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How to Choose the Best Smartphone Camera

Looking for a new smartphone? We’ve got a quick guide of what you need to consider related to the camera built into your next phone.

In the age of the smartphone, everyone is taking selfies, photos of what’s around them, memories and any other photos they can think of with the press of a button to be stored in their pocket. So why not at least make sure you have the best camera for capturing these important life memories?

Taking a picture with your Smartphone

Today the technology built into smartphone cameras allows you to conveniently take quality pictures. You can also manage, edit and republish in one place, up- and download as well as stream video in real time.

Although smartphone images are good because of the compact physical nature of the phones, they do not quite match the quality of the images you can achieve from a high-end Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera. Increasingly, though, people find the embedded camera in a smartphone satisfies their needs. If, however, you are unwilling to compromise, you will still need to consider purchasing a separate DSLR camera.

Smartphone manufacturers focus their attention on camera features to fit consumers’ needs and price points. The smartphone battleground is no longer general overall processor power. It is equally related to camera performance.

What to look out for in your smartphone camera?

You cannot get away from the fact that good quality images are captured by good quality cameras.

Megapixel myth

Many mobile brands suggest the number of pixels automatically translates into high-quality image output, but, in truth, this is only part of the picture (excuse the pun!). The more pixels your camera has, the more detailed the image and the greater the resolution. For example, 12MP can produce a perfect quality printed image up to 11” x 24”. One thing that a large pixel number does is create large files particularly when shooting video which need to be stored on and off the camera.

Beyond megapixels we think you need to consider other camera features and specifications which you can normally find on the smartphone box packaging or in the accompanying manual.

What are the other attributes to consider?

Sensor

If the processor is the heart of the smartphone, the sensor is the heart of the camera. Its job is to sense light and light is important to create an image. If the sensor catches more light, then it produces better images. Larger sensors capture more light than smaller ones. That is why an 8MP with a larger sensor can outperform a 13MP camera with a smaller sensor. A good sensor will perform and capture beautiful images.

Lens

The lens affects the overall quality of the image. Your choice will depend on where you would use it and for what purpose. In certain smartphones you can find world famous lens manufacturer brands such as Carl Zeiss.

Aperture

The aperture (f-value) refers to the opening in the camera lens controlling the amount of light that travels through. The number indicates the size of the aperture stop. The smaller the ‘f’ number, the wider the aperture which results in a shallow depth of field. For example, f/8 is smaller than f/1.4. If the camera has an f/1.7 aperture, it means the lens opening is wider and more light can travel through than one which has a f/2.2. So, if you like blurring effects such as bokeh in your image, consider the aperture size.

Zoom

The zoom feature is used when you are capturing photos from afar. There are two types of zoom in a smartphone camera: digital and optical. Digital zoom is a software process that simply crops an area of an image and enlarges it, sometimes resulting in a pixelated image. Optical zoom refers to the actual optical lens (hardware) of the camera zooming in to get a closer look at the subject. Thus, an optical lens produces a better zoomed image. Remember, a more powerful optical lens is preferable to an equivalently powerful digital zoom.

 

Are you ready to pick up your smartphone now?

These wont make a hole in your wallet, but have one of the best cameras on phones on the market: iPhone8, Samsung Galaxy S8, Huawei P20, OnePlus 6.

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