Megapixels and Your Smartphone Camera

Sky, Clouds, and Chimney captured with iPhone 4S

I have a 19" SizzlPix hanging in the kitchen at the TDS Studio. The image was captured with my iPhone 4S. It looks great.

I don't normally make big prints from my smartphone camera. Typically I share them on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and here on The Digital Story. But it's good to know that if I wanted to make a big print, I could. And at 8 megapixels or more, I can.

After 8 megapixels, the conversation turns to quality of image. That's the holy grail of digital photography: the better the quality, the more options you have.

"Clouds, Sky, and Chimney" captured with an iPhone 4S and processed in Instagram

In a terrific article over at DP Connect, How many megapixels do you need?, they break down the math that leads us to the 8 megapixel minimum for serious smartphone photography. It's an excellent post that you should read.

Those of us who shoot with iPhones are hoping that Apple's approach to the redesigned camera in the new 5S lives up to their marketing. On paper it looks good: Increase the size of the photo sites, improve the lens, beef up the processor - that's a proven formula for better image quality.

If I had to choose between better image quality and more megapixels, which would I prefer? I'm going with image quality. I don't need bigger files; I want better files. We'll know soon enough. I have my iPhone 5S ordered, and it will arrive next week.

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