“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” - Alfred Stieglitz
Everybody seems to have a smartphone but not everyone uses them in the same way. For some, their phones are just for making calls and sending messages whereas, for others, there’s so much more to them than that.
There's the facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and also the camera.
There’s some stiff competition between Android and Apple smartphones and each model is vying for its place in the market so when it comes to megapixels, selfies, zoom, and cameras, which smartphones are the best?
Let’s have a quick look at some of the best smartphones for taking photos.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
“Photography is about a single point of a moment. It’s like stopping time. As everything gets condensed in that forced instant. But if you keep creating these points, they form a line which reflects your life.” - Nobuyoshi Araki
Who hasn’t heard of the iPhone?
Apple’s new iPhone is even more advanced than its predecessors, especially when it comes to photos.
For this model, photography is at the forefront of its design. There have been interesting developments, especially in terms of the camera, which makes the device far more powerful when photographing.
What better way to get the best snaps?
Be it the powerful zoom, ultra-wide-angle, or normal snaps, this new smartphone offers superior quality photos. After all, that’s what you want out of a camera.
This model’s ultra-wide camera (new on this model) makes all the difference. Be it in wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle, the results look professional and are very simple to achieve.
There’s also the low light mode which activates automatically. The Smart HDR Mode will help you to increase shadows, lighting, and details on faces, which is great for subjects with glasses.
In short, this phone is versatile and takes some of the best photos you’ll see from smartphones.
Huawei P30 Pro
In comparison, this phone is very versatile in terms of photos both during the day and at night. Its three-sensor camera with 8-megapixel sensors include a ToF (Time of Flight) sensor and offers great colours.
The front-facing camera takes clear and detailed photos and is great for selfies!
There’s also ultra-wide-angle modes and a 10x zoom. The Portrait mode works great with the three sensors and is comparable to some of the better digital cameras. It’s great value for money.
The triple-sensor setup is what makes this device so powerful and a great smartphone for taking photos.
Find out more about the different photo modes on smartphones.
Google Pixel 4 XL
With two 12.2 megapixel sensors and a 16-megapixel telephoto sensor, this smartphone is great at taking photos. After all, the competition is pretty stiff and each model is trying to stand out.
The Pixel 4 takes similar photos to the others. However, we have to mention the portrait mode that works as well with the front-facing camera as it does the main camera. The AI is in its element here as it helps to improve contours.
The best part?
The macro mode which allows you to capture close-up details. Night mode also works really well and enables you to take photos at any time of the day.
While the wide-angle isn’t as impressive as the one on the Huawei, this Google smartphone is still a good investment.
First search engines and now phones?
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Samsung smartphones are always up there when it comes to the best on the market and the camera on this one with its 4 sensors (the fourth being a TOF) puts it in serious contention. There are 12-megapixel telephoto sensors and a 16-megapixel wide-angle sensor.
The best thing is the Bluetooth S Pen stylus which can be used to take photos when you can’t reach the device or even draw on the photos. This is a fun and versatile smartphone that takes great photos, especially in wide-angle shots.
A class above the S10, which already set the bar really high, when you take photos, they’re sharp, colourful, and beautiful.
Even at night, the photo quality is really good thanks to the Night Mode. This mode clears up your shots and can be used in conjunction with normal, ultra-wide-angle, and telephoto modes. Now you’ve got no reason to be afraid of the dark.
Finally, when taking selfies, this phone is great because the 10-megapixel sensor offers great results.
In short, this Android smartphone is great for showing off your skills as a photographer.
Ready to go?
Google Pixel 3A/3A XL
As we saw earlier, Google is more than just a search engine. This web giant also makes phones and the Google Pixel 3A and 3A XL come with some great cameras built-in.
Both of these phones are useful for taking professional-looking photos. You don’t need to spend a fortune and these models are quite affordable given the quality they offer.
In fact, these smartphones are great value for money, especially for those on a fairly strict budget. The cost of the Google Pixel is one of the best things about it.
There’s a 12.2-megapixel sensor with Dual Pixel technology. This helps to make the autofocus more powerful, especially in portrait mode. The result is clean photos.
Perfect for your first smartphone for photography.
Check out these tips for improving your photography.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10
Last but not least is the phone of a thousand faces. The 5 cameras include:
- The main camera: 108-megapixel ultra-high-resolution camera. f/1.69.
- Portrait camera: 2x optical zoom, f/2.0, dual pixel autofocus.
- Telephoto camera: 5 megapixel, 50x digital zoom, f/2.
- Ultra wide-angle camera: 20 megapixels, f/2.2.
- Macro camera: 2 megapixels, macro zoom shooting.
The ultra-wide-angle allows you to take photos of landscapes and groups of friends.
The macro camera is great for close-ups of small objects like insects. Thanks to its five cameras, this phone is incredibly versatile and will do almost anything asked of it.
These are just a few of the smartphones on the market but as you can see, many manufacturers are focusing on photography with their offerings. Now there’s very little between “real” cameras and the cameras on your smartphones. You’d be surprised at just how good the photos are from devices that are supposed to be for making calls.
When it comes to taking pictures with the digital camera on your smartphone, you'll be surprised at just how good the camera lens is and how you can get better photos by changing the settings for the shutter speed, white balance, depth of field, and aperture.
Furthermore, there's plenty of editing software available to retouch your photos after the fact. Of course, you want to get the most out of your photography when taking the photos so try and get the most out of the natural light available, use a tripod if your photos keep coming out blurred, and consider aspects like composition and the rule of thirds before you hit that shutter button.
If you'd like more help with photography, there are many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof who'd be willing to help you. There are three main types of tutorial and you can choose the one which best suits your preferred learning style and your budget.
Group tutorials tend to be the cheapest and best for those on a budget as all the students in the tutorial are sharing the cost of the tutor's time and expertise. However, this does mean you'll get less one-on-one time with your tutor and the lessons won't be tailored to just you and what you want to learn.
Online tutorials tend to be slightly more expensive than group tutorials but are just between you and your tutor. This means you can benefit from tailored lessons and learning programmes as well as enjoying the tutor's undivided attention throughout your tutorials. However, without the tutor physically being there with you, it can make certain hands-on aspects of learning a little bit more difficult.
Finally, face-to-face tutorials have the benefits of the previous two types of tutorials without the drawbacks of the tutor not being there or there being other students in the tutorial vying for your tutor's attention. If you want to learn with these types of tutorials, however, you will have to pay more than the other two types as you'll be paying for your tutor's expertise, travel costs, and all the time they put in outside of your tutorials to ensure that they're tailored to you and exactly what you want to learn about.
Think carefully about which type is best for you and discuss all this with any potential tutors before hiring them!
Learn more about photo modes on smartphones.