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Smartphone Camera Quality: Explained!



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hey what is up guys MTV HD here so what

makes a good smartphone camera it's just

you know more megapixels is better right

no no all right so the sensor the sensor

is the most important piece of hardware

when it comes to image quality there are

good sensors there are bad sensors there

are different types of sensors and there

are large sensors there are small

sensors and everything in between it's

hard to tell a lot about an image sensor

just by the name or the numbers but

there's one thing that pretty much

always rings true which is that when all

other things are held constant a larger

sensor can outperform a smaller one now

the camera sensors and smartphones are

pretty much always tiny not tiny enough

to get rid of the camera bump that we

still have in like 99% of smart phones

these days but obviously a lot smaller

than your normal point shoots so your

smartphone cameras have to rely on their

own tricks to make great pictures you

might remember HTC's attempt at an ultra

pixel camera back in 2013 a 4 megapixel

camera that claimed to be much better at

a lot of things including low-light

here's why a sensor is a piece of

hardware responsible for turning all the

light that hits it into electrical

signals and you can kind of think of it

like a grid of pixels the larger the

sensor obviously the larger the pixels

and the more sensitive it can be to

light but all these smart phone sensors

are all pretty tiny so HTC instead went

with way less pixels so that the

individual pixels are much larger for

better low-light performance now 4

megapixels is still enough to have a

decent amount of detail if you don't

zoom in at all but most of the time we

see smartphones at the other end of the

spectrum with 12 16 18 megapixel sensors

which gives you a ton of detail but

obviously they will suffer a little bit

more in low-light alright so in front of

the sensor is all the glass and all the

lenses through which light has to pass

to hit the sensor aside from the quality

of the glass the speck that matters the

most here is the aperture smartphone

cameras are all fixed aperture lenses

and generally the bigger the better

because the more light you can let in so

the best smartphone cameras now have F

2.0 sometimes even F 1.9 or F 1.8

apertures which

is great for letting like I said a ton

of light in and also getting a little

bit of separation between your

foreground and background or the shallow

depth-of-field one thing that is hit or

miss is stabilization so software

stabilization or EIS is decent for

correcting a little bit of minor

handshake if you get a little bit of

blur it's good at removing that and not

having that in images but in video

content to have a little bit of a jello

effect but hardware stabilization or oh

is is awesome

pretty much all the time it's much

better for having longer exposures and

while having shaky hands can still

produce very sharp images it's better

for low-light and it can produce much

much smoother video not every smartphone

uses OIS and not every sensor is even

compatible with it but when it is

possible it's preferred now aside from

that you don't really need to pay too

much attention to like the number of

lens elements that number has been

boasted about before but doesn't really

tell you too much about the quality of

the camera and the flash design I

wouldn't pay too much attention to that

either sometimes you can get something

interesting like a ring flash or a dual

LED flash or even a xenon flash but for

the most part I avoid using a flash with

smart phone pictures in the first place

anyway and from there it all comes down

to processing every smartphone camera

processes the images that come from that

sensor a little bit differently some do

a little bit more sharpening some do

less some do a little bit more noise

reduction and some do a little bit less

some shift towards warmer colors some

shift towards cooler colors some crank

up the saturation others keep it pretty

tame some favour a bright exposure some

keep it a little bit underexposed but

the one thing about photos is it's all

subjective so you might have a

smartphone that takes an objectively

more accurate photo and then another one

that takes a little bit less accurate

but also more pleasing to the eye photo

like for example my buddy Casey nice tat

on Twitter he did a blind test where he

took the same photo with the Nexus 6p

and the iPhone 6s the Nexus 6p gave you

know much cooler colors and a much

brighter some might even say overexposed

image but it won the popular vote

because it just kind of looked a little

better to people despite being less

accurate than the shot from the iPhone

so final word it's really hard to tell

how good a smartphone camera will be

just by the numbers just kind of like

it's hard to tell how well a car will

drive by the

spec's on paper you don't really know

until you actually drive it you can get

a good idea and a reviewer can tell you

how accurate the photos will be and

whether there are certain tendencies in

processing but that stuff can be changed

with a software update anyway so at the

end of the day it's you who will tell

how good a smartphone camera is just

based on how much you like the picture

so that's basically it thank you for

watching hopefully this gives you a

better idea of what I'm talking about

when I go deep into camera quality and

the phone reviews and are more reviews

right around the corner so thank you for

watching this one I'll talk to you guys

in the next video peace