Well before the DSLR megapixel war ever started, it was fairly common knowledge that megapixels alone don’t result in better image quality. The same statement can be said in regards to smartphone cameras, whose quality is now to the point of most point-and-shoot cameras a few years ago – or even better.
While megapixels are one aspect of smartphone image quality, there is far more to it than meets the eye. Here to explain what makes or breaks a smartphone camera is YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, known as MKBHD.
In the five minute video, Brownlee breaks down the importance of sensor size, the surface area of the individual pixels, the camera’s aperture (most of which are fixed in smartphones) and other components such as image stabilization. Throughout every aspect, he does a wonderful job to explain in detail concepts that oftentimes become convoluted.
Of all the details and differences he mentions though, one stands out in particular. Processing.
Almost all smartphones output images as JPEGs. As a result, all information captured by the sensor must first be processed by software, which varies from manufacturer to another. This means that the resulting images from one smartphone to another can vary greatly, even if they were to have identical camera setups.
For more videos from Brownlee, you can head on over to his YouTube Channel and subscribe.