What are the features of a smartphone camera?

Modern smartphones come with cameras either at the rear or front. It is important to understand what each of the means and how useful they can be.


Image Signal Processor (ISP)

The Image Signal Processor (ISP) is an important aspect of a digital camera. It is part of the silicon within a smartphones chip-set/CPU and in conjunction with the phone’s software and OS provides additional enhancements and special effects when both capturing images and to the pictures once captured.


Megapixels are used to measure the resolution of images taken by a smartphone camera. Some smartphones camera has good mega pixel by having larger pixels within the CMOS Sensor to capture more light, contrasting with a high-resolution CMOS sensor that has smaller pixels and therefore captures less light. Higher megapixel images allow ‘cropping’ of the original image without losing too much detail.

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

The Image Stabilization system helps to eliminate camera shake and produce a better quality image. And the Image Stabilization system comes in electronic Image Stabilization system and optical Image Stabilization system. Some phones camera successfully uses Digital OIS, but the best phones use a mechanical Optical Image Stabilization system.


Modern smartphones have an internal autofocus system, which is not on the external Lens Covers but in-built into the camera of smartphones. Only autofocus cameras allow shooting of close objects.

Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF)

PDAF is faster to focus that Contrast Detection Auto Focus (CDAF) and gives a sharper photo. PDAF technology uses paired masked pixels on the image sensor. It is designed to do what the human eyes do. The ISP adjusts the camera lenses until both images are synchronized with each other and the subject deemed to be in focus.


HDR stand for High Dynamic Range. It is the amount of luminance in a scene. HDR comes in handy when you are taking shots of scenes where you have lots bright light or darkness such as sunrise, sunset, night scenes.HDR or High Dynamic Range attempts to add more “dynamic range” to your photographs.


Main/Rear and Front/Selfie Cameras

  • Main/Rear Camera is the camera at the backside of a device. And it is also reoffered to as the primary camera of a device. It is the camera that has most of the features like LED flash, HDR, Panaroma, etc.
  • Front/Selfie Camera refers to the front-facing camera system. The lens or lenses reside on the front of the phone or within a forward facing pop-up camera housing. Additional hardware and software can be combined with the selfie cam to provide sophisticated face recognition capabilities. The Selfie Camera is also used for video conferencing applications.

See also: WLAN (Wireless Land Area Network)

Ify Onuoha

I can't imagine a world without mobile phones.