Are phone lenses actually sharper than most ILC lenses?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,738
Really need to talk about angular resolution

If you ignore megapixels in terms of the sharpness equation, the idea that a lens is sharper because it produces more lines/mm at a given distance is misleading.

Human acuity is measured in lines/degree or lines/radian.

With lenses, reducing focal length and angle of view at the same time means that the number of lines per degree is roughly the same.

The lens itself isn't sharper. It's more or less the same. We just have a smaller projection cone.

So there's no reason why smartphone lenses can't have similar resolution to FF lenses in terms of lines/degree.

But sharpness is not a measurable value of lenses and sensors. It's a subjective opinion about the detail rendered in an image.

In which case, you have to account for diffraction and noise, where cell-phones have more challenges to deal with, purely due to equivalent f/numbers.

In other words, there is a lower limit to the number of megapixels that will render more actual detail.

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"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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