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Old Sep 21, 2013, 7:24 AM   #1
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Default How many megapixels do you need?

I saw this article . . . asking the same question about how many megapixels is enough, but from a cellphone perspective . . .


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Old Sep 21, 2013, 12:20 PM   #2
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Same old arguments, rehashed from a mobile perspective. Same old fanboys desperately defending their choices. Much heat, little light.

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Old May 20, 2014, 10:20 AM   #3
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I'm sorry Brian, but I did not read a lot of fanboy crap in that post, but you are correct "not much light"

Lets face it, the amount of pixels you need depends on what you want or expect to do with the image. Probably 95% or more smartphone users only post the image to facebook, instagram, messages, or some other social media site as it comes out of the device. For these types anything greater than 3mp will probably suffice. Now for those of us that want to crop, photo edit, and adhere to the mantra ("The best camera you have is the one with you.") We would need more pixels so we can perform the magic of photographic art. And if you are into RAW files and want to convert the RAW files with DxO, Adobe, or Paintshop Pro. (all of which have profiles for the Lumia 1020 BTW) we need more, lots more. I carry the Lumia1020 for these reasons, and enjoy the Heck out of it. Does that make me a fanboy or am I just someone who likes to take a lot of pictures and am to old and weak to carry a camera bag around anymore, and need something with me to call 911 if or when the need comes. LOL

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Old May 20, 2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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I tend to agree that if you are looking at mobile devices from a camera perspective, the Lumia 1020 is the device to have. Since there is no cell service where I live, it isn't likely to happen, though.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 10:07 PM   #5
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I need all the megapixels I can get but since my galaxy s5 only has 16 megapixels I guess it will have to do!
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Old Aug 19, 2015, 9:26 AM   #6
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Megapixels are irrelevant if the detail isn't there due to noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction (and that happens often with the very tiny sensors and associated photosites for each pixel used in Smart Phones, especially in less than optimum lighting) with poor dynamic range (ability to capture a great range of dark to bright), poor exposure algorithms, bad image processing with too much contrast or saturation causing loss of detail, bad color accuracy due to a variety of issues including white balance algorithms and more.

For example, I wouldn't trade something like a little Konica Minolta KD-510z pocket camera I bought a number of years ago with a 5 Megapixel Sensor for a new Smart Phone with two or 3 times the pixels, because the pocket camera is capturing more real detail due to larger photosites for each pixel, better lens design, lower noise reduction and more.

I just got a new Smart Phone phone recently myself with a 13 Megapixel Sensor in it, and the camera is awful. The noise level is high with excessive noise reduction as ISO speeds are increased.. It's white balance is also very bad, and other image processing leaves a lot to be desired as far as defaults for contrast, saturation and more.

But, I did not buy it for the camera. :-)

Sure, there are some exceptions, and the Samsung just mentioned seems to take far better photos than most smart phone cameras. Ditto for the Lumia 1020 mentioned earlier. I'm also seeing a number of improvements from other manufacturers more recently.

Plus, Google added support for RAW images with Android Lollipop, and some camera manufacturers are starting to take advantage of it and allow users to capture images in a RAW format as well as JPEG. That allows you to process data from the sensor later using a variety of different tools so you can try to pull out the best image quality possible.

I'm also seeing advancements in the camera processing pipeline that should help improve photos from smart phones and other mobile devices going forward. For example, Qualcomm recently announced that new Image Signal Processors will be incorporated into some of their upcoming Snapdragon Processors. See this article about it:


In any event, I'd rather have a 5 Megaixel sensor that takes great photos with superb "per pixel" sharpness and detail captured, with lower noise, better dynamic range and superior image processing; instead of a 20 Megapixel sensor with poor dynamic range with blown highlights, blocked shadows, detail lost to noise and/or noise reduction, and poor exposure algorithms, white balance, and image processing algorithms.

The number of Megapixels is one of the least important considerations for most purposes.
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Old Oct 1, 2018, 7:53 AM   #7
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