When choosing a smartphone with a good camera, most users pay attention only to its resolution, bypassing many other important characteristics. And, meanwhile, the number of megapixels is not at all the parameter that greatly affects the quality of the photo.

The thing is that the resolution of all cameras of modern smartphones, including budget models, has long exceeded the threshold beyond which you can get high-quality photos. And in today’s article, we will talk about other key camera features that are often undeservedly ignored by users. We hope that this will help you choose the smartphone in which you will definitely not be disappointed.

Matrix characteristics

Each smartphone camera includes a matrix. It is she who captures the light, which is then converted into the final photograph. Well, the key characteristic of the matrix is ​​its size. It is expressed in diagonal and has the form of a fraction 1/x. Moreover, the smaller the value of “x”, the larger the size of the matrix. In other words, a 1/1.7-inch sensor is larger than a 1/2.8-inch one.

Why is the size of the matrix so important? Each matrix is ​​made up of pixels, tiny pieces of silicon that are directly involved in capturing light and then converting it into a colorful image. And it depends on the size of the matrix how many pixels can be placed on it and how large they will be.

Pixel sizes are measured in microns, varying over a wide range from 0.6 to 2.0 microns. In theory, the larger the pixel, the more light it captures, and the better pictures you get in the dark. But this principle does not always work.

  • Why 108-megapixel cameras shoot at 12 megapixels: what gives more megapixels


    Why 108-megapixel cameras shoot at 12 megapixels: what gives more megapixels

It’s all about pixel binning technology, which allows you to combine several adjacent pixels into one large “superpixel”. Recently, we have already talked about its principle of operation, so today we will only note that such a “super pixel” significantly increases the light sensitivity of the sensor, and, for example, a 108-megapixel camera with 0.7-micron pixels can produce better pictures than a 12-megapixel sensor with 1.8 µm pixels. It is because the pixel binning technology will combine 9 neighboring pixels, increasing the size of the virtual “superpixel” to 2.1 microns. In this case, the resolution of photos from both cameras will be the same – 12 megapixels.

When choosing a smartphone with a good camera, pay special attention to the size of the matrix and its constituent pixels – the larger they are, the better. But do not discount cameras with high resolution, but small pixels – pixel binning technology, at times, works wonders.

Optical stabilization

Few people use a tripod or professional smartphone stabilizer when taking photos and videos. Most photos are taken handheld, and even the slightest movement is enough to blur a great shot. This is not as noticeable on a sunny day, but in low light, the shutter speed slows down and the camera takes longer to capture enough light.

This is where optical image stabilization (OIS) comes to the rescue. This technology assumes the absence of a rigid fixation of the camera sensor or optics. Movable elements allow you to compensate for camera shake due to their movement in the opposite direction. And this helps to increase the clarity of the photo, make it better.

  • Optical or digital: which stabilization is better and why is it needed at all


    Optical or digital: which stabilization is better and why is it needed at all

But you are unlikely to find OIS in a budget smartphone. Its prerogative is top and middle level devices. As for state employees, here most often there is either no stabilization at all, or electronic image stabilization is used, the quality of which is almost always much inferior to the capabilities of OIS.

Choose a smartphone with optical image stabilization for the best shots.

Camera set

Nowadays, even a frankly budget smartphone can have two or three cameras. That’s just the camera camera strife. In inexpensive devices, you usually find a gentleman’s set of a main camera, a depth sensor, and sometimes a macro sensor. The last two sensors usually play a supporting role. The depth sensor is only needed to blur the background, which software algorithms do an excellent job of. It is unlikely that you will need a macro camera. Even if you like to shoot small objects, the crop from the main sensor will often look better than what a simple macro sensor is capable of.

In addition, in modern smartphones there are ultra-wide-angle and zoom cameras with optical zoom. Moreover, the latter are also divided into cameras with periscope and telephoto optics. The former are usually expensive, but greatly outperform the telephoto camera in terms of image quality. They are great for shooting objects far away from you and even portrait photos.

  • How to take cool photos on your smartphone: 5 tips


    How to take cool photos on your smartphone: 5 tips

Another issue is that you need to distinguish between optical and digital zoom. If optics is responsible for the first, then the second occurs only due to software scaling of the image from the main camera. You will get exactly the same effect by taking the original image and manually enlarging the desired area of ​​the frame.

Everything is simple with the width. This camera has a wider field of view, allowing you to capture the maximum number of objects in the frame. It is indispensable when shooting a large city square, the edge of a forest, or, for example, for photography from a very close distance.

Don’t be fooled by the number of cameras. Choose the set of cameras you need.

Aperture size

Aperture (aperture) refers to the size of the hole in the camera lens. The larger it is, the more light it transmits to the matrix and the higher the quality of shooting in low light conditions.

Aperture is usually specified as f / x, and the smaller the “x”, the larger the hole in the lens and the greater aperture it has. For example, a camera with an f/1.8 aperture is much preferable to an identical camera with an aperture of f/2.8.

Choose a camera with a larger aperture

Single chip system

What does the chipset have to do with photo quality? The most direct. The fact is that smartphones with completely identical cameras will not always produce equally high-quality photos. No less important for obtaining excellent photos is the image processor (ISP) included in the SoC, which, in fact, is engaged in their processing.

This is also why an expensive flagship smartphone will always shoot better than an average model, and even more so a budget one.


When choosing a smartphone with a good camera, you should pay attention not only to the number of megapixels. No less important are other characteristics of the camera, such as the size of the matrix and its constituent pixels, the presence of optical image stabilization, the camera aperture, and even the chipset used in the gadget. Do not forget to evaluate how well the set of cameras installed in your smartphone suits you.

Read also

  • Why 108-megapixel cameras shoot at 12 megapixels: what gives more megapixels
  • How to take cool photos on your smartphone: 5 tips


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