.
Then on the software side, a lot of smartphone cameras will heavily compress a JPG before saving. So that can lead to images looking worse.

Overall megapixels are slightly meaningless, you need to look at real world photos to judge the cameras overall output.

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