when evaluating the quality of the resulting photos, megapixels are the easiest aspect to quantify. However, this does not mean that it is the most important thing. It is not always the cameras with the largest number that take the best pictures.
Megapixels, important, or marketing strategy?
What are megapixels?
Digital images, that is, the photos we take with a digital camera or smartphone, are made up of small points of visual information.
These points are known as pixels. And, at the moment when they are grouped into millions, we can call them megapixels. We can think, then, that the more pixels we find in an image, the more quality it will have. And this is something that is not false at all.
However, it is not the only factor that influences when it comes to finding good quality.
The important thing is the sensor
The sensors with which photographs are taken in mobile cameras are, in general, very small. This makes the pixels they take also smaller.
As the pixels are smaller, the final quality of the photos is lower than that of an image taken with a camera that has fewer megapixels but is larger. This is the reason why, for example, many SLR cameras do not have such a large number of megapixels, but they take better photos than those of a smartphone.
Other influencing factors
Another aspect that also influences when taking good photos is the ability to manage light. Many smartphones take pretty decent pictures during the day but are capable of taking correct pictures at night. This also depends on the size of the pixels, since small pixels absorb light worse than large pixels.
Depth of field is another important factor. It is the reason why many smartphones are dedicating one of the cameras only to it.
In the end, the importance we place on megapixels is more of a marketing strategy than anything else. Being the most quantifiable element, it is the best way to promote a camera. But it is not the only factor that influences or even the most important.