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How Good Is A 13MP Phone Camera? (Surprising Truth!)

If you’re planning on buying a new phone, a high-quality camera will most likely be at the top of your list.

Since not all phone cameras are made equally, you may be pondering:

“Just how good is a 13MP phone camera?

13 megapixels undoubtedly has the makings of a decent camera, and depending on your photography needs it may be plenty sufficient in the specs department!

However, as important as megapixels are, other features such as lens and sensor quality are also crucial and should be considered carefully when choosing a phone for its camera.

This article will go to great lengths in discussing the importance of a high megapixel phone camera, including whether a 13MP camera is up to the mark overall or not.

Let’s get into the details!

Is A 13MP Camera Good For A Phone?

android camera zoomed in

In most situations and for most general users, a 13MP camera is a sufficiently high-quality camera for a phone in most cases.

Overall, megapixels always matter and are an excellent place to start. A camera with lower megapixels will deliver photos with fewer details.

Anything less than 13 megapixels may be an issue as the photo resolution will of course be tinier.

As a result, you will see more pixelation when you zoom in on a photograph.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that quality is not limited to megapixels. A camera’s quality also depends on its software, lens, and sensor.

Before deciding on a phone camera, it’s essential to consider what you’re planning to do with it.

If you always use a full-frame image rather than enlarging and cropping, a 13MP camera may be just what you need.

On the other hand, if you tend to do more digital zooming, you may need something with a larger resolution.

In these cases, acquiring a decent DSLR camera or mirrorless camera can help you avoid optical artifacts in your photos and is something to consider when looking at camera features.

Many phones will claim a higher pixel count, although this does not actually drastically affect the resolution.

It’s important to note that the photo potential of a small camera is not the best, even after considering the additional resolution. The physical size of a unit tends to determine the result.

Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that if you want to take super high-quality images, a 13MP phone camera might not meet your needs.

If this is the case, you’ll need to get yourself a good system camera, either mirrorless or DSLR, and learn to use it properly.

How Many Megapixels Makes A Good Phone Camera?

taking a photo of the city top

There are phones out there with cameras that have a lot more than 13 megapixels.

At the same time, some flagship phones from well-known companies barely go past twelve or sixteen megapixels. Even with lower megapixels, these phone cameras still produce incredible photos.

The amount of megapixels that determine the quality of a camera generally depends on two things:

  1. What you want to do with the photos, and
  2. The camera type you prefer.

If you mainly keep your photos to yourself, or print and share them with your loved ones, you shouldn’t need a camera with an exorbitant amount of megapixels.

However, suppose your phone photography is more than an occasional hobby.

If you plan on selling your photos or to make big posters and prints, you may need a camera with sixteen megapixels and above due to the greater clarity of detail.

What Makes A ‘Good’ Camera?

woman taking a picture

Variety Of Features

A ‘good’ camera for most people means that it has a variety of features that are easy to operate.

Such cameras will allow you to program them to perform grunt work; for instance, configuring focus and ISO setting exposure.


Good cameras often include those with easy-to-use adjustments and features. Furthermore, good cameras allow you to quickly access and initiate different features, hence solving popular photo issues effortlessly.


Good cameras generally have a button devoted to each of the crucial controls.

Compared to lower-quality cameras, this is an essential feature, as it minimizes the frustration and struggle of accessing different settings.

Many lower-quality cameras will only have one button to access additional features. As a result, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re doing to find the setting you need to adjust.

In contrast, good cameras keep all the adjustments in the menu for easy access!

Do Higher Megapixels Mean Better Quality?

taking a photo with an android phone

No, higher megapixels don’t automatically mean better quality.

The quality of the camera’s lens and the sensor is equally important, and influences the quality of the photos taken.

Therefore, even with a lower megapixel camera, you will get clearer photos than with a higher megapixel one if it has a quality sensor and lens.

Remember that as the pixels increase, the area size of the sensor gets smaller. As a result, you will need a higher precision lens and sensor.

As such, if you do get a smartphone camera with fewer megapixels, you will need to ensure that it has a decent lens and sensor.

There have been instances where the megapixels of phone cameras from popular brands have become lower with the release of newer models.

Thus, if you currently have a phone with a quality camera and lens along with higher megapixels, the chances of you getting a better camera when you upgrade are slim.

Therefore, if you already own a good smartphone camera, it might be best to stick with it for as long as possible!

So, when considering a phone camera, a quality lens and sensor should be high on the list- even more so if the camera has a high megapixel count.

Situations Where You May Need More Megapixels

two men taking a selfie

Megapixels may be more necessary if you want to crop the photos that you’re taking.

In this case, an additional factor to consider when searching for a camera is its optical zoom.

A camera’s optical zoom functions alongside digital zoom, and will let you frame a shot without pixel cropping.

Optical zoom does not negatively affect the quality of an image, mainly because the same amount of pixels is captured as the image is magnified.

On the other hand, digital zoom will digitally magnify an image.

Alternatively, you can also use editing software to zoom in on pictures instead of using digital zoom.

These are great tools to use since the outcome will most likely be the same (or even better)!

In Conclusion

So, how good is a 13MP phone camera?

Depending on what your specific photography requirements are, it should be decent enough for everyday situations.

However, as important as megapixels are, it’s also important to consider other features such as lens and sensor quality.

Since both of these features affect the quality of your photos, you shouldn’t ignore them when considering your next phone.

When deciding on a phone camera, the most important thing is getting that perfect photo per your requirements.

Modern smartphone cameras have a plethora of features to help you take excellent, high-quality pictures. Therefore, ensure you don’t pick a phone camera for its megapixel resolution alone!

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