How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

If you think that a smartphone camera is a simple element, taking pictures, you are wrong. Even if you are sure that it is not as simple as it seems, you are still far from the truth. In fact, it is much harder than it looks. Since the camera is arranged in a modern smartphone?

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

Misconceptions about the complexity of a small camera is largely due to the fact that the times when the camera was only in the most expensive storage devices that are long gone, and now it is even in models for several thousand rubles. Of course, the image quality of the cameras is poor, but the camera is there, and therefore the cost of the module is very low.

Nevertheless, it is worth considering that even the simplest camera can not be composed of an array of millions of tiny cells and the focusing system with mobile elements. Now imagine the size of the smart phone camera module and the complexity of these mobile structures.

The Matrix

The matrix of any camera, along with the optics are fundamental elements of the picture quality. To analyze the beginning of which is precisely matrix.

The basic type of matrix used in modern devices, consists of photosensitive elements assembled into blocks. The more of these elements, the greater the sharpness of images can provide the camera. Of course, there are some variables that nullifies the value of a large number of these elements. This can be a low quality of assembly, bad optics or desire to make the matrix less while retaining thereon the photosensitive elements.

It is worth noting that the very light-sensitive elements can not work without special filters applied to the surface of the matrix. These filters allow only red (Red), green (Green) and blue (Blue) color. Therefore, the system is called RGB.

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

If the element does not get the light of a certain color, then it falls to the neighboring. This is the principle of determining the color of a picture, so the camera and understand what color should be the point. Having collected several millions of pixels (megapixels) together, the processor processes them and collects in the final image.

Interesting fact!

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The size of the light-sensitive cells greatly affects the final quality of the image. Despite the fact that the cell size is expressed in microns, the apparent small difference of a few tenths of a micron is very significant - the greater the pixel size, the better. For example, ZTE Axon 9 Pro matrix has a size of 1 pixel, 4 micron, and if some other smartphone pixel size will be at 0, 14 micron smaller the difference will have a ten.

Also in the picture quality is affected by the distance between the pixels. If the pixels are very small and "crammed" very tight, the camera can be any number of megapixels, but the pictures are bad, and with a lot of noise.

All this is the explanation that the resolution of 40 megapixels is not the most good option. When compared with such a chamber 20 megapixel the same size at the slightest decrease in the illumination level 40 begins to substantially lose mekapikselnaya.


No matter how good was not the matrix, "glass" can negate all the efforts of its creators. As a result, you can get a picture, which will have a high resolution, high resolution, but at the same time, it will never be clear. To address this problem over the optics do not work less than above the matrix.

smartphone camera lens is not for nothing is it called so. This is the lens, as in the case of SLR cameras, just very small. a few lenses used in smartphone lens design. The exact number depends on the manufacturer, but they can be 4, 5, 7, 8, and even more. Each lens is made of special plastic or a similar special glass. Each of them collects the light beam so that it is uniformly incident on the working part of the matrix. The slightest shift of a single lens to a few thousandths of a millimeter can result in a complete unacceptability of image quality.

An important objective criterion is its aperture, or f-number. When choosing a smartphone, if you camera is important, it is necessary to choose the one in which the number will be less, for example, f / 1, 75. It will be much better than f / 2.0, f / 2.2, and so on. It's simple - the lower the value, the higher the aperture ratio and the better the camera is shooting in low light.

Another important indicator is the focal length, but now it has lost its relevance for smartphone cameras. All modern smart phones equipped with cameras, which work perfectly almost any distance from the subject. There is even a model with multiple lenses, able to work in different ways, adding to the basic functions of the camera features a telephoto lens (analogue optical zoom), or vice versa, giving the ability to shoot panoramas.

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

In the majority of smart phones outside of the entire structure is covered with a sapphire crystal or its other robust varieties. Because the slightest scratch on the glass may deprive camera ever being able to do good shots.


From the name of the function it is clear, for which it is responsible. At the dawn of kamerostroeniya for mobile devices are not equipped with auto focus, it was not so bad, and allowed to photograph panoramas or objects in their background, having a sufficiently large depth of field. But time passes, and it is necessary to introduce new features.

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

So there was a basic element that allows to improve images. Currently, it has three main types. The first is the contrast. The essence of his work is reduced to finding the optimal focus, to make a sharp image of all or any part of it selected by the user. For such a system, no matter how far away the subject. The second type is called a laser autofocus. It works only on small distances and combined with other systems for more complete coverage of the distance range. He is able to determine the distance to the subject and adjust the focus adjustment under it.

The third type is called a phase autofocus. For its implementation provided additional sensors that allow the camera to get more data to adjust the focus.

The most advanced smart phones on the move are able to integrate the work of different ways to focus and even provide continuous autofocus, adjust to the change in position of the object.

image stabilization system

Aside from the software stabilizing method, which has significant disadvantages as crop the picture, and works mostly only during the work with video, there is also an optical method.

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

To implement the camera has a special mechanism. It focuses on the gyro readings and by a special drive allows you to change the position of the camera module. As a result, it does not remove completely, but compensates for shaking hands, allowing you to make video smoother and sharper images, even at relatively low light levels.

In the most advanced smartphones work integrated systems. This allows for even greater image stabilization.

The white balance sensor

For a more precise and more natural color picture camera equipped with a color sensor.

Any type of light has its own color temperature, and falling on the object, it is reflected in different ways. The human eye perceives this is normal and can be adjusted, but the camera work with such difficult changes.

How does the camera smartphone? Just about the complex

The white balance can be shifted manually, but it is better to entrust this automation, which has now developed to such an extent that virtually no mistakes and eliminates the need of manual controls for more shooting convenience.

The number of modules

Nowadays smartphones with a camera module produced only very confident or very low cost producers. Even relatively inexpensive models are already equipped with two camera modules.

In this there are lots of advantages. The most obvious of these is that they can have a different focal length settings. For example, ZTE Axon 9 Pro allows you to capture not only the usual photos, but also the wide-angle - with a viewing angle of 130 degrees. This can be very useful when you need to take a picture of a large company, a large building with a small distance or a panorama of nature.


As you can see, the camera is a modern smartphone is not as simple as it seems. It consists of a matrix with tens of millions of light-sensitive elements with which the information is processed separately, several perfectly matched to each other lenses, miniature sensors and actuators.

All this makes it almost the most difficult element of the smartphone. But it is constantly evolving, because it is no secret that when you buy a smartphone, we by no means the last to pay attention to how it can be photographed.

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