Smartphone photography: Does the number of megapixel matter?

Smartphone lovers will know the term “megapixel” when it comes to smartphone photography. However, does megapixel matter in taking photos? Let’s scroll down to know more!

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Smartphone photography: What is megapixel?

Before we talk about the function of megapixel, let us introduce the term “pixel”. Pixel (picture element) is the basic unit of programmable color on a digital display. The size of the pixel depends on the size of the screen and the resolution it supports. To be more specific, if we have two screens with the same size, one with 2k resolution and the other with full HD resolution, the pixel in the 2k screen is smaller than in the full HD screen.

Now let’s get back to megapixel. One megapixel (1MP) is equal to one million pixel. In smartphone photography, the megapixel mentioned in smartphones is the resolution of the image taken by the camera of that phone. The more megapixels, the bigger the image. If you view an 2MP image on a common 15-inch full HD laptop, that image will be big enough to cover the whole screen. Then how about images taken by 23MP camera? They could be as large as a billboard ad, which is quite too much for smartphone photography.

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Smartphone photography: Does the number of megapixel matter?

As smartphone brands keep promoting their smartphone cameras by mentioning and increasing the number of megapixel, there is a misconception that phone camera with higher megapixel is more powerful. In fact, the quality is more important than the quatity. Nikhil Bhogal – an expert in smartphone photography, has shared that the quality of each pixel is more essential than the number of pixels. So instead of packing more pixels in the sensor, smartphone manufacturers should increase the size of each pixel.

To be more understandable, he has compared how a pixel collects light to how a bucket gathers water: “The bigger the bucket, the more photons they can collect”. Larger pixels make it easier for light to find its way to the photo-sensitive part of the camera sensor. Samsung does this job very well in Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge. That’s why these phones, with their only 12MP cameras, can defeat other phones with 16MP camera and above to be the best smartphone camera in 2016. Now you can see that the number of megapixel is not essential to how good a camera can be. Having said that, what is your favorite phone camera?