MEGAPIXELS vs Actual Camera Quality

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Akbad Tokimano, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Akbad Tokimano
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    Akbad Tokimano New Member

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    I guess the subject kinda asks it all. I am a proud Droid owner with a substandard picture quality I think and it's 50/50 depending on the Droid device you select, but I've been messing around with high end DSLR cameras lately and noticed a lot of problems with my previous perception of how Mega-pixels work. I'm learning that Mega-pixels equate to file (or picture) size and not quality. (for example) If you take a 10 MEGAPIXEL picture that turned out blurry, you now have a big ass 10 MEGAPIXEL blurry picture to erase.

    Are the Droids coming out with quality cameras or just impressive sounding numbers ...like MEGA-PIXEL (???)
  2. nmos
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    nmos New Member

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    IMHO with a tiny sensor and lense it's nearly impossible to have a good camera, especially in lower light conditions. My DSLR is an older model with a similar mp count to my Droid but the difference in image quslity is dramatic.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums App
  3. darkmatter
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    darkmatter New Member

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    companies like canon and nikon have stopped the megapixel wars. Notice that their top end cameras are actually dropping in megapixels, but the sensor is increasing. The big deal is with full frame sensors, etc etc. For example, look at the Canon S95.

    Hell, I recall a new video cam that records high def video...and is 2 megapixels.
  4. productsmarine
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    productsmarine New Member

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    Different company have different polices. And they have quite different qualities
  5. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    Right. My 6.3 MP 10D is about 8 years old now and still gives me the best photo quality of any of my digital cameras. The size of the CMOS sensor is probably the biggest reason, but lens quality is also a big factor. I have an old 1.5 MP Olympus camera that takes better photos than my 5 MP Droid, or probably any smartphone camera for that matter. The size of the sensor and lens in a smartphone camera is far smaller than even one of those new very thin cameras from Canon, Nikon, etc. With each pixel being so small, it is impossible to gather enough light for noise free photos. Also, there is no way to build the lens elements into such a small lens and achieve the sort of quality that 10 or 12 element lens with aspherical elements achieve.
  6. cpjr
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    cpjr New Member

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    All megapixels does is transfer into a bigger actual picture (better overall quality on a larger scale).

    It takes more pixels to fill a 8x10 area than it does a 4x6 area for example.....so having more megapixels will equal better quality on a bigger canvas.

    But thats about it.....like others have said, there are much more important components to getting a "good" picture.
  7. Akbad Tokimano
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    Akbad Tokimano New Member

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    That is so true. So which Droid supplies the best quality camera?
  8. sal33n
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    sal33n New Member

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  9. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    Yeah megapixels and touting them are just a way to get more sales. Doesn't equate into better picture quality. 8MP Camera!! sounds so much better than 5MP camera...

    It helps companies sell phones, that's all (My friend believes the Incredible is the best phone available today because of it's 8MP camera. I laugh). There are far more factors involved in PQ than just how many megapixels a camera has...
  10. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I think as other specs are quickly approaching the "functional horizon" or whatever you want to call it, OEM's will have to look at other ways to differentiate the hardware.

    I wonder when some genius will figure out putting a really good camera on a phone makes a lot of sense. I don't take many pictures BUT it would be nice to know I can snap a great pic or shoot a nice video at the spur of the moment. How hard would it be to have a bigger and better lense, maybe with a bit of a telescoping lense?

    Eventually this is all why phones have to go made-to-order. If you go the Dell route and get a big early lead you could slaughter the competition (for a time, right, everyone falls eventually). Part of my frustration (which a lot of people seem to share) is the OEM's are all picking and choosing from a list of options to create a phone they think we want, and they are limited by that mythical "sweet spot" of a contract price. Someone needs to break the mold. Maybe you don't want dual core but you want a lot better camera. Maybe you don't want HDMI out but would like a second USB port. And maybe, like, you're actually willing to pay $400 contract to get the latest and best on everything.
  11. nmos
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    nmos New Member

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    I don't think there is enough room for a good lense and sensor on most phones. Maybe multiple small cameras along with some electronic wizardry to combine the images would be the way to go?

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums App
  12. darkmatter
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    darkmatter New Member

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    One of these phone manufacturers needs to partner with nikon or canon or something.

    I would totally pay a premium for, say, a canon s95 running android. Sure, it might be a bit thick, but totally worth it.
  13. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    That's probably part of it (along with other options excluded). But if you have room to slap a physical keyboard on the D1, you can always ditch the keyboard and that leaves plenty of room for other things like another, bigger battery and telescopic lense, etc..

    Lot of group think right now in the industry between the phones mostly (at a high level) looking alike and all aiming for the same sort of target price point. There's truthfully very little differentiation going on with everyone trying to make and market a one-size fits all phone.
  14. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    Here is one of the smallest cameras available:

    Sony Cybershot DSC-W560 digital camera specifications: Digital Photography Review

    It has a 4X zoom lens and is 14 MP, although the number of megapixels has nothing to do with the camera size. The sensor size does, but not the number of pixels on the sensor. The size is 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.7 inch. The volume is 5.7 cubic inches. The size of the Droid Inc is 4.6 x 2.3 x 0.47 = 5.0 cubic inches. There is no doubt that that Sony camera will take much better quality photos than a smartphone, but even those will not match up to the larger, but still small cameras out there. The Sony camera is 15% larger than the Inc and it is totally dedicated to taking photos. To have a camera in a smartphone that will take photos the quality of that Sony, or a similarly sized Canon or Nikon would probably require the volume of the phone to be at least 50% greater than they currently are. At a minimum, it would have to have the same 0.7 inch thickness and be long enough to fit the telescoping lens mechanism in there. If the lens were not telescoping then the phone would have to be even thicker than 0.7 inch.

    My smallest digital camera is a Panasonic DMC-ZS7. The volume is 12.2 cubic inches. It takes pretty good photos, but people still often complain about the noise level of it's 12 MP sensor. It is only a year old, but it still cannot compare to my 8 year old 6 MP DSLR. I sure that the quality of smartphone cameras will continue to improve, but the laws of optics limits the resolution of the lens. Tiny glass elements cannot offer the resolution of the larger elements in dedicated cameras and certainly not the quality available in a fixed focal length DSLR lens. It takes more and larger lens elements than what can fit into a smartphone that people would buy to get acceptable photo quality.
  15. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    You and I might be willing to buy that, but I doubt that most people would be willing to have a phone that is 2.5x as thick as the Inc. In addition, the S95 only has a 3" screen. I like my wife's Ally, but consider the 3.2" screen a little small. The phone would have to be bigger than the S95 to get that photo quality and I would like to have something like that available, but to be honest, would not want to carry it everywhere I go. It would be perfect while on vacation, but not for most times while out. I think that currently the only solution is to carry both a smartphone and something like the thinnest Canon ELPH.
  16. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Good info. The D1 is sort of a brick, so I guess the tech isn't there yet to cram it all in. Oh well, we can always dream.

    On the other hand, we've gotten spoiled and obsessed over "thinness". My old flip phone was easily an inch thick and it never bothered me. I'd certainly tolerate something like that if it meant having a great camera (but then we get into the issue of cost, as well).
  17. darkmatter
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    darkmatter New Member

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    Screen is a non issue, if they're making a new device, it would easily be upgradeable. Some cams already have decent screens, like the samsung cams.

    But even without optical zoom, seeing a phone with a proper sensor would be fantastic. Like maybe the s95 sensor, but without the zoom lens. That would also prevent cannibalising the actual camera market.
  18. TheOldFart
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    TheOldFart New Member

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    I know it would. What I am saying that to have a 4" screen instead of the S95 3" screen would mean that the smartphone would have to be even larger than the S95 to have that photo quality and the larger screen, not to mention fitting all the phone electronics in there too.
  19. nmos
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    nmos New Member

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    That's a good point. I do think that something with the screen of an X but the thickness of a D1 with a decent camera and a battery that'll go a week between charges might sell OK to the older crowd.

    I'm a little disappointed that we haven't seen more specialized Android based phones. They wouldn't have to be completely new designs but just variations of existing models. For example they could do a version with larger default fonts/icons plus more audio feedback and screen reading for low vision users. Maybe a ruggedized versions for construction/athletes. Something with a really fat battery and external antenna ports for people who spend lots of time away from civilizaion. I guess it's still early yet.
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