How important is the number of megapixels for a camera’s picture quality?


The Nokia 1020 has a 41 megapixel sensor (!), which is more than many “professional” DSLR cameras. Have personal smartphone cameras reached the point where they can actually take professional level photographs?

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How Important are Megapixels in Your Digital Camera

"Lately, everyone has been talking and boasting about how many megapixel he has got on his camera. Recently, one of my friend compared my Canon SX 110 camera (which is of 9MP) to his Sony Cybershot (which was of 12 MP) and he was ruffled to notice that my cam actually was able to take better photographs than his camera in any given condition

I wasn’t remotely surprised to see that he was also in the same bandwagon of “Look, I got more megapixels than you, I RULE” bandwagon. I don’t know from where have people made Megapixels as a de-facto benchmark of judging a digital camera’s ability to take better photographs. So in this article, I’ll try to break all the Megapixel myths prevailing out there."

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 You hit on an important point when you noted that the 41 megapixels refers to the sensor. While that is an important component in a digital camera, it is far from the only thing that determines image quality. The lens is at least as important as the sensor, but it is much harder to sum up the quality of a lens in a catchy way such as X number of megapixels. In any case, the quality of a smartphone lens is very unlikely to match that of a quality DSLR. Also, if you recall, the HTC One has an “ultrapixel” sensor, which actually is only 4 (I think) megapixels. However the sensor is different, and has larger pixel size. By all accounts, the HTC One takes quite good photos. In short, there is more to it than that simple number. Many reviews include test images, so you can take a look at the actual result of photos with that device to see how they look. 

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