Best Camera Phones: 2,021 Reviews, Best Smartphones for Photography
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Even for photographers, choosing a camera phone can be a stressful process. There are endless amounts of stats and varying abilities to compare, and it will most likely be an expensive purchase. The good news is that with each new generation, phones continue to push the boundaries of what they can do, with some even rivaling professional-level photography. We’ve broken it down into a few key things to consider when choosing your next camera phone and picked our top four for this year.
What are the best camera phones?
Sensor: While other aspects of a camera can get all the attention, the sensor is vitally important. This is what captures the light that enters through the lens and helps create the best possible image. Generally, the more light a sensor can capture, the better your photo will be. The higher pixel count means the more light each pixel can capture, so go for a 12-16MP sensor.
Opening: Once light enters the lens, it is the aperture that varies the amount that reaches the sensor. When you press the shutter button to take your shot, the variable aperture lets light in through the lens, and the more light that passes through, the better the image quality you’ll get. A wider aperture range means more options for the types of photos you can experience.
Zoom: For distant shots this is crucial, but can often be difficult to manage at full zoom, resulting in a blurry, pixelated image that is difficult to stabilize. There are two basic types of zooms: optical and digital. Optics is a physical process that involves the mechanical movement of parts inside the camera to magnify your subject. Digital also grows, but is done using algorithms, by cropping the image already present to make you appear closer to the subject. And although it has improved considerably in recent years, digital can still sometimes lead to unwanted grain.
Video: If video shooting is what you’ll be doing the most, make sure your phone can capture (at least) 4K video at 1080p. The standard resolution for online video is constantly changing, but 4K UHD still looks crisp on streaming sites.
Front camera: While they are more often than not as beefed up in features and quality as the rear cameras, don’t forget the front camera if you take a lot of selfies and live broadcasts. The megapixel count of a front camera is most often less than 32MP, but can expand to 64 and even beyond, like Samsung’s insane 200MP.
Other: Don’t forget things like digital image stabilization, which lets you take a sharp photo even with shaking hands, and night mode for shooting after the sun goes down. For photographers who do a lot of post-production editing in photo software, having a phone that takes photos in RAW format is beneficial for really capturing every little detail (but takes up a lot more storage space). If you’re not a pro, don’t worry – most phones today have editing software with lots of built-in features.
1.iPhone 12 Pro Max
Imaging performance is exceptional here, taking crisp and beautiful photos in Smart HDR 3, with a built-in LIDAR scanner and depth control on the Super Retina XDR display.
This houses three 12MP sensor cameras on the back: Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto, with 5x optical zoom and one of the best night modes we’ve tried, especially in portrait.
Autofocus is instantaneous and stabilizes the camera sensor instead of the lens. The videos are also beautiful, in 4K Dolby Vision HDR up to 60 fps.
2.Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung S21 Ultra delivers superb picture quality, with a high resolution 64MP multi-lens camera and a 1.33 ″ 12MP sensor.
It had a smooth user interface that was easy for beginners and had all the tools a pro needs. Their spatial zoom approaches up to 30x, with 100x telephoto zoom and optical image stabilization that kicks in immediately. Dynamic range is detailed here, capturing the right ratio of light and dark in the frame.
Video is shot in superb 8K, 4320p at up to 60 fps, with stability that compensates for unstable conditions like taking photos from a car or bus.
3. OnePlus 9 Pro
Co-designed by Swedish camera maker Hasselblad, the Quad Camera system on this beast features a 48 MP main camera, 50 MP ultra-wide camera, 8 telephoto MP and a 2 MP monochrome lens. Photo quality was not an afterthought when it came to creating this smartphone.
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, it’s perfect for action shot photographers, taking non-blurry photos with a smooth and fast interface on the 6.7 inch QHD + screen.
Charging is also super-fast at 65W wired, sometimes getting a full battery in as little as 15 minutes. Everything is packaged in a slim and sleek unit with the classic Hasselblad logo imprinted on the case.
4. Google Pixel 5
Much like its predecessor, the Pixel 5 still excels in camera quality and ease of use.
Night Sight makes shooting in the dark simple and clear, and Portrait Light makes your subjects shine in studio-quality conditions. The ultra-wide lens is also great for putting everything in the frame, whether it’s landscapes or group shots.
The display is smooth and smooth, and the battery life was also remarkable, lasting up to 48 hours thanks to the Extreme Battery Saver.
Google’s phones are compatible with multiple carriers and work worldwide, making it a great phone for travel photographers as well.
5. Moto G stylus
Want something that’s wallet-friendly and easy to use? We love this Motorola phone.
The 48MP triple camera system takes crisp, colorful photos in any lighting condition using Quad Pixel technology, and the autofocus calibrates itself fairly quickly.
A stylus is included for pinpoint precision when writing, drawing, or editing, and the 4,000mAh battery can last two full days on a single charge. It’s a durable phone that can take up to a few nicks and knocks without worry.