1. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    I decided to make this post because I still see some people judging a camera's performance solely by its megapixel count. While many of us know that MP counts aren't a true way to judging camera performance, I still see some people do that and in the interest of helping newer members, I decided to make this thread.

    First, let's break down some terms.

    Resolution - The effective resolution of the sensor. This is measured in megapixels (MP). The higher the MP count, the higher the resolution. Higher MP counts typically result in more detailed images.

    Aperture - The part of the lens that lets light in. Its diameter is measured in f-stops. The lower the f-stop, the wider the aperture. A wider aperture improves exposure but also increases depth-of-field.

    Autofocus - A feature that automatically focuses on a subject, either in the center or an area selected by the user.

    Image-stabilization - A feature that stabilizes images and video. They can either be digital or optical.

    Post-processing - Software that polishes up the raw image, often smoothing out imperfections.

    I'm not going into detail about what ISO, shutter speed, and white balance are, because I'm assuming that you're gonna use your phone to take quick shots mainly, so I'm leaving those out for now.

    Now, what makes a good camera great?

    A common misconception is that a camera with more megapixels will always outperform one with a smaller MP count. While this may be true to a certain extent, it will only do so in very specific environments, like areas with broad daylight. Rather. what makes a good camera great is a combination of a high-enough resolution, wide aperture, quality lenses, fast autofocus, excellent post-processing and image stabilization.

    A camera with an aperture of f/2.4 and 16MP sensor with DIS will typically outperform a camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and an 8MP sensor with OIS in broad daylight, but the tables are turned in lower light. Other factors such as the speed of autofocus and the quality of post-processing must also be taken into account. One excellent example is the HTC One M9. Despite having a 20MP sensor, daylight shots are not as good as ones taken by the 16MP sensor on the Galaxy S6/Note 5 and LG G4 mainly due to better post-processing.

    Rather, what you should be looking for is not just MP count, but also aperture, AF speed and OIS. What you want is a phone that performs well in all situations, and not a phone that does well in certain situations. The iPhone 6 was famously panned by some Android enthusiasts for 'only' having an 8MP camera, but despite that, it takes some very impressive shots that can even rival that of the S6 and G4 in many areas besides raw resolution.

    Also, take some time out using the device you're aiming for and see how fast the camera locks on to a focus point and how fast it takes the shot and how the post-processing is like. Ideally, you want a camera that focuses fast, shoots fast and has good post-processing quality.
    09-07-2015 03:52 AM
  2. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    I would also add to your fine post that with the best smartphone cameras choose one that offers a higher range of controls to make any needed changes to the settings to get the best shot and the option to take raw files for your own post processing endeavours. It's just 2 more thing that sets our cameras apart and make our picture taking better.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig black Galaxy Note 5
    D13H4RD2L1V3 likes this.
    09-07-2015 06:02 AM
  3. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    I would also add to your fine post that with the best smartphone cameras choose one that offers a higher range of controls to make any needed changes to the settings to get the best shot and the option to take raw files for your own post processing endeavours. It's just 2 more thing that sets our cameras apart and make our picture taking better.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig black Galaxy Note 5
    This too.

    While I aim this post to folks who primarily use Auto mode, having a full-featured manual mode is extremely handy.
    09-07-2015 09:40 AM
  4. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    I also have to stress that if you're planning to buy a high-end smartphone and are paying top-dollar* for it, and you take a lot of photos, it absolutely HAS to have OIS.

    Through applications in phones like the LG G4, G3, G2, Galaxy Note 4, Note 5, S6, iPhone 6 Plus and a few others, OIS is a proven tech that reduces shake with greater quality than DIS.

    A big deal about OIS is that it improves low-light shots, mainly because in Auto mode, the camera is able to opt for a lower shutter speed, improving exposure as there will be less camera shake that can blur the image.

    * Typically over $600.
    09-07-2015 09:45 AM

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