The best camera phone out there may not be able to outclass the best DSLRs or even the best compact mirrorless cameras for pure image quality. Still, the best phone out there for action photographers and casual photography hobbyists alike may be able to do everything a larger camera can do but also have everything a smaller camera can’t. Take the megapixels. A higher number of megapixels means a sharper, higher quality photo. A smaller number of megapixels, on the other hand, can mean lower resolution but you get more bang for your buck.
There are many different categories of camera phone and each one has its pros and cons. For example, a point-and-shoot camera phone can capture an image with just as much resolution as a digital SLR but the device is much smaller and more fragile. Most people are opting for the best camera phone for their individual needs rather than what category they fall into. So which is right for you?
Smartphones vs. Camera Modules. Camera modules have been around for quite some time, but the idea of integrating a camera from one manufacturer into another brand’s smartphone is still relatively new. Smartphones from companies like Samsung and LG offer excellent images, but their predecessors let you take almost any picture and then import them into a stock photo viewer from another program. This limits the types of pictures you can take and only the high end models offer a way to import the pictures on your smartphone.
Camera Performance. The resolution, pixel quality, and optical zoom will all affect how good an image is. Today’s cameras offer excellent image and video quality. And though they’re all a bit more expensive, some of the best camera phone cameras now come with built-in professional grade video capabilities, just like film.
Digital Vs. Mechanical. Most of the digital cameras out there today are much faster and more advanced than those first mass-produced cameras that shipped with home computers. The trade-off is higher megapixels, but it can pay off in a big way by allowing you to take better pictures.
Camera Phone Features
Software Features. Almost all smartphone cameras have a single core user interface and one basic set of software features. But there are tons of add-on applications that allow you to customize your camera or add-on software features. To find the best camera phone for you, check out what kinds of software features the camera includes, and which of those you’d want to have.
Optical Image Stabilization. A major advantage of having an optical image stabilization is that it means that your pictures and videos will be more stable when you change your focus, hold down the shutter button, or are facing the other direction. This can make a big difference when taking photos of moving objects, such as cars driving by, or even people jogging. Some phones come with built-in optical image stabilization, so make sure to check that out.
Video Recording Features. One of the most exciting new features available in high-end smartphones is the ability to record high quality videos at high frames per second. Most high-end smartphones have the ability to record videos at 30 frames per second, but the best ones going for a good five frames per second are worth paying for. The best ones have the ability to compress the footage, so it’s easy to watch on a phone. The best 4a 5g cameras offer the ability to do this automatically, so you won’t have to do anything to achieve an excellent video recording.
Sensor Types. There are basically two types of camera phones: optical and digital. The former uses an internal imaging sensor to gather light, while the latter uses a sensor located on the outside of the unit. The former has a lower pixel resolution, meaning it will take less light to capture an image, but produces high quality images; the latter tends to have higher pixel resolution but produces lower quality images. Digital camera phones with optical sensors tend to be a lot more expensive, but have a lot more features and functions.
Last But Not Least
Lens Type. There are two general types of lenses used in modern smartphones. One has an f/stop that determines the size of the main lens, while the other controls the bokeh effect (how far the background will blur when taking a shot). The main lens should be of good quality, as many phones would be rendered useless with a bad lens. The bokeh effect can be controlled by increasing the ISO setting, or by clicking the shutter speed up and down.