Lens aperture is increasingly up there with megapixels when it comes to the camera specifications that smartphone makers like to boast about, but what exactly do those numbers mean? Here we look at what aperture is, how it works, and what it means to your smartphone photography.
Aperture is essentially an opening of a lens’s diaphragm through which light passes. It works much like the iris and pupil of an eye, by controlling the amount of light which reaches the retina. A bigger aperture hole lets your smartphone camera sensor gather more light, which it needs to produce quality images.
The size of a lens aperture is described by its F-number, which is calculated using the lens focal length to the diameter aperture. As such, a larger F-number refers to a smaller hole, and therefore less light getting through. This is why smartphone camera manufacturers brag about larger apertures, with smaller F-numbers.