Camera smartphones 2023: These are the trends

A whole year is ahead of us and there will certainly be a lot happening again in the world of smartphone cameras. In which direction can we expect innovation?

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My 3 theses about the smartphone camera this year

200 MP is definitely a top feature

2022 was the year when a new milestone was set: the first smartphones with a resolution of 200 MP were presented and are even available as Motorola Edge 30 Ultra or Xiaomi 12T Pro.

In this case, 108 MP represented the maximum. While the devices are certainly from the high-end sector, the real camera crackers still prefer to use 50 MP, but then not only with the main sensor, but at least also with the ultra wide angle , sometimes comment on the telephoto camera used.

While 200 MP reads for sure on the data sheet of a smartphone for the uninformed – I don’t have to explain to you that more megapixels inevitably do not go hand in hand with higher image quality.

After all, more pixels on the same sensor surface also means that the individual pixels become smaller. In order to compensate for this effect, more pixels – usually 16 for 200 MP – are combined using pixel binning, which clearly puts the effective resolution of 12.5 MP into perspective again.

The question of the usefulness of this megapixel race therefore arises. There is not even an end in sight. Even 450 MP have already been discussed. However, I am firmly convinced that the mega resolutions will be found more in the upper middle class than in the real upper class in the future.

sensor area grows

As already mentioned, the sensor area is closely linked to the resolution. It has now reached a decent 1 inch in diameter. In the future, smartphones can also compete with one or the other compact camera.

The 1 inch was already cracked in 2021 with the Sharp Aquos R6 and shortly afterwards with the leitz telephone. I warn against many Sony Xperia PROs with a 1-inch sensor, but only read around two-thirds of them.

2022 year old smartphones with 1 inch sensor seen, from Xiaomi 13 Pro, with best chance, this camera technology has spread globally. You don’t have to look deep into the crystal ball to put forward the thesis: more smartphones will be added this year.

But it is probably more exciting what can actually come after that. Do you have a 2023 smartphone that has a sensor larger than 1 inch? Is that even necessary? Or possibly?

A smartphone only has enough space on the back that can be used for the sensors and divided between several cameras. If a camera is given more space, another one underneath it is forced to do so.

Goal become creators

This is the best camera that can be used to detect the sensor. The lens is also not significantly involved in the image quality. Here, smartphones are far inferior to system cameras or even compact cameras due to purely physical disadvantages due to their dimensions, which is why manufacturers have to think about innovative solutions to compensate for them.

Unfortunately, this has been happening slowly so far. There are isolated approaches from different manufacturers, for example to let the lens slide outand they are from Oppo or from Tecno.

Sony also used such a mechanism to accommodate a variable focal length, including real zoom, in a smartphone for the first time. I can well imagine that at least Sony will continue to experiment with it, but also other manufacturers in these water wagons.

I see great potential for Samsung in particular, although the technology is probably not advanced enough for them to want to try it out in a device as relevant to advertising as one of the Galaxy S series.

We got to know Xiaomi as innovations joyful, who were not too bad for any trend. After all, the young cooperation with Leica has already borne the strangest blossoms. There was even talk of Leica M lenses on a smartphone. Will that become a reality this year, if at all? I can’t wait to see them all.


200 MP is reached – now what? The manufacturers have to think of new ways to carry their cameras more quality. Even if there are certainly hardly any technical limits over time, at some point even the last customer will understand that it can’t be about that at all.

Instead, the sensor area will probably play an increasingly important role, in the truest sense of the word. No manufacturer is yet making plans to exceed the magical 1 inch. It’s possible that 2023 will be the year that changes. Then I look forward to creative solutions to give the lenses more capabilities. I would even accept a slightly bulkier smartphone for that.

Last but not least, in my opinion, there will be a lot going on not only in hardware but also in software, if you look at the breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence. AI and smartphone photography have been closely linked for several years, but the generation of fast photorealistic results at the push of a button will soon also have an impact on image production with smartphone cameras.

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