How much do megapixels count in cameras?

Megapixel war
When we buy a new phone one of the parameters that we immediately look at is the number of Megapixels present in the rear and front camera, convinced that a large number is sufficient to be sure of having a phone in front of you that makes very good photographs. Unfortunately, the Megapixl number is one of the most used features in terms of advertising and it could easily mislead a user who is not attentive or who does not know how a camera works on a smartphone.
In this guide, we will show you in practice how much megapixels count in phone cameras and what other parameters we need to consider before buying a new smartphone with good photographic skills.READ ALSO: Meaning of screen resolution for TV and monitor and for photos

What is a Megapixel

Megapixel measures the resolution of an image horizontal and vertical. Basically, if you take an image and start counting pixels from a low angle, you can multiply the two dimensions to get the total number of pixels in the image. The more pixels there are, the higher the resolution. A megapixel is literally a million pixels in the digital image.
MP comparison

To calculate how many megapixels a camera can produce, just multiply the horizontal and vertical resolutions of the sensor, and divide the result by one million.

  • 1000 × 1000, for example, it is a Megapixel.
  • A 1920 × 1080 image is a little more than two Megapixels.
  • A 4K image is more than 8 Megapixels.

Knowing when Megapixels are present on the camera we will get an idea of ​​the size of the image in terms of resolution and also when the final file will be large (larger files take up more space). So choose a camera or a phone looking only at the Megapixels, therefore we will not have a true picture of the quality of the photos taken: we will have the certainty of having only very large photos!
For example, they are on the market today phones with 108 Megapixel cameras, like the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (€ 419), able to make really great shots and to shoot videos in 4K with a truly enviable color rendering!
Note me 10

To get very beautiful photos we will not have to look only at Megapixels since there are other features to consider for camera selection: color accuracy, low light performance, lens quality, sensor size, and the number of cameras available for shooting.

The importance of the number of cameras

If we are looking for superior photographic quality on smartphones we will not have to observe the number of megapixels expressed by the camera, but we will have to check the number of rear cameras placed side by side with the main sensor, as in the case of the Nokia 7.2 (350 €).
Nokia 9

These additional cameras allow you to reconstruct a single photo but with a greater number of details and colors: one camera takes the normal shot, another the black and white shot and the rest with various levels of saturation, so you can capture all the colors of the subject present in the shot.
Once you have generated all these intermediate shots, the photo chip of the phone (guided by artificial intelligence) will bring together all the shots into a single photograph, which will present a high level of detail and a great variety of colors, all difficult to reach with a single camera.
In fact, the mechanism is the same that allows you to generate HDR images, as seen in the guide When to use HDR Photo mode on smartphones.

Parameters for choosing a good camera

Without going into too much detail, before choosing a good camera or smartphone to take photos, let’s be sure to immediately observe the following parameters:

  • The number of cameras: we must make sure that there are at least 3 rear cameras so that we can immediately shoot good quality shots without having to fiddle among the options.
  • Type of sensor: the sensor makes the difference between a beautiful image and a bad image. Make sure that CMOS sensors are present on all cameras on the back of the device.
  • Lens protection: the protective glass of the lenses helps a lot in the capture of light and on the level of detail of the photo. We avoid plastic protections, which deform the image and make it unrealistic.
  • Management software: also using a good photo app will make the difference between mediocre shots and spectacular shots. Usually, the app provided by the manufacturer is excellent for all purposes, but if we want to try other apps we recommend reading our articles Best camera app for Android to take photos with your mobile phone is Best camera apps for iPhone.
  • Megapixel: even if it is the last parameter to be observed, make sure that there is a sensor of at least 13 Megapixels (in the case of multi-cameras, the central sensor is sufficient), so as to be able to take photos large enough to print even on posters or on posters, such as seen in the guide Create posters and posters (large images) to print.

If we don’t know how to choose our new photographic smartphone, all we have to do is read our in-depth analysis Best smartphone camera: which one takes the best photos, so that we can put these tips into practice and immediately choose our new smartphone.


We showed you in a few lines when Megapixels count inside the cameras: they are a useful but not essential parameter for choosing a new smartphone or a professional SLR.
In the case of reflex cameras, the lenses we choose always make the difference, while on smartphones we will have to focus more on the number of rear cameras available, so as to ensure that every shot is taken at the highest quality.

If instead of a smartphone we are looking for a traditional camera or better yet an instant camera, we can continue reading in our articles Best WiFi and Cloud digital cameras is Best instant print instant cameras (Polaroid), so as to choose the modern and functional devices for each type of shot.


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