August 21, 2018

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Parkland Shooting -

Friday, March 2, 2018

California Flu Crisis -

Friday, March 2, 2018

‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Upcoming Movies -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upcoming Season of Baseball -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Black History Month -

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Review -

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

Friday, February 23, 2018

Badminton season launches into action! -

Friday, February 23, 2018

LimeBike Takes Over! -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend Highlights -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Megapixels aren’t the Whole Picture

The question “how many megapixels does it have” is many people’s easiest way to judge whether or not a phone camera or DSLR is competitive or not. There are many different factors that can contribute to camera quality, megapixels being only one of them. A megapixel is made up of one million pixels, and the more megapixels a camera has, the more detail it produces, meaning a larger picture. But what use do megapixels have? And what else makes a camera good, or not?

Think of megapixels as the size of a picture. For example, if there was a painting, the megapixels would be the total area of the canvas. The highest resolution displays on most smartphones these days have only about 4.2 million pixels, or 4.2 megapixels. Lower resolution displays, such as the iPhone 7, have only 1 million pixels. So, if you’re only taking pictures that you will view on your phone, 5 megapixels will be more than enough in most cases. If you want to take pictures for large prints, however, higher resolutions like 24 or even 36 megapixels may be ideal.

But as said above, megapixels are only the size of the image. What else determines whether a camera can be considered good or not? For smartphone cameras, one of the biggest factors is the phone’s post processing, or how your phone edits a picture immediately after you take it. For example, the physical sensor and optics in the iPhone 7 and 7+ may seem lacking compared to modern Android phones, but Apple’s excellent post processing makes up for the iPhone’s slightly inferior optics.

In some cases, however, post processing isn’t enough to save a picture. Sometimes a camera’s dynamic range simply can’t capture all of the colors in a scene. Dynamic range is how much detail your camera can capture in the brightest and darkest parts of a picture. The smaller sensor size in smartphone cameras, compared to DSLRs, severely affects how much dynamic range your smartphone camera has.

Smartphone companies realized that although post processing might not be able to recover the brightest or darkest parts of one image, they can combine multiple pictures and use the information from all of them. HDR mode takes multiple pictures, all at different exposures: some brighter, some darker. Your phone then combines the information from these pictures and stitches them together to make an image that has significantly more dynamic range than just one picture. Try it yourself! Go to an area where you can get dark shadows and the bright sky in the same picture. Shoot one picture in normal mode, and one with HDR on. You’ll see that the sky is not as blown out and the shadows are slightly brighter than on the first picture you took.

Take some time to figure out all the features of your camera. Even smartphone cameras these days are good enough in many situations – for example, I can take a clear picture of the Milky Way with my HTC 10. Smartphone cameras are geared towards convenience, giving you the power to quickly snap a picture whenever you want. But if you spend a little more time looking around menus and different modes, you may find something that pushes your smartphone or DSLR photography to the next level.  Don’t worry about megapixels, think about the other things that can make a camera great.

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