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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Use simple terms because I'm kind of stupid.

Why is it that a 10+ year old Fuji 2650 (2 mega pixels) take infinitely better pictures than a new 5 mega pixel camera in a smart phone?

OK, I know the optics are obviously different and one is designed to take pictures while the other has a camera added on as an afterthought.


But silly old me figured 5 is better than 2 and the pictures should at least be similar in quality.
 

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There are two key components; the first is as you stated, the optics. A glass lens is always the best. Second is the actual camera itself....ie the hardware it's built with.

On some phones....cameras are better than others because of the hardware used. The new Samsung S7 ans S7 Edge take breath taking pictures as well as video.

As a general rule, yes....more megapixels is better. But like anything else, it's all in how it built and with what.
 

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One of the main issues with a phone camera, as previously mentioned is the optics. Often a phone camera has cheap plastic lenses that also can get quite dirty if not cleaned regularly. I find I have to clean the lens on my phone every time I take photos with it or the images are "soft" and "cloudy."

The primary function of the phone is communication, and often the camera aspect is not as well implemented as it could be. Different phone manufacturers give varying consideration to the quality of the camera function.

You didn't specify which brand of smart phone you have, so I cannot comment on the relative quality claimed by the manufacturer. They range from very poor to excellent depending upon the quality built in. My $700+ Blackberry gives only "fair" photo/video quality, while a friend's newer iPhone has considerably better photo/video performance at a slightly lower cost. :grin:
 

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I looked up the specs on that model:

ZTE Z753G Paragon (Net10, Straight Talk) Specifications | Smartphone Zero

It is a basic entry level Android with only 1GB of internal RAM. Without an added Micro-SD card (up to 32GB), that can't even store but ONE or TWO photos at full resolution of the camera. Any zooming you do will be digital and would further reduce the photo resolution substantially.

I doubt if any lens add-on kits would be compatible or actually improve your resolution much. I could not find a listing for the camera manufacturer, so cannot comment on the relative quality of that area of the phone.

Many of the newer Android and iPhone units offer much improved camera capability, so that may be a goal you set to improve your phone image quality. :grin:

I carry a Canon pocket digital camera that has 18 megapixel capability and is in most respects equal to my Canon SLR digital camera in performance. I only use the phone camera for taking quick snaps of items in a store (price checks, etc.) or other minor details to e-mail to someone. :cool:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I got it for free so I wasn't complaining too much. Never had one and this is just to play with so it IS my entry level device.

I added the 32GB SD card though, anticipating storage issues. Turns out I can't move Apps there, so it's for music, pictures and other user files.

Not really a big deal since I have the Fuji camera. There is no remote cable release for that one though. I'm getting to the point of jitters so sometimes I need to use a tripod to keep it still, so a remote trigger is becoming necessary sometimes.
 

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If you decide to update your Fuji, look for a model that has vibration-reduction (perfect for jittery hands etc. :wink:) - For remote-release, a lot of new models have wi-fi to connect to a smart-device - An app should be available from the manufacturers that then allows you to control the camera from your smart-phone.

The apps vary from maker to maker, my Nikon allows me to zoom in/out and take the photo but nothing else, others let you adjust other settings too.
 

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Apart from the physical properties of the camera optics, the sensor also defines a lot of how the picture info gets sent to the operating system to be saved to storage media, which is where yet another factor comes into play. The pictures are compressed and the format changed to allow you to see them on your display. The pictures when seen on the phones own display are optimised to present the best that the camera can give however when saved in a compressed format like jpg they may be saving them with a high loss which can be quite noticeable when you look at the photo on a much larger screen. One would think that a 5 megapixel photo would give you a 5 megabit file but if you check you will find that the file size is much smaller and all this is due to the way that the operating system has decided to economise on storage space to allow lots of photo's to be stored in a small amount of memory.

I too thought (years ago) that my 3 megapixel phone would give me a similar photo to my 4.3 megapixel Nikon point & shoot ... I was sorely disappointed especially since I thought that my phone would serve (at that time) as a useful reserve in the event that my memory card would store no more pics.

so the basic reasons why the photo's aren't so good are
1) the lens
2) the sensor
3) the operating system & software
4) data compression to economise on storage space>

There is also a 5th point ..

phones and their lenses are not protected the same way that cameras are. They are stored in pockets and bags full of dust and fluff which gets everywhere even inside the camera. Fingers are frequently hitting the lens area leaving fingerprints and fatty deposits, not to mention that the lens is frequently subjected to rubbing over any & every surface the user places it without thinking, causing scratches in the plastic surface .. things that if it had been a proper camera would be considered taboo .. lens caps protect the lens, dirt & dust are usually avoided and if placed in a pocket the camera is usually found to be placed in a protective bag ..
 
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