Why should I buy a smartphone with a 48 MP camera

For a long time, manufacturers have introduced devices with 12 or 16-Megapixel cameras. Improved aperture, increased pixel, implemented optical stabilization, but it’s time to go a different way. New trend has been noticed 48-Megapixel camera. Sony and Samsung have released such a module (IMX586 and ISOCELL GM1), they are widely used by manufacturers now.

Many were skeptical of this, since the processors of the devices not yet support such a high resolution, unless you consider the Snapdragon 855. However, let us remember Nokia, which has previously released Lumia 1020 with 41-Megapixel camera. The Snapdragon S4 Pro did not support such a resolution, but the company has managed to somehow circumvent the restriction. Probably the same workarounds used by manufacturers today. For example, Snapdragon 660 in Redmi Note 7 supports resolution up to 25 MP, but Xiaomi managed to introduce a 48-Megapixel module.

These cameras are much larger in size than standard, however this can be avoided if you make the pixels small. The modern 48-megapixels camera uses a technology called pixel binning where adjacent pixels are combined into one. Each camera pixel has a certain size. Combining the pixels in one, you can significantly increase the size of the resulting pixel and the output several times to get more light.

The technology used in the LG G7, Huawei P20 and Pro Mate Pro 20. The LG flagship with a 16-Megapixel camera at the exit were given 4-MP shots, and P20 20, and Pro Mate Pro with 41-Megapixel camera gave out 10-MP shots. The first smartphone with this approach was HTC One M7. Its 4-Megapixel camera though, and had low resolution, but due to the large size of the pixels in the image to get high-quality.

The modern 48-Megapixel cameras each pixel has a size of 0.8 micron, which is significantly less pixels in the cameras current flagships (Galaxy S9 1.4 micron, and the OnePlus 6T 1.22 microns).

However, if you use technology binning, combining 4 pixels into one, we get the equivalent of a 12-Megapixel camera with a pixel size of 1.6 microns, which is significantly better than that offered by current flagships. Due to this, even some budget smartphone with such a camera can take pictures better than the flagships.

Besides, it’s not forbidden to take a photograph without binning, in this case, the picture will be very clear, but less bright. Sony, for example, has compared a 48-Megapixel camera with the usual 12 MP:

Compare Redmi Note with 7 Poco F1 (due to the larger pixel pictures Note 7 is much lighter and have more details):

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