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How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

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How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Old 10-13-11, 09:01 PM
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How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

I had a Blackberry Tour phone that had a 3.2mp camera. The camera took some of the best pics I've ever seen. I've even taken pics out of a moving car window and they came out awesome. I've recently upgraded to an HTC Thunderbolt with an 8mp camera, and when I go to take a pic it looks great in the window, sharp as Hell, but the picture almost always seems to lose it's sharpness once it's snapped. I haven't had one picture on my HTC turn out as sharp as any Blackberry pic yet.

What gives? Any clue on the loss of quality on a (hopefully) better camera?

Thanks,

~S2K
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Old 10-13-11, 09:04 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

the number of megapixels is largely unimportant when your sensor is so small (like on a phone). This is an older article, but has some good info:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm
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Old 10-13-11, 09:42 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

i just got rid of my HTC Inspire which is an almost carbon copy of the TB. after 6 months i can say that android phones suck at photos no matter what the MP is. even when the bionic came out people at android central complained about the camera and photo quality as well as speed

iOS has much better photo software. my guess is that apple is secretly licensing software from canon, kodak or someone else who has been in the business a long time. i saw a HUGE improvement from iOS 3 to 4.

i'm just glad AT&T gave me an upgrade after only 6 months and my iPhone 4S is coming tomorrow
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Old 10-14-11, 08:04 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

It has to do with the size of the CMOS sensor, not how big the final file is (which is basically what MP measures, you can't store whats not there)

This is an issue I've been having with some real cameras as well -- I love the concept of Travel Zooms but they tend to take less than amazing photos due to the smaller sensor required for a small body with a big zoom.

Thus far Apple and Samsung take the best photos of any phones I've seen out there, Blackberry comes in third. Beyond that it's a crapshoot of mediocrity (I haven't used a Sony so I can't really say with that one).

Also, while Software plays a big role, it still generally comes down to the hardware itself. MP is just a marketing term for j6p.

http://www.flickr.com/cameras/apple/iphone_4s/
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/samsung/samsung_gt-i9100/

Last edited by RichC2; 10-14-11 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:43 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i just got rid of my HTC Inspire which is an almost carbon copy of the TB. after 6 months i can say that android phones suck at photos no matter what the MP is. even when the bionic came out people at android central complained about the camera and photo quality as well as speed.
Not all Android phones have crappy cameras. The MyTouch 4G Slide is notable for having an excellent camera:
http://gizmodo.com/5829170/mytouch-4...e-camera-phone
The myTouch 4G Slide is the first Android phone to make a concerted effort to [contain a killer camera], with an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that's exclusive to the Slide for now, and not unlike what we'll probably see in the next iPhone...

But let's talk about the camera. HTC tries to make it feel very point-and-shooty, with deeper controls than your average phone's camera, for everything from white balance to ISO and exposure. There's also a ton of filters built in, to scratch your Instagram itch. "Zero-shutter lag" means it's effectively taking pictures before you press the shutter button, so once the camera app's open, you shouldn't miss anything. The features aren't quite as extensive as a full-blown camera, but it's close enough with perks like face detection, at least for most people.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/23587...mera_ever.html
As phones beat editor, my camera knowledge is pretty basic, so I went to our cameras beat editor, Tim Moynihan, to decipher some of these specs and features for me...

Image quality is excellent for a phone camera. A lot of camera phones have a difficult time handling colors. Tim said that the Slide is on a par with $200-to-$300 stand-alone point-and-shoot cameras. According to Tim, the camera's interface is the best touch interface he's seen on a camera. It is easy to navigate, responsive, and provides helpful information for shooting in various environments.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/02/t...-slide-review/
Judging from all the buzz, T-Mobile and HTC are very proud of the my Touch 4G Slide's camera. Is it justified? Yes, absolutely. We'd rank the Slide's camera at number three in the current crop of cameraphones, beating devices like the iPhone 4 and Xperia Arc, trailing closely behind the second place Galaxy S II, with the N8 taking the number one spot by a wide margin.
As that last review mentions, the Galaxy S II is another Android phone with a high quality camera, while the Nokia N8 has possibly the best camera in a smartphone (but since it doesn't run iOS or Android, nobody cares).
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Old 10-14-11, 09:13 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

don't know about the SGS 2 but the iphone camera is very fast and lets you take photos almost every second. very important if you have kids. wasn't that way until iOS 4 though. even made a huge difference on the 3GS.

all the complaints about android phones are that it takes a long time to take a picture and have it saved to be ready to take another one
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Old 10-14-11, 09:24 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Point was it's silly to generalize that ALL Android phones have poor cameras. It vary's by manufacturer.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:24 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
all the complaints about android phones are that it takes a long time to take a picture and have it saved to be ready to take another one
Again, from the reviews of the MyTouch 4G Slide:
http://gizmodo.com/5829170/mytouch-4...e-camera-phone
"Zero-shutter lag" means it's effectively taking pictures before you press the shutter button, so once the camera app's open, you shouldn't miss anything
http://www.pcworld.com/article/23587...mera_ever.html
The Slide supposedly has zero shutter lag, which sounds good on paper, but it is something we definitely needed to put to the test. According to Tim, the autofocus system has to be pretty fast in order to capture non-blurry images without any delay. Looks like T-Mobile's claims are true; the Slide's camera was perfectly snappy and smoothly handled every subject we threw at it.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/02/t...-slide-review/
It's by using special software that the myTouch 4G Slide's camera really stands out. The premise is simple: pull out the phone, press the camera button to activate the app ( la Windows Phone), and press it again to take a shot -- bypass the lock screen, collect quality photos, don't go to jail.... To achieve this, it uses tricks like continuous autofocus and zero shutter lag (wherein the camera is continuously sampling images and storing them in a circular buffer in order to minimize the delay between pressing / tapping the shutter key and capturing the moment).
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Old 10-14-11, 09:30 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Point was it's silly to generalize that ALL Android phones have poor cameras. It vary's by manufacturer.
Just to point out that the mt4g and tb are both made by HTC.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:42 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Manufacturer and model

It wouldn't surprise me to see the camera features on the MT4G Slide expand further. It's already on the Amaze 4G as well on T-Mobile.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:47 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
Just to point out that the mt4g and tb are both made by HTC.
Maybe it should be better to say Android smartphone photo quality can vary from model to model. Obviously with the MT4G, HTC made camera quality a priority. It came out 4 months after the TB, so improvements in various hardware could be expected.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:18 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Maybe it should be better to say Android smartphone photo quality can vary from model to model. Obviously with the MT4G, HTC made camera quality a priority. It came out 4 months after the TB, so improvements in various hardware could be expected.
I would agree with that. I have a tb and the picture quality isn't great either, though acceptable. In the case of the tb, they should've focused on the software more, considering their latest Mr over 6 mo after release still had a vm notification problem that had already been known for several months. There are other examples too, but that belongs in another thread. The one thing that helped me in lower light settings was to force the flash on. Doesn't give the natural look, but better than having a blurry picture.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:11 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

this is why i went back to iphone. i have to stay on AT&T and not going to play choose the phone until i find one with a good camera
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Old 10-14-11, 11:35 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
this is why i went back to iphone. i have to stay on AT&T and not going to play choose the phone until i find one with a good camera
Isn't that what reviews are for? Are you saying that you don't read reviews of phones before deciding to buy one?
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Old 10-14-11, 11:53 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

seems like almost everyone on the android forums is rooted and the camera is not that big a feature for them so you have to spend a long time finding just the right post.

the official reviews are suspect a lot of times
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Old 10-14-11, 11:56 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
seems like almost everyone on the android forums is rooted and the camera is not that big a feature for them so you have to spend a long time finding just the right post.
I don't know what rooting has to do with the camera, but whatever. Are you suggesting that iPhone forums have a large quantity of objective camera reviews?

the official reviews are suspect a lot of times
How so? Are you referring to specific review sources, or just in general?
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Old 10-14-11, 11:59 AM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

thank you, i'm now convinced to go return my iphone back to apple and go buy the HTC whocareswhatitscalled
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Old 10-14-11, 12:00 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

What really frustrates me is how great the (pre) pic looks before you snap it, then the next 2 seconds are a shitty representation of what you thought was going to be a great picture.

Here is a pic I took with my Blackberry:


...and here is a pic I took with my Thunderbolt:


The difference is staggering.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:04 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
thank you, i'm now convinced to go return my iphone back to apple and go buy the HTC whocareswhatitscalled
What? Thank you for validating the quote in my signature


Originally Posted by dvdsteve2000 View Post
What really frustrates me is how great the (pre) pic looks before you snap it, then the next 2 seconds are a shitty representation of what you thought was going to be a great picture.

Here is a pic I took with my Blackberry:


...and here is a pic I took with my Thunderbolt:


The difference is staggering.
I imagine there is an actual hardware difference, but in this case I imagine the lighting has a lot to do with the difference since one is outdoors in the sunlight versus indoors where it looks dimmer.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:05 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

to be fair, one is in natural light outside whereas the other is inside in artificial light. that's going to make a big difference with any camera.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:09 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I imagine there is an actual hardware difference, but in this case I imagine the lighting has a lot to do with the difference since one is outdoors in the sunlight versus indoors where it looks dimmer.
True, but there was also movement in the BB pic, and the TB pic was actually the 3rd one I took (and best of the 3) in a steady, well lit environment. I posted the Swedish Fish on Facebook as a 'subliminal advertising' joke, but it's even hard to read "Please Buy Them".
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Old 10-14-11, 12:14 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
What? Thank you for validating the quote in my signature




I imagine there is an actual hardware difference, but in this case I imagine the lighting has a lot to do with the difference since one is outdoors in the sunlight versus indoors where it looks dimmer.
photos and games are the two features that apple is hyping now because that's what people use the most

it was either the 3GS or the 4 where someone realized that 30% of all new photos on flickr where taken by iphones and not cameras. the iphone percentage is a lot higher now.

the paper specs may say 8MP, but the iphone will take the best pictures out of all smartphones out there. we've already seen how the 4S spanks all the other phones with better paper specs on benchmarks
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Old 10-14-11, 12:15 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

OK, here's a better comparison. Both taken indoors under fluorescent lighting:



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Old 10-14-11, 12:24 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

dvdsteve2000 - I don't use phones to take pictures, so I am not going to step into the review mess above on which phone is better/worse discussion. (note - I am also NOT a professional photographer)

Just a quick couple general comments for you

1 - Mega Pixel is meaningless with regards to taking a good picture. I have an old canon S series camera (prob 10 years old now) that is 3MP and will take a better 'looking' picture than many of the 10 + MP cameras of today. The lens and CCD in the old S series canon were/are high quality.


Your comment about the pre-snap quality leads me to this conclusion on ISO

2 - See if you can find in the instructions in the phones anywhere what the max ISO setting is for the cameras. The higher the ISO, the less clear the picture will turn out (high ISO = grain and lack of sharpness) It is ideal to take all photos at ISO 100 if you can (generally the camera's auto setting will default to 100 ISO in bright sunlight and usually go to the max for the camera in low light (indoors, 400, 800, etc, will make a photo grainy and will show more artifacts in the picture). You can play with the settings on most cameras (not sure about phone cameras) to make the settings a little more favorable to a 'good picture' where most default settings are there to make sure it can always take a picture no matter how crappy.

There are a couple posters here that are really into photography (I forget their names at the moment) maybe one of them can chime in and further explain. What you can and cannot improve all depend on what settings the camera phone will let you adjust yourself. If all it has is a pre-programmed auto mode and you can't make any adjustments to the settings, you won't ever get a better picture from it IMO
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Old 10-14-11, 12:47 PM
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Re: How can a 3.2mp camera take better pics than 8.0mp?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
photos and games are the two features that apple is hyping now because that's what people use the most

it was either the 3GS or the 4 where someone realized that 30% of all new photos on flickr where taken by iphones and not cameras. the iphone percentage is a lot higher now.

the paper specs may say 8MP, but the iphone will take the best pictures out of all smartphones out there. we've already seen how the 4S spanks all the other phones with better paper specs on benchmarks
That's nice? As usual, most of what you said is entirely irrelevant to what we're talking about.

And I think it might be arguable about the iPhone having the best pictures. As was said previously, the camera on the MT4G Slide and the Amaze probably gives it a run for the money, and potentially the Galaxy S2. Oddly enough, my girlfriend prefers the pictures on my Vibrant over her iPhone 4.
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