Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro just launched in India with a 48-megapixel camera — But will that really make a difference to your photos?


  • Redmi launched their new smartphone, the Redmi Note 7 Pro, with a 48-megapixel camera in India today.
  • The price of the Redmi Note 7 Pro start at ₹13,999 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version.
  • However, higher megapixels don’t always mean a ‘better’ picture, but a ‘larger’ picture.
  • While there may be cases where more megapixels make sense, it doesn’t make sense for an average user.
Xiaomi just announced the launched of their 48-megapixel Redmi Note 7 Pro in India today. It's also the first time that a Redmi smartphone will come with a fast charge type-C USB port instead of the usual micro-USB port.

The phone has been launched at a competitive price of ₹13,999 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage— at par with the device's price in the China market where it was launched 2 months ago. The 6GB RAM and 128GB storage version will cost ₹16,999.

While the Redmi Note 7 Pro has all the makings of a good 'value-for-money' smartphone, with a curved glass back and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset, the 48-megapixel camera stands out.

The camera conundrum

Every smartphone brand in India seems to be honing in on the megapixel race from Huawei and their launch of the Nova 4 in December to Samsung and Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor, having plans of launching a ‘48-megapixel’ camera phone later this year.

While there are a lot of reasons to run to shelves and pick the phone that has more megapixels than ever before, there are many more to stick to a camera between 18-24 megapixels. Because after a certain point, megapixels don’t really matter.

Here’s why:

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​Those extra megapixels go to waste​

​Those extra megapixels go to waste​

If you’re shooting on a camera that’s between 18-24 megapixels, then you’re already shooting in 5K resolution. While that may be great, that quality isn’t really transferring to the viewer. Most screens are sub-4K resolution, so anything above that won’t be reflected to an average screen user back at home — or even on your own smartphone screen for that matter.

They won’t be able to tell the difference

They won’t be able to tell the difference

Since the pixels don’t necessarily reflect to the person watching the video, they’re not even going to be able to tell that you’ve switched your camera specs. Experts are of the opinion that the human eye can’t even detect the difference of switching upto 4K resolution.

It’s not the pixels, it’s the sensors

It’s not the pixels, it’s the sensors

If you can fit a 48-megapixel camera onto a phone, it begs the questions of DSLRs aren’t obsolete yet. The answer lies in the sensor size — it’s a little plate right that you see when you unscrew the lens off the camera that actually captures the light and turns them into what we call ‘pixels’. And, the reason that DSLRs are much bulkier is because they house bigger sensors than on phones.

T​here’s a chance that photos might turn out worse

T​here’s a chance that photos might turn out worse

In certain cases it’s possible that a high megapixel camera might actually do more harm than good. The level of detail can work against you since it may cause camera focus errors, motion blur or even show more grain in low light areas.

Also, when you’re condensing a sensor that’s originally big into a size that can fit onto a smartphone, discoloration and noise are possible outcomes.

But, here’s where it might make sense

But, here’s where it might make sense

If you’re kind of photographer or videographer that’s in the habit of cropping your shots, then sure, a higher resolution camera does make sense. Especially if you need something more portable than a DSLR to take pictures.

​From tech term to ‘buzzword’

​From tech term to ‘buzzword’

Even when the Nokia 808 was launched, it had a 41-megapixel camera to make it stand out in the crowd. But, at the end of the day, while more megapixels will give you a ‘larger’ image that image won’t necessarily be as precise.

Rather than focusing on bringing on higher and higher megapixels, smartphone brands should focus on bringing out better lenses and fitting in bigger sensors in order to improve the quality of the images — not just their size.

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