About Camera Phone Picture Quality

Most cell phones have a built-in camera, but that does not make them camera phones. The picture quality taken with a cell phone camera is limited by the megapixels, lens size and quality, camera sensor and the fact that components used must be small. If you take Nokia camera phones as an example, most Nokiaīs use 1.0 megapixels or less rather than the 3.0 or 4.0 megapixels common for digital cameras.

Why are Digicamera Pics better than Camera phone pics?

We have come a long way when it comes to camera phone picture quality, but image sensor companies and camera phone makers must work their way down a long to-do list before camera phones are to make competitive headway against standalone DSCs (standalone digital still cameras).

Challenges for camera phones include enabling them to take better pictures in low light and adding features without compromising the phone's thin profiles or increasing its cost. Somebody once said that "camera phones have about 20 times less space to work with, and they need to cost 20 times less". Anyway, picture quality will improve, but maybe the effort to turn a camera phone into a high-end DSC isnīt going to be worth an effort?Kodak draws a distinction between the two products by calling camera phones "a photo-capable device" and DSCs "a photo-taking device."


Cell phone manufacturers are using megapixels as a marketing trick for camera phones. If you really want to know more about the quality of the pictures you cannot rely on megapixels only. And do not rely on example pics supplied by the manufacturer. These pictures are for marketing the camera phone and they have been taken in ideal conditions propably never found in real life. Camera phones are very sensitive when it comes to shooting conditions (light etc.).

Today 2 and 3 megapixel image sensors are beeing used in midrange camera phones, but that alone doesn't guarantee better pictures if the lens systems is mediocre. A good sensor can still produce poor pictures if the lens is cheap or the raw data is mishandled. Image-sensor processor algorithms are also very important on camera phones as they can compensate for bad optics.


Most camera phones are equipped with fixed plastic lenses and only some camera phones are equipped with autofocus glass lenses that produce much better pictures. Without autofocus pictures get easily blurred if the target is close or far away.Autofocus is usually considered too big and bulky for phones and it also costs more. An autofocus lens is also more easily broken and dropping a camera phone from 1.5m might brake the autofocus lens.

Software and chips

When lens and optics quality is mediocre picture quality can be improved with other means. As an example by applying optical-encoding technologies one can decode an optically encoded out-of-focus image to turn it into a sharp image in an increased depth of field.