Why and how do “bigger pixels” make a better picture?

This is going off of today’s iPhone 5S announcement, when Phil Schiller said that “bigger pixels” is the key to a better picture.

apple says bigger is better
other parts are larger too

  1. What does this mean?
  2. Is it true or just a marketing ploy?

5 Responses to “Why and how do “bigger pixels” make a better picture?”

  1. Nick says:

    It’s all about catching the light that comes in as accurately as possible.

    It’s fairly simple, with a bigger surface (per pixel) you will catch more light and be able to make a more accurate representation of that light in the end-result.

    It is true that the photo’s will be better, but just 15% per pixel isn’t spectacular. So it’s marketing as well. Nokia has done a similar thing with their PureView. Downsampling 41 Megapixels to 5-10 megapixels will also dramatically decrease noise-levels. Nokia’s PureView will be superioir to this if you ask me.

  2. Håkon K. Olafsen says:

    The main idea here is that bigger sensor yields better picture (if the sensors use the same technology). What Apple have done is to increase the sensor size, and by keep the same number of pixels each pixel will have a higher signal-to-noise-ratio, resulting in a better picture.

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