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Limitations of Smartphone Cameras

Limitations of Smartphone Cameras

It is a matter of simple common sense, that your smartphone camera won’t be able to give you those “off the edge” attractive and catchy images like a digital camera does. Smartphone cameras might be heading towards or in some case exceeding 20 megapixels now…but they still have their limitations. And due to these, they are unable to beat the picture quality of a digital or professional camera. Some of the reasons for the difference in image quality are given below.

Smartphone cameras sensor size:

If you consider smartphones, and especially their cameras, you have to applaud them for packing those high-end qualities into a tiny package. But the bad part is that even if you take a great sensor and lens you need to shrink it a lot to make it fit into the smartphone. However, this can cause problems with the quality of the digital image captured by your phone.

Image showing sensor size in DSLR and smartphone cameras.
Image sensor in DSLR and smartphone camera.

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the physical size of the image sensor, the lower the amount of image distortion seen at comparable ISO speeds.So image sensor size is one of the major reasons why there is more noise in an image taken with a smartphone rather than a digital one.

This happens when there isn’t a lot of great light to play with. The thing that you refer to as a “grainy” image is actually lack of light and great sensors. A larger sensor, in comparison is able to capture more of the available light which reduces the amount of noise in an image in most cases.

Control and Zoom Settings:

All those attractive, high end and let’s just say extremely juicy settings in the digital camera are not accessible in a smartphone. That is the biggest limitation when it comes to attractive and incredible photos. And not just this; then comes in the zoom option. That is where the smartphone of yours, doesn’t remain very smart for you, or does it?

Optical zoom is an area where almost all smartphones lag behind, and bring in a big limitation for smartphone photography. With  smartphone cameras, when you zoom in on the subject of your photo, you aren’t really “zooming” in, you’re cropping the image, and enlarging a portion of it. This means you are reducing the amount of information the image contains in effect.

With a digital camera, and zoom lens, you are in effect “magnifying” the subject because of the arrays of glass elements which make up the lens. Therefore you still have all the information from the image sensor, not a scaled down version.

Image capture with Smartphones:

Using our phones to capture an image, we normally hold the phone away from us, to allow us to see the screen, and therefore the image we wish to capture. By doing this, the possibility of introducing some slight movement whilst taking the photo increases. This of course will lead to a blurred image being taken.

One remedy for this is to try and keep the phone as close to you as possible whilst shooting to reduce shake. If possible, try and rest on a solid object whilst taking your photos, this will give a more stable platform for you, and reduce movement and the risk of blurred images.

The Future of Smartphones:

Yes, the future of smartphone technology seems endless, each year brings newer models, with more features. It is fair to say that the cameras in smartphones have improved drastically. But unless you are able to buy the latest iPhone or Samsung, you are left lagging behind in the smartphone camera race.

The future of technology in the world of smartphones is more noticeable in the high end costly phones. In other words, you won’t get the same amazing quality from a phone that costs £100, than from the one that costs £500. And the phone that costs £500 will lack in quality from the one that costs £750 or more.

So you see how the future is working? The limitation stays; if you don’t have a good budget, you really don’t have a chance for a great smartphone camera. Not until a couple of years down the line, and the next big thing has arrived.

There is no doubting the fact that technology is evolving immensely. Smartphones are rocking the world and people do capture great images with them. But as mentioned above, the limitations stay.

So make the best of what your phone’s camera has to offer, and keep snapping away.

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