Smartphone Camera

mobile phone camera

Let’s categorized the parts of the camera and their work.

  1. Sensor
  2. Pixel
  3. ISP
  4. aperture
  5. lenses
  6. Number of mp (megapixels)
  7. OIS and EIS

At the end of the article, you will understand how to get the best Smartphone camera available on the market.

How does the camera work?

When you first capture something, the subject comes through the lens. It’s like a stream of input lights. That means the glasses you use for lenses should be of good quality. Otherwise, though the object is so beautiful, it doesn’t capture a good photo.

Generally, ZEISS currently produces better lenses for mobiles and DSLR cameras. (Ex: Nokia 8.)

The input light coming from the lens directly goes to the sensor.

The sensor converts the incoming lights to an electronic signal. The best sensors produced the best OUTPUT image. Low-quality sensors produce low-quality OUTPUT.

Generally, SONY sensors are of higher quality. Like, google pixel 2, pixel 2 XL, and Samsung Note 8. The best Smartphone camera available in 2017/18/19 is produced by SONY Sensors.

The lights sensor converts input light to an electronic/digital signal. This image then undergoes a series of post-processing to improve its quality. It does use Artificial Intelligence.

Smartphone cameras use a separate part called image signal processor to process a Good Quality Image.

ISP is a separate chip. It gives the sensor additional processing power to make quick changes to the image.

Apple usually uses a lot of good image processors on iPhones.

Basics of the Smartphone Camera.

Mobile Phone Camera
Smartphone Camera

The basics of a Smartphone Camera is mainly about the size of the aperture, the size of the lens, the size of the lens sensor, and then the size of one pixel.

48 MP, f / 1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/2 “, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF

The specs of the primary camera of the Xiaomi Mi 9pro as above. It is a triple camera mobile. Here are the specs of the Main Camera.

  • 48mp – No of megapixel is 48
  • F / 1.8 – This is the aperture
  • 27mm – The lens 
  • 1/2 – This is the sensor size
  • 0.8µm – This pixel size (in micrometer)

sensor size 

Here the mp sensor size and pixel size depend on each other. That’s they are variables for each other.

48mp is 48 million pixels. That means the photo has 48 million pixels. If you take the Xiaomi camera above, the size of the sensor is 1/2. Usually, this is a big sensor that comes with a mobile camera.

Here are the specs of the primary cam of the Apple iPhone 5s. 8 MP, f / 2.2, 29mm (standard), 1/3, 1.5µm, AF

The sensor size in Apple is smaller than the Mi 9pro. But the pixel size (1.5µm) is much bigger in Apple than the 9pro. 

The sensor size (surface area) can increase the size of a small pixel. Suppose we know that the data is 2mp is only the size of the sensor. We can easily calculate the size of a pixel. Because this is a small counting party.

DxO mark is a camera quality score. The biggest DxO mark we’ve got for mobiles (and also for audio) is the 121 phones that were released this year. 

These are,

  1. Huawei mate 30 pro
  2. Xiaomi cc9 premium edition

These are the camera specs.

Mi cc9 pro

  • 108 MP f / 1.7, 25mm (wide), 1 / 1.33 ”, 0.8µm,
  • 12 MP, f / 2.0, 50mm (telephoto), 1 / 2.55 ”, 1.4µm,
  • 5 MP, f / 2.0, (telephoto), 1.0µm,
  • 20 MP, f / 2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1 / 2.8 “, 1.0µm,
  • 2 MP, f / 2.4, 1/5 “, 1.75µm (dedicated macro camera)

Mate 30 pro

  • 40 MP, f / 1.6, 27mm (wide), 1 / 1.7 “
  • 8 MP, f / 2.4, 80mm (telephoto), 1/4 “,
  • 40 MP, f / 1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), 1 / 1.54 “,
  • Second place with 117 marks

iPhone 11 pro max

  • Wide12 MP, f / 1.8, 26mm , 1 / 2.55 ”, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Telephoto 12 MP, f / 2.0, 52mm , 1 / 3.4 “, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • Ultrawide 12 MP, f / 2.4, 13mm 

Google Pixel 4 / xl (112 DxO mark)

  • 12.2 MP, f / 1.7, 27mm (wide), 1 / 2.55 ”, 1.4µm,
  • 16 MP, f / 2.4, 50mm (telephoto), 1 / 3.6 ”, 1.0µm
  • Well, let’s see how aperture affects the quality of the image.
  • F / 2.2 is the aperture. 
Your Mobile Phone Camera
Mobile Phone Camera

Smartphone Camera – Aperture

Aperture is the diameter of the open section of a camera lens just like the eye of a human. (Aperture refers to the opening of a lens’s diaphragm which light passes.)

The size of the aperture is a significant factor that affects the quality of the image. The larger the aperture, the higher the amount of light passing through the lens to the sensor.

F / 1.6> F / 2.0

If it’s a low aperture the outcome will be a low light photo.

You need a bigger aperture to take more portrait photos. Then you can capture a good picture with a focus on the subject with blurred background with a low depth of field.

Usually, when taking landscape photos, we need to look at the details. Since it requires a large depth of field and a good look at the foreground and background, it is better to have a little less aperture.

Aperture and shutter speed 

So changing the aperture is difficult for the Smartphone Camera, because there is no variable aperture in mobiles through the DSLR camera has a set of lenses.

Having a large aperture also affects the shutter speed. Because when the aperture gets bigger, the shutter doesn’t have to be open to make accurate exposure. It increases the shutter speed. When the aperture gets smaller, the shutter speed slows down because the shutter has to be open for a while to make accurate exposure.

So when you buy a Smartphone, remember to have a small aperture.

Sensor Size 

Let us first consider the sensor size. If you look at the post, the size of the sensor is 1/3, 1 / 2.55, 1/2. Increasing the size of the sensor increases the quality of the photo. That means 1/3 <1 / 2.55 <1/2 the quality of the images.

Increasing the sensor means increasing the surface area. That means you can include a lot of small size pixels. That means you can increase the number of megapixels (mp). Today, Smartphone cameras have 48Mp, 64Mp, and 108Mp are much less pixel-sized. 0.8 micron is like 0.9 microns. But today’s high-resolution cameras use pixel binning technology. 

Pixel size 

“Pixel size” Why do we talk so much? Mobile phones can’t set up large sensors, so using a smaller sensor and using a smaller pixel might seem like a big Mp.

Mp is not such a big adoring thing all the time. Increasing the number of Mp means that the resolution is higher. If you think the resolution is information, the amount of information you capture increases as mp increases. That means you can capture excellent details. That means you can capture a lot of details. Increasing resolution means increasing your image crop. Because the image that cropped may also contain a sufficient amount of pixel, another advantage of increasing the number of mp is that you can print a larger image. Multiply the width of the printable image by using a sensor with a number of Mp to match the resolution.

High resolution 

For example, if you are going to print a 16 × 20 size print, a 6mp camera will work. But all we do is share photos and social media or look at the computer screen and work at 6mp.

The main difference here is the amount of detail needed to print and display on a screen. To get a good print, you don’t need a high resolution or much more information than to display it on a screen.

For example, a 24-inch monitor with a resolution of 1920 × 1200 is enough for a 2mp image. But it takes about 6mp (12 × 19) to print that size.

It means that screens don’t need many pixels. And most common size prints do not always require very large pixels.

So it looks like numbers can be misleading. You don’t need a Smartphone camera with big or large Mp. That’s why Apple, Samsung, google pixel, especially LG’s 12-16mp sensors, are included in their mobile cameras. But the best mobile camera sets are on their devices.

Don’t think about DXO marks right now.

Now you can see how the size of a pixel affects the quality of the image.


Pixels are capturing lights and turning them into data. This data contains both good and bad information. Bad information is what we call noises. Because of Noises

  • Lower color resolution
  • Grainy
  • A textured look can be in the images.

All pixels collect the same noise. But big pixels collect more good data than small pixels. While everything else is similar, the larger pixels are far better quality and give you more image results than the smaller pixels. That means fewer noises.

If you want to capture a good photo you know in the photographs, you need to capture the ISO level. Because the higher the ISO, the higher the noises. But if you want to capture an image with ISO, then using a sensor with large pixels is very useful.

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