Should a question like this be closed?

What should I look for besides pixel density/count when choosing a smartphone with a good camera?

It was closed because the user didn't list definitive requirements, but that seems like part of the guidance this site should be prepared to provide.

I.e., we are recommending hardware for a purpose. Do we require that all askers already have sufficient knowledge to state the technical requirements that define suitability for a purpose?

Granted, in this case, even though there were already some good answers, the question really was too broad. But the close reason wasn't helpful, so I thought it appropriate to nudge the asker via comment for a little more specificity.


3 Answers 3


These should be on-topic.

Recommendations, while they can work in the SE model, are prone to going without answers. Go check out SR.

It's a good thing if we can include plenty of other stuff in our scope as well; this should be one of those things. It's arguably more useful long-term advice than a simple recommendation, could benefit a lot of people, and gives us the opportunity to share our advice from situations we've been in about how to decide on a certain product.


"Defining requirements" questions should be subject to the same general rules as "selecting hardware" questions. In this case, the requirement isn't that the asker provide enough information to recommend a product, but that they provide enough information to recommend requirements -- their high-level use case and what requirements they've come up with so far.

The question you highlight should be closed, not because it's a "defining requirements" question, but because it's unclear: the asker didn't give sufficient information about what they wanted to do with the camera. For example, one of the requirements for low-light photography (big sensor) conflicts with what makes for a good macro-photography camera (small sensor).


I think they should be on-topic. I don't want to repeat myself, but I should probably link you guys to my answer here: Why is this community not allowed to decide its scope?

However, with that specific question, I think it's too broad. There are a whole ton of things that you can look for, and like I said in the answer linked above, you should be specific if you're looking for whether specific features in hardware are necessary.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .