Do you know India has become the second-largest smartphone-selling country in the world?
A sheer number of brands are available in the market offering unique features. Thus making it almost impossible for the customer to decide. They have to spend hours researching the best smartphones, comparing the price & features with other brands.
There is no denying the fact that smartphone cameras are often compared with DSLR cameras these days. Cameras are the first and most important feature that a customer looks into when buying a smartphone. One can easily buy a brand new smartphone ranging from INR 4000/- to 1 Lakh or above.
Noticing the customer’s behavior, most smartphone manufacturing companies have started focusing on improving photography features.
In this brief article, we have discussed the key technologies that you must look into for smartphones. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran in the photography world, this guide will help you make the right decision. Also, find out some basic camera terminology that might seem jargon to you.
Let’s get started!
Features you must look for in a good camera phones
#1. Operating system: iOS or Android?
Things will become a lot easier if you know about the operating system you wish to invest in. As you already know that there are two types of operating systems:
- Apple’s iOS
- Android ( manufactured by dozens to hundreds of companies)
Both of these operating systems come with pros and cons. iOS is restrictive and limited to Apple devices only whereas Android is flexible and comes with more customized settings. But if you compare the performance, speed, and user experience, iOS is way more refined than Androids.
#2. Camera modules
When buying a smartphone, the camera is the other most important factor that a user looks into.
Despite front-facing & back cameras; smartphones are equipped with multi-functional cameras these days. The image quality obtained through the inbuilt camera is compared to DSLR cameras.
Most of the flagship companies are more focused on improving the camera quality. Even medium-range smartphones come with at least 3 to 4 cameras these days. Most of the camera modules come with in-built ISO control and camera control option.
3. Camera Lenses & Zoom
Different types of camera lenses are used to obtain professional kinds of images with special effects such as bokeh, aurora, and more. It includes a wide-angle lens, ultra-wide lens, portrait lens, telephoto lens, traveling lens, and much more. All of them differ in parameters of focal length and aperture. These hi-tech camera lenses offer better aperture that is not even found on small digital cameras.
4. Optical Image Stabilization
To minimize the shaking effect while clicking pictures. Without this feature, any movement sensed by the camera lens can spoil the captured photos and videos.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
This camera feature helps shoot video and images with better shadow and highlights or better say dynamic range. This mode won’t give the best results when you are walking and taking multiple shots. For best shots, capture landscapes in sunlight or heavily backlit views.
5. Filter Options
Make sure your high-end camera features slo-mo, panoramas, video, square cropped images, bokeh with selective focus, and other effects.
6. 4K Video Resolution
Modern smartphones with large storage capacity are featuring video of 4K with 60fps for smoother footage and better video quality. Whereas the less expensive mobile phones can give a maximum video resolution of 1080p or 720p.
smartphones with LED flashlights can’t reach distant objects. Although it is not the most sought-after feature as it’s not needed in daylight and auto flash mode gives quite satisfactory results. But if you are looking to buy a camera that can deliver sharp and bright images in night mode, then make sure the phone comes with a dual LED light flashlight.
8. ISO Control
Go to the advanced camera setting to check whether the ISO control feature is available or not. In low-light scenarios such as caves, dark rooms, or gigs, this feature allows the camera to get more sensitive to light.
9. Focus & Shutter Response
Check the shutter response( frames per second) and how much time your phone takes to focus when buying a smartphone. These parameters reveal the quality of images captured in moving situations. If you are a social shooter, also look for autofocus, smile detection, and face-priority AF features.
10. Screen Size
After all, it’s you who is going to hold the phone and use the phone for the upcoming 2-3 years. So make sure to buy the phone with a screen size you are comfortable with. A bigger screen will give you a bigger viewfinder and shutter release.
High-quality screens are usually made up of high-resolution gorilla glass which means they are scratch resistant. To stay ahead of the competition, many phone manufacturing companies are emphasizing chinless and notchless designs.
11. Sensor Size
Sensor size is another essential factor that determines the quality of the image obtained through the smartphone. Although sensor size is not the only factor, image quality can also be obtained using computational technology. Sensor size may vary in different smartphones. Even the camera modules in a single smartphone use different sizes of sensors.
The Larger the sensor size the better will be image quality. So if you are planning to buy a smartphone with multiple cameras, make sure at least one camera uses the larger sensor size.
12. Focal Length
You might have noticed a number or text next to your camera lens. Well, it represents the focal length or the maximum aperture of the lens.
The more the focal length, the lesser will be the wider view. Cameras with larger focal lengths are best for taking selfies or portrait images.
Whereas a camera lens with a small aperture allows more light rays to enter the camera lens, and vice-versa.
13. Camera apps
Although all smartphones come with pre-installed camera apps. But you can still download the various third-party camera apps for more features and special effects. When it’s to android phones, these apps give better results than in-built camera apps.
Whereas iPhone users prefer sticking to native camera apps for a high visual, HDR experience on their iPhones.
14. RAW Image Format
Unlike JPEG format, this uncompressed image format carries a lot of information about the captured view. For obtaining high-quality images, we suggest using RAW image format. As it features more color options, brightness levels,s and limitless processing options.
15. Camera2 API
Not every smartphone can process raw images. So, make sure you have a smartphone that features Camera2 API. We recommend the following apps:
for Android users: Open Camera or Camera FV-5 Lite
For iOS users: Camera+ 2
16. Mega Pixel Quality
One must pay attention to this parameter to determine the possible image quality. The high-quality sensor size along with megapixels are combined together by buyers to check whether or not the phone can deliver high-resolution images.
No matter how many megapixels your phone camera offers? It’s all wasted if the phone doesn’t feature a better-quality sensor. For example, The iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 1.7µm pixel size. What’s worth noticing is, it can still produce incredible images, even in dim light conditions.
We hope your search for smartphones with good cameras ends in this blog post. You can save this checklist to buy a smartphone offering all these features. Obviously, the price will go up for smartphones with more features. So do consider your budget when buying the smartphone you really like.