Can someone show me an example of what a 1.3 megapixel picture should look like?

I’m trying to figure out if I’m doing something wrong, as I’ve never had a camera phone before. I got a new phone with a 1.3mp camera and the quality is so bad that you can barely make out what the picture is supposed to be. And when I send them to my computer they are no bigger than they are on my phone. I’ve been seeing large, clear cell phone pictures on the internet for years. Are they just significantly better than 1.3mp or what?

It’s more about the quality of the camera – especially the lens – than about the sheer size of the picture. On this page is a 250,000 pixel picture, i.e., about 20% of your 1.3 megapixels. But it’s reduced in size from an 8 megapixel picture taken on an SLR camera with a good lens, so it’s going to be better than almost anything taken on a cell phone.

Very very few devices are as low as 1.3MP these days so this would suggest it is old. And that in turn would suggest low quality.

A 1.3 MP picture can look fine It would be 1280x1050 which is as big as a high-res monitor.
This is 1.3 meg. (Taken at 8MP and then resized) (when viewing make sure your browser does not auto-resize images. Modern ones do by default. If it is, click the image to show full size)
Plus your phone’s settings might not actually be set to full quality. Most phones have settings that range as low as 640x480 and extremely high compression (resulting in much lower visual quality) check your phone’s settings.

Right, the quality of the final picture will have a lot to do with the quality of the image sensor, the lens, the ambient lighting, the compression type used, and a number of other factors.

A 1.3 mega pixel picture will likely be close to a resolution of 1280x1024. That’s better than a single 720 HD video frame, so at the very elast you should be able to “tell what it is”.

Is there a lot of noise? A lot of compression artifacts? Can you take a pic and give as an example?

Here is an example of an actual mobile phone pic…

Lower quality, but I can still make things out.

And in that last pic you can see how the lens, the poor quality light sensor, the lack of image stabilization and the lower ambient lighting level all come together to create a slightly out of focus, noisy, blurry picture. But you shouldn’t really be expecting much more out of a cell phone camera.

I took this one with my cell phone, which has a 1.3 megapixel camera. This one, too, but it’s kind of dark.

I like both pictures: they could be brightened up a bit by using any one of a large range of image editors, but apart from that they are fine.

Example. It’s supposed to be my wife and our dog. And that is not the thumbnail; that is the “full sized” version. The thumbnail is smaller.

That’s about 10,000 pixels (86 x 115 pixels), so it’s less than 1% of what your phone is supposed to give, apart from being far too dark to see anything much.

Well it’s 86 x 115, or 9890 pixels (.01MPixels), so that might be your problem.

That’s definitely not a 1.3 megapixel image. How are you getting the picture off of your phone? If you’re sending it to yourself in a text message or email, there’s a good chance your phone or provider is “helping” you by downsizing it to something of “reasonable size” for such messages. Some systems’ definitions of “reasonable size” was set back when camera phones were barely capable of taking a picture like the one you post here.

If your camera has the ability to save the pictures on a removable card like a MicroSD or the ability to connect to your computer via USB for transferring pictures, try that.

Yes, I am sending it by email because I don’t have the usb cable or the memory card, so that could very well be the problem. Thank you.

The only concern I have is that it looks like hell on the phone too, even though it’s set to “1.3mp mode” and the quality is at its highest setting.

How did you get it off your phone? Did you send it as an MMS or SMS image? If so they have to be drastically reduced.
Or did you plug your phone into your computer physically and download the image off it?

Edit: I see you already answered that.

What kind of phone is it?

It’s an LG Rumor.

I meant to quote this earlier for truth. I have several pictures from my cell phone that I use in my wallpaper rotation on my computer at home.

this one?

Wow, that looks like a pretty decent phone. I should maybe eat my hat for saying that 1.3 is old. Perhaps I am just someone who’s used to high MP because of the particular phones I’ve had. My previous was a 3MP Nokia N73 and my current is a 3.2MP HTC Touch Pro. So maybe some phones place less emphasis on the MP and more on the other features of the phone.

Chances are - the picture is sat on your phone at 1.3MP (as big as your monitor if it is set at 1280x1024) but the software in your phone is reducing it to make it send faster.

Do pictures you take in sunlight or really well lit rooms look as bad? do you have an example of a well lit shot?

I looked at the information in the picture and it indicates the picture is currently the size it was originally taken at. I think your bad pictures are all a matter of bad focus or movement on your part. Do you have a speed option? Try a faster speed or rest your hand on something when taking the picture. Your auto focus could be focused on something other than what you want focused too.

Lobsang, it might be a country difference. I think unless you are buying a high-tier phone with all the bells and whistles, you’re probably going to get something around 1.3 megapixels right now.

(I work for a cell phone manufacturer - one that makes low and mid tier phones, and 1.3MP is very common around here.)