Why is it that some phones today have cameras with hundreds of megapixels but advanced DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras have only 64?

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What are megapixels? How do they work? What is the difference between a 64mp mirrorless camera and a 24mp mirrorless camera of the same brand?

In: Technology
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Images are made up of squares of a single color, pixels. A megapixel of course refers to a million pixels, 64 million pixels means 64 million tiny color squares.

>Why is it that some phones today have cameras with hundreds of megapixels but advanced DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras have only 64?

Because not all pixels are made the same. A digital camera has a sensor, this sensor is divided into smaller sensors for each pixel. While phones can have higher number of pixels, the sensors that absorb these pixels are smaller and thus more prone to error. The sensors on the DSLR are not only larger, allowing them to absorb more light to avoid this error, they also take in more light because these cameras have bigger lenses to get more light.

DSLR manufacturers just have little reason to join in these “megapixel wars” since their customers know more megapixels doesnt necessarily mean better.

Digital images are composed of tiny dots called pixels. “Megapixels” is a way of expressing the detail of a digital image in terms of how many millions of pixels are in it. So, all else being equal, the photos from a 64MP camera should be more than twice as detailed as the photos from a 24 MP camera.

The 100+MP sensors on phones generally aren’t used for capturing 100+MP photos, they’re used to produce ~12MP photos that have much less grain in low light conditions using a technique called “pixel binning”. Basically, the sensor captures 100MP of image data but then immediately uses some smart denoising and resizing algorithms to create a 12MP image file.

Along with what the others have said, another reason is that DSLR have acces to a whole library of lenses, including zoom lenses and telephoto. Optical zoom is better than digital, but more megapixels equals better digital zoom. Phones are small and limited in optical capability so the try to compensate with more megapixels.