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See this pic, and why 4:3 AR has more MP than 16:9? This is my Moto G4 Plus's default camera app.

enter image description here

3 Answers 3

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The aspect ratio has nothing to do with megapixels. Part of a 4:3 image are removed to get a 16:9 resolution, that is why a 16:9 image has less pixels.

Aspect ratio

The purple rectangle is your 4:3 picture, and the green rectangle is the 16:9 picture cropped out of 4:3 by the software. 2 megapixels are just removed from an original photo.

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Glossary of Digital Photography Terms :

Megapixel: A megapixel contains 1,000,000 pixels and is the unit of measure used to describe the size of the sensor in a digital camera.

Aspect Ratio: Aspect ratio refers to the shape, or format, of the image produced by a camera. The ratio is derived by dividing the width and height of the image

You can think of aspect ratio as size of picture and Megapixel count ( in relation to aspect ratio) as the area or number of pixels contained in that aspect ratio

Camera sensors in Android phones are rectangular . Android camera sensors are usually at default 4:3 ratio and in this they capture maximum Megapixels.

16:9 is not bigger than 4:3 area wise and this setting facilitates capturing photos which is more aesthetic in certain situations. 16:9 is actually a smaller area than 4:3 hence results in lesser pixels ( it is cropped by software). The sensor resolution is the same in both cases, it is just that 16:9 has lesser pixels due to cropping

Picture Source

enter image description here

That explains the difference in Megapixel count

Aside, the first two settings (with higher Megapixel count) are for the rear camera and the other two for front camera. The Megapixel count is lesser for front camera since it's resolution of lower ( invariably the case with mobile phones)

When to choose 4:3 or 16:9?

4:3 ratio is better for quality and prints, whereas 16:9 is more suited for landscape / wide screen viewing on phone or casting to a TV. A 4:3 aspect ratio means that for every 4 inches of width in an image, you will have 3 inches of height. In mathematical terms, that comes out to the screen being 33% wider than it is high. A 16:9 aspect ratio means that for every 16 inches of width in an image, you will have 9 inches of height. Unlike the 4:3 aspect ratio, a 16:9 aspect ratio is 78% wider than high - Source

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It all depends on the aspect ratio of the photographic sensor included with the device. Sensors come in all sorts of sizes and aspect ratios. Common aspect ratios include 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1.

If the sensor's aspect ratio is 4:3, then 16:9 images will not use the entire sensor. Similarly, if a sensor's aspect ratio is 16:9, then 4:3 images will not use the entire sensor. The other current answers, although both partially incorrect, include excellent images demonstrating why this is the case for 4:3 sensors, and you can create a mental image of why this is also true for 16:9 sensors.

Your device apparently has a 4:3 aspect ratio sensor. If you prefer higher-resolution photographs with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you will have to buy a different device, preferably one with a 16:9 aspect ratio sensor.

Generally speaking, something close to 4:3 aspect ratio is preferred for prints, but something close to 16:9 aspect ratio is preferred for viewing on smartphones, tablets, and modern widescreen televisions. This is because, historically, printing was more commonly performed at aspect ratios closer to square (with 3:2 being very common), whereas digital screens have gotten much squatter over the years due to manufacturers making them closer to the aspect ratio found in movie theatres over the last half-century (much to the dismay of those of us who prefer 4:3 aspect ratio for computer screens!).

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