The Best Smartphone Cameras for Mobile Video & Photography
A few years ago, photography used to be synonymous with SLRs, while photoshoots required full cam and lighting set-ups. But all that’s changed. In today’s Instagram-driven world, tech has been forced to adapt and become more mobile, leading to the smartphone as we know it: with camera capabilities so great, virtually anybody can get into mobile video and photography.
But with all these products in the market offering the same photography innovations, how do you know which is the best smartphone camera for you? Luckily, we’ve narrowed our list down to five.
Google Pixel 3
While other smartphones have innovated their rear cameras to have dual lenses, the Google Pixel 3 has stuck with one — a powerful one at that. The Google Pixel 3 boasts of a dedicated Pixel Visual Core chip backed with AI software, both of which work hand-in-hand to adapt to any scenario and analyze how the photograph should look, resulting in stunning shots with almost every click. Even pictures taken in low light come out looking great.
All that said, what really sets the Google Pixel 3’s 12.2MP rear camera apart from others is the consistency of its shots. Each picture comes out slightly brighter and sharper compared to the ones taken with its competitors, but not in a way that makes it look overprocessed.
Its front-facing camera, on the other hand, has a dual lens, giving you great portrait mode selfies with a nicely blurred background.
- Pro: Awesome night mode
- Con: Single lens rear cam
- Perfect For: Low-light lifestyle shots
We have to give it to the iPhone: all camera phone innovations started here. In fact, no one will argue with us when we say that you can always expect to get a great camera when you get an iPhone. But in today’s camera phone game, is it still the best in the market?
Though a lot of people would argue on the answer, what’s certain is that the iPhone XS has the best iPhone camera to date. Aside from the enhancements made on its software, its camera packs a powerful 12MP dual lens (one with an aperture of f/1.8 and the other with f/2.4), allowing you to focus on a subject and blur the background beautifully.
What’s really impressive is that one of those lenses is a telephoto sensor, meaning you can get great details in your shots even at a far distance. Both lenses also happen to have an optical image stabilization, which should comes in handy when shooting videos for your ‘Gram.
- Pro: Best top-range performer
- Con: Pricey
- Perfect For: Shooting IG Stories on the fly
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Much like the iPhone, Samsung has been consistently coming out with great camera phones as well. And just like its main competitor’s current hero, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Plus boasts of a dual lens camera — with two 12MP sensors paired together creating Samsung’s Dual Aperture Technology.
Its main sensor packs an aperture of f/1.5, which makes for amazing low-light shots, perfect for nighttime photography. The other sensor is at an f/2.4, which takes care of the overexposure that can happen in brightly lit scenes.
Thanks to its two-cam set-up, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Plus is also capable of taking portrait shots with its Bokeh Mode.
- Pro: Great auto mode
- Con: Pricey
- Perfect For: All-around point and shoot set-ups
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
If Huawei teaming up with photography powerhouse Leica isn’t enough to convince you, then maybe the fact that it has not one, not two, but THREE rear lenses — a 40MP, f/1.8 wide-angle lens, an 8MP, f/2.4 3x telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide 16MP, f/2.2 lens. All together, they allow you to take super-wide-angle shots and super-detailed macro shots with one camera phone.
While the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s 3x telephoto lens lets you take shots from amazing distances, what really stands out is its Portrait Mode — the bokeh effect you can get out of the camera of this phone is unparalleled.
- Pro: Triple camera set-up
- Con: Some overprocessing on photos
- Perfect For: Getting those details on product shots
LG G7 ThinQ
If it isn’t evident yet, a number of camera phones on this list packs more than one camera on its rear — but only LG G7 ThinQ uses its two sensors in a way that’s significantly different.
Both cameras boast of 16MP that are more than capable of giving you great snaps, but unlike with the other camera phones that focus on portrait or bokeh shots, the combination of the two allow you to take great wide-angle photos.
While the overall quality of this camera isn’t quite on par with the others available in the market, if you’re looking for a great wide-angle mode, then the LG G7 ThinQ is for you.
- Pro: Superb wide-angle shots
- Con: Not a lot of features
- Perfect For: Taking amazing landscape images