Need a camera phone? Are you planning to change your smartphone and want it to serve as a portable camera at the same time? In the following article you will learn what to look for when buying and which models are currently dominating the market.
Smartphones are now a truly universal tool – they have long been used not only for calling, but also for navigation, paying in stores or just taking photos. Although smartphones will not replace fully professional photographic equipment, they certainly declassify many cameras from the lower price range.
I would like to point out right away that if you need a cellphone that will not only have strong components, but also a sensational camera, you definitely need to prepare a little more cash. Of course, in cheaper models you can also find satisfactory equipment, but in the article below I will focus on the absolute top of the market, although there will also be some budget options so that everyone can find something for themselves.
What should a camera phone look like?
The quality of photos and camera functionality in the most modern smartphones mean that digital cameras no longer make more sense. What to look for when it comes to the camera phone? At the beginning, we will discuss the list which will include several smartphones signed with the Huawei logo. Some may find it a bit controversial due to the fact that their phones lack Google services, but personally, I think that it is not as much of a problem now as it was even a year ago.
Of course, one of the most important things a good camera phone must have is the best possible components. Equipped with such sub-components, they are usually also characterized by a much more advanced camera technology, which has a significant impact on the quality of photos. The processor and the system optimization will play a significant role here, so apart from the lenses themselves, this parameter should be taken into account.
Number and type of lenses
Does the number of lenses really matter so much? Phones such as the iPhone XR have proved that not necessarily, but it’s more about functionality. In the above-mentioned model, for example, there is no wide-angle lens, so fans of landscape photo shooting will be disappointed, but the photos taken with it are better than, for example, the four-lens Huawei P40 Lite. Each lens has a different application – one of them will be responsible for the macro, the other for the zoom, and thanks to the third you will capture a bit more field than on the others.
Megapixels – Do They Matter?
It has been assumed that the more megapixels in a camera, the better it is. Is this a wrong statement? Not at all! Of course, this could mean less noise or better color rendering, but it is not necessarily the case. Above a dozen or so megapixels, the difference will only be visible in a large printout or a huge zoom on the screen, so most users usually will not even notice what the difference is, because the photos they take usually end up in social media or store them on the phone / disk. The best example of the fact that megapixels do not matter much will be, for example, phones from Apple. because such an iPhone 11 Pro has a camera with a matrix of only 12 Mpix, and the quality of the photos speaks for itself.
Brightness and aperture value
Another element that many buyers do not even pay attention to is the aperture value, i.e. a parameter that characterizes how much light is transmitted into the camera. The higher this number, the “darker” the lens becomes.
Currently, in smartphones, the main lens usually has an aperture of f / 1.8, and the next lenses from f / 2.0 to f / 2.4. This is a relatively low value, also photos in the evening time should be fine, but if you want the best effect when shooting at night, then you should look for equipment where this value will be even lower.
Phone for photos – TOP 10 smartphones for photography
You have to mention it again – a good phone for photos will not be cheap, but if you want the most versatile smartphone, you are probably ready to spend a little more money on such equipment. Below is a list of smartphones that, in the opinion of experts, are considered the best for photography and, in addition, are easily available in our country. Here is our smartphone ranking for photography.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Probably it will not be a surprise to anyone that the list is opened by Huawei equipment. Mate 40 pro is currently one of the best, if not the best, camera phone available on our market. This model is impressive in terms of dynamic range, providing a lot of brightness even in low light, which many flagships are currently struggling with.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro has three lenses on the back and two on the front. The main camera in Huawei Mate 40 pro has a large 1 / 1.28 inch sensor, its resolution is 50MP, and the width is 23 mm. The maximum aperture value is f / 1.9. Photographs taken at 12MP resolution are taken with a focal length of 27mm. In the case of a wide-angle lens, the sensor is 1 / 1.54 inch, the resolution is 20MP, its width is 18 mm, and the brightness of the aperture is f / 1.8.
The last lens is a telephoto lens, characterized by a 12MP resolution, 1 / 3.56 inch sensor, 125 mm focal length (wow!), Which translates into a 5x zoom. Of course, it is also darker than the others, as the brightness of its aperture is f / 3.4, which is still a good result.
When it comes to filming, the Huawei Mate 40 pro is doing really well in this regard. Excellent noise control, great stabilization, as well as smooth and fast autofocus make shooting movies a pleasure.
Huawei P40 Pro
Another phone on the list is Huawei again! This time a little older and a bit worse model, because the P40 Pro, whose image quality from the main camera, just like in the case of its younger brother, is almost perfect in all its attributes. It has a few problems with color reproduction, but it makes up for it with excellent white balance, noise reduction, great image from the ultra wide angle lens, as well as sensational video clips.
There are 4 lenses in the P40 Pro. The main camera has a 1 / 1.54 inch sensor, characterized by a 40MPix matrix, 18 mm wide, and the aperture brightness is f / 1.8, which gives slightly worse results than the Mate 40 pro, but it is still sensational.
When it comes to the ultra-wide angle lens, its sensor is 1 / 1.28 inch, the aperture value is f / 1.9, the resolution of the matrix is 50MPix, and the width is 23 mm if we take photos in full RAW resolution, or 27 if in JPEG. The third element is of course a telephoto lens, very similar to that of the newer model, because it is 125 mm wide, with a 12MPix matrix and f / 3.4 aperture. Unlike the Mate 40 pro, the P40 pro also has a 4th lens that is responsible for depth detection and improving autofocus at shorter distances.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Podium closes the equipment of the company from Cupertino, i.e. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. The quality of photos taken with iPhones does not require much recommendation. 12 Pro Max is primarily instant autofocus, great detail, as well as a very good color rendering.
Apple is also a leader in terms of preview when shooting, because the end result is very similar to what we see when taking a photo. The dynamic range could be faulted, but “mobile” photographers should be happy overall. A big downside is the lack of a larger zoom, so if you care about it, this phone is definitely not for you. iPhone 12 Pro Max is also excellent video quality – perfect colors, low noise, great image stabilization, these are the features characteristic of this model.
There are three lenses on board, the arrangement of which has once met with a large number of memes, but how do they fare technically? Each of them has a matrix with a resolution of 12MP. The main element is 26 mm wide and the brightness of the aperture is f / 1.6.
In the case of the ultra wide angle, the sensor is 1 / 3.6 inch, the width is 13mm and the brightness is f / 2.4. The telephoto lens is characterized by a 1 / 3.4 inch sensor, 65mm wide and f / 2.2 aperture, also although the zoom is not as big as in the Huawei’s, it will do better at night.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
It’s time to go back to Android. The fourth place in our ranking is taken by the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, whose camera is characterized by a really good exposure, great reproduction of details, sensational white balance, and a very good color rendering. There are some complaints about the ultra wide angle lens which is decent at best. The quality of photos taken with it during the day is only fine, and the lack of cooperation with the night mode makes it difficult to take photos with it in the evening hours.
This phone has four lenses. The resolution of the matrix in the main matrix is 108MPix, and its sensor is 1 / 1.33 inch. Its width is 25mm and the aperture value is f / 1.69, so we deal with a fairly bright lens.
This smartphone is also characterized by two telephoto lenses – short and long. The first is a 12 MPix matrix, a 1 / 2.6 inch sensor, 50 mm wide and f / 2.0 brightness, while the second has 8MP, 1 / 4.4 inch, 94mm and f / 2.0 wide. the size of 1 / 2.8 inch, its width is 16 mm and the brightness is f / 2.2.
Oppo Find X2 Pro
It’s time for Oppo! Find X2 Pro is definitely one of the best models that the Chinese manufacturer has to offer. Excellent autofocus, a very good wide-angle lens, accurate color reproduction – definitely a very good phone for photos. In this case, unlike the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, the main problem is the telephoto lens, which sometimes fails enough to be replaced by the main sensor.
The smartphone has three lenses on the back. The main one has a matrix with a resolution of 48MP, large at 1 / 1.43 inch, and its aperture has a value of F / 1.7, so with such a specification you can safely expect satisfactory results. The ultra-wide angle lens is also characterized by a 48MPix matrix, but a big one at 1/2 inch and an aperture of f / 2.2. The third lens allows for a 5x zoom – the resolution of the matrix is 13MP, the sensor size is 1 / 3.44 inch, and also quite a lot of brightness, because F / 3.0.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
You missed your Samsung on this list? You’re welcome! Although the S21 Ultra was released at the beginning of the year, the previous model has an advantage over it in terms of the camera. Very good exposure, well-rendered colors and well-rendered details make it one of the best phones for photography.
It is worth praising this model for its wide eye, as well as the bokeh in portrait mode. The 4k recording mode is also great. However, it is not perfect. When deciding on the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5g, keep in mind that it has problems with close-range zoom, and low-light autofocus does not work very well.
As for the lens specifications, the main unit has a sensor with a resolution of 108 MPix, 1 / 1.33 inch large and 26mm in diameter. The brightness is f / 1.8. In the case of a wide eye, it is 12 MPix, 13mm wide, brightness f / 2.2.
In the telephoto lens, however, we are talking about 48 MPix, a width of 103 mm and brightness at f / 3.5, which is relatively dark, but without a tragedy. Ca compact lens is a depth of field sensor – here 0.3 MPix and brightness f / 1.0
iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple last year’s model, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. Superb color rendering and detail quality, again a great preview mode, an excellent video mode, a very accurate exposure, and the wide-angle mode is commendable. You can attach to, for example, the yellow glow present in weak, warm light, or to not very detailed photos taken with a flash.
What exactly is on the back cover? All three lenses, just like in this year’s model, have a matrix with a resolution of 12 MPix. The main size is 1 / 2.55 inch, the width is 26 mm and the aperture value is f / 1.8. In the case of an ultra-wide-angle lens the lens is 13 mm wide and the aperture is f / 2.4, so again we deal with a fairly bright wide eye. The matrix in the telephoto lens is large at 1 / 3.4 inch, the lens is 52mm wide, and the brightness value is f / 2.0.
OnePlus 9 Pro
Recently, OnePlus phones have become more and more popular in our country, so they could not be missing from this list. OnePlus 9 pro, despite a false start (the smartphone camera at the very beginning worked tragically and gave very poor results), it is praised for the well-devoted detail of photography, as well as the ability to deal with low light. The ultra-wide angle lens fares not too badly, as it does not cause the distortion typical of these lenses.
As for the main camera, it uses a matrix with a resolution of 48 MPix and a size of 1 / 1.43 inch, a lens wide at 23 mm and bright at f / 1.8. The ultra wide-angle module is a 50 MPix matrix in the size of 1 / 1.56 inch, 14 mm focal length and light at f / 2.2. In addition, we also have a stable telephoto lens – here 8 MPix, 77 mm wide and brightness at f / 2.4.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5g (Snapdragon)
Unusually newer smartphone model from Samsung’s stable, it fares slightly worse than its predecessor, but it is still a solid phone for photos. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is able to capture beautiful photos and make great videos – it can be praised for good exposure and vivid colors, but unfortunately it loses (just like the S20 Ultra 5G) on slow and sometimes sloping autofocus, a lot of noise with low lighting, as well as problems with white balance.
What’s on board? The main unit has a matrix with a resolution of 108 MPix, and a large 1 / 1.33 inch focal length 24 mm wide with a brightness of f / 1.8. The ultra-wide lens is 12 MPix, 1 / 2.55 inch in size with a 13 mm wide lens and an aperture value of f / 2.2. The phone also has two tele lenses – the resolution of the matrix in both is 10 MP and the size is 1 / 3.24 inch. In one the focal length is equivalent to 72 mm with f / 2.4 brightness, and in the other 240 mm and f / 4.9 – although wide, unfortunately it is terribly dark.
Google Pixel 5
The list is closed by a smartphone from Google itself! Google Pixel 5 is a great solution for people who do not want to spend too much, but want to get a smartphone with a very efficient camera. Although it is a phone that stands out a bit from the competition, it must be praised for its great bokeh and zoom, as well as the ability to deal with noise and good detail.
It is just as good in terms of the exposure itself or the colors. Its biggest problem is the wide-angle lens, which is at best correct. Pixel 5, thanks to really good autofocus and stabilization, is able to create nice effects when it comes to movies.
There are only two lenses on the back – the main one is equipped with a matrix with a resolution of 12.2 MPix and a large one at 1 / 2.55 inch, the lens itself is 27 mm wide and bright by f / 1.7, which is relatively good, especially in this price range. The wide eye is 16 MPix, 107 mm wide and the brightness at f / 2.2 – it looks good on paper, and in practice, unfortunately, it is the same as in the photos below.
We do not say that the above models are the only ones you need to pay attention to when buying a phone for photos – new smartphones are slowly appearing in the country, whose cameras abroad have already been rated as better than even the number one on this list. I hope that this article also helped you choose the right product for you. You can also take good quality photos with low-end equipment, and with the current knowledge, I hope you already know what to look at when choosing.