As Smartphones evolve every year a new struggle for the tech fans emerged…how to choose the best camera phone? Does the Megapixel Marketing really matters the most? We will teach you here what do you have to check what really matters when choosing a phone for the camera experience.
1. Sensor Size
The size of a camera sensor ultimately determines how much light it uses to create an image. In very simple terms, image sensors consist of millions of light-sensitive spots called photosites which are used to record information about what is seen through the lens. Therefore, it stands to reason that a bigger sensor can gain more information than a smaller one and produce better images. Just don’t forget that bigger sensors can also be better for isolating a subject in focus while having the rest of the image blurred. Cameras with smaller sensors struggle to do this because they need to be moved further away from a subject.
2. Pixel Size
Pixels come in many different sizes, each having their advantages and disadvantages. Larger pixels are able to collect more light, due to their increase in surface area which allows a increase of the sensor sensitivity. However, this is at the cost of resolution, smaller pixels are able to provide higher resolution but capture less light per pixel.
One of the bigger myths is that higher resolution equals to better photos. Well it depends on the kind of photography you want to take. A higher resolution is “only” required for printing, cropping or to view the photos on larger screens. If you’re the common user that takes casual photos to share on Social Media or just to keep it to yourself anything around 12MP is fine.
4. Pixel Binning
Basically turning at least four pixels get combined into one. This creates 4 (or more) in 1 bigger pixels which are better able to collect and process the light in the scene. The downside is that your effective resolution gets quartered when you take a photo – so from a 50MP Samsung GN2 Sensor you will end up with a 12.5MP resolution photo. Different OEM’s might have different approaches to this, for example Xiaomi and Samsung that share basically the same sensor on their Smartphones (HMX and HM1/3) but Xiaomi binning is only by 4 and Samsung one by 9 pixels making the output resolution different. So in Smartphones with Pixel Binning you should double the pixel size to get the full Pixel Size of the Sensor.
5. Image Processing
Each OEM provides a different approach in terms of image processing, terms like sharpness, contrast or saturation will depend on the OEM you choose. Check carefully examples from the OEM you have chosen or…
One way of having a better photo processing is by using Google alghoritms included on GCam Mods. But even these mods are also limited on some OEM’s like:
- Apple: No support for any custom app, you have to be dependent on their software. Probably the best choice for video recording and social media.
- Google: Even using Google Camera by default, Mods provide a better control and quality in Photo and Video;
- Asus: GCam compatibility supports by default on some devices full resolution JPG and RAW option;
- Samsung: Front Camera RAW restricted on some devices and support for Exynos devices is very limited;
- Xiaomi: Larger Community and great compatibility with Mods but might depend on developers to have extra features;
- BBK Electronics (Vivo, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, IQOO): Must use snapcam package to have access to Auxiliary Lens on GCam; Oppo devices must use a tiktok package to have access to the same cameras;
- Motorola: Limited dupport to developers and feedback/logs provided;
- Nokia: Limited support to developers and feedback/logs provided;
- Sony: Unknown support by GCam, some limited to Xperia Open devices program.
- Huawei/Honor: No support for GCam due Kirin SOC and no Google Play Services; Situation might change with Snapdragon socs into their devices.
|Sensor Name||Sensor Size||Pixel Size||Pixel Binning|
|IMX703||1/1.66″||1.9um||No – 12MP|
|S5K2LD||1/1.76″||1.8um||No – 12MP|
|IMX400||1/2.3″||1.22um||No – 19MP|
|IMX363||1/2.55″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|IMX563||1/2.55″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|IMX503||1/2.55″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|S5K2LA||1/2.55″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|IMX362||1/2.55″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|S5K2L7||1/2.6″||1.4um||No – 12MP|
|IMX519||1/2.6″||1.22um||No – 16MP|
|S5K3J1||1/2.65″||1.22um||No – 10MP|
|IMX376||1/2.76″||1.0um||No – 20MP|
|IMX350||1/2.78″||1.0um||No – 20MP|
|IMX398||1/2.8″||1.12um||No – 16MP|
|IMX386||1/2.9″||1.25um||No – 12MP|
|IMX663||1/2.93″||1.22um||No – 12MP|
|OV13B10||1/3.06″||1.12um||No – 13MP|
|IMX481||1/3.09″||1.0um||No – 16MP|
|IMX351||1/3.09″||1.0um||No – 16MP|
|IMX374/5||1/3.2″||1.22um||No – 10MP|
|IMX356||1/3.4″||1.0um||No – 12MP|
|S5K3M5||1/3.4″||1.0um||No – 13MP|
|S5K3M3||1/3.42″||1.0um||No – 13MP|
|IMX355||1/3.5″||1.14um||No – 8MP|
|IMX520||1/3.6″||1.22um||No – 8MP|
|S5K3K1||1/3.9″||1.0um||No – 10MP|
|OV08D10||1/4″||1.12um||No – 8MP|
|S5K4H7||1/4″||1.12um||No – 8MP|
|OV8856||1/4″||1.12um||No – 8MP|
|OV08A10||1/4.4″||1.0um||No – 8MP|
|GC02M1||1/5″||1.75um||No – 2MP|
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