In a series of materials we analyze in detail the technical side of smartphones. We already wrote about processors and displays . Today we will talk about cameras. After all, smartphones have long been the very “best camera” that is always with you. The smartphone’s camera has long been the main reason for the update. We will talk about the technical characteristics of cameras and dispel embarrassment around the aperture, diagonal of the sensor and autofocus, and also tell you what HDR, OIS and DPAF are.
Megapixel Race Continues
Compact cameras PowerShot, Cybershot, Coolpix and other soap dishes remained in the last year before last decade. But this does not mean that the old tricks of marketers do not work. Work even better than before. And the camera phones exceeded 100 megapixels.
Pixels are small square dots that make up any digital image. These are its building blocks. They are arranged in rows and columns, as on a chessboard, only in a greatly reduced format. If the camera shoots at a resolution of 12 megapixels, this means that the final image will be built from 12 million pixels, or the image resolution will be 12 megapixels. For example, a 4: 3 aspect ratio allows you to fit the very 12 million pixels in a 4000 by 3000 plate. Higher resolution means a sharper picture. Well, or something like that.
We love big numbers, but marketers love them even more. Back in the era of compact digital cameras, megapixel races drove the savvy part of the audience crazy. You should not be led to a high resolution camera in megapixels: it does not guarantee the best quality of images. A lot of other factors also play a role. About them below.
The high image quality according to the results of many studies is one of the main reasons why photography is considered good and like other people. The physical size of the sensor makes a major contribution to image quality. Today’s digital sensor is essentially yesterday’s film, but does not require replacement and development. When the phone takes a picture, the light passes through the lens and enters the photosensitive matrix. A smartphone captures this light signal and turns it into an image.
The larger the sensor, the more light falls on it. The more light that hits it, the better the image quality.
The size of the sensor indicates its physical dimensions, but the numbers of the dimensions of the sensor are easily confused. Traditionally, manufacturers indicate the size of the sensor in fractions of an inch, which is indicated by the ″ sign at the end of the fraction. For a while, the standard was a 1/3 ″ sensor. Without getting into the details, the closer the fraction to a full inch (1 ″), the larger the sensor.
For example, Samsung and Xiaomi are already trying to use much larger (1 / 1.33 ″ respectively) sensors in their flagships, and the Huawei P40 Pro with 1 / 1.54 ″ is also close to them. The iPhone 11 Pro uses a smaller sensor – 1 / 2.55 ″.