Is a 13MP Camera Good Enough for Smartphones?

is 13mp camera good

Camera quality is one of the biggest things to consider when choosing a new smartphone.

But what does it mean when it says “13MP”? Is 13MP good?

Read on to understand all you need to know.

What does 13MP camera mean?

“13MP” means that a camera has a resolution of 13 megapixels.

Resolution is the number of pixels on the camera’s sensor and 1 megapixel equals 1 million pixels.

What does 13MP camera mean?

Are more megapixels always better?

Not necessarily.

Higher megapixels are good because it means:

  1. You can have good detail in images, even if you zoom very close into something within the photo. If the pixel count is too low for this then what you will see will lack definition.
  2. You can crop into a part of a photo and extract that as a standalone image. This is only possible if the MP is high enough.
  3. You can print out your photos in a much larger size. This is important as an image with a low MP camera may look great on your smartphone screen but make it bigger in a photobook or print it out to frame on a wall and the quality will reduce.

However, higher megapixels can also have downsides:

  1. Too high MP can reduce performance in low-light. This is because the pixels are too densely packed and then are less good at collecting light. This is a particular problem if you are planning to have a go at smartphone astrophotography.
  2. Large file size. High MP photos need more storage space which you need to pay for in some form. Quite often a high MP is unneeded unless you are going to print the photo out.
  3. Cost: Smartphones with more megapixels cost more.

13MP Camera Quality

A smartphone with a 13MP camera will be good enough for almost any purpose.

The most up-to-date iPhone (at the time of writing) is the iPhone 14 and it has a 12MP camera.

How Many MP Does a Good Camera Have?

We looked into the best phones for astrophotography and found that they have between 12MP and 108MP.

Remember, higher is not always better but smartphone manufacturers know that it is a great marketing point to have the highest MP of any phone.

I took this photo with an 12.2MP Google Pixel phone and you can really see the stars clearly in the night sky:

How Many MP Does a Good Camera Have?

(Note, I had to reduce the resolution from 3024 x 4032 to 500 x 667 to put in this article or else it would have been too big – this illustrates an example where too high resolution can actually be a problem.)

Separately, we also looked into how many megapixels you need for astrophotography with a regular DSLR or mirrorless camera.

We found that around 20MP to 30MP cameras were the most successfully used. That might sound low if you see that some smartphones have over 100MP, so head over to that article if you want to understand more on this.

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Anthony Robinson is the owner of Skies & Scopes and has been practicing and writing obsessively about astrophotography and astronomy since 2017. He has written for Amateur Astrophotography and Dark Sky Travels magazines and has been featured or quoted in Forbes, Yahoo!Life, Digital Camera World, Peta Pixel, and many other publications.


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