A high-resolution camera with upgraded and inexplicable features has become one of the massive selling points of new-gen smartphones. The smartphone cameras have made remarkable progress in recent years. These come with features including optical image stabilization (OIS), larger sensors, bright lenses, and even optical zoom. Thus, making them all the more better for photography. Adding to these amazing features, premium smartphones are even providing shooting of “raw” images enabling complete control over image processing. All of this kind of gears to give us the finish a DSLR would, normally.

Let us look at the smartphones with cameras giving a equal, if not better-quality image than that of a DSLR:

1. Huawei P30 Pro:

Smartphone CamerasSource

The Huawei P30 Pro is an impressive smartphone that massively improves on the Huawei P20 Pro. There is a triple camera set-up supported by a TOF sensor, 5x optical zoom and a 10x hybrid zoom. To top it all a 4200mAh battery powering the whole thing. There is a decent amount of storage, good AI features, an improved portrait mode and the P30 Pro takes better selfies than the P20 Pro did. Combine this with its smart design, great display, and improved night mode. Here you have got a smartphone worth paying attention to.

Speaking of night photography, the low-light capabilities of the new P30 Pro are very impressive. This is the handset delivering 409,600 levels of ISO sensitivity compared to only the 102,400 that were offered on the P20 Pro.

Camera features at a glance:

40MP, f/1.6, 27mm, 20MP, f/2.2, 16mm & 8MP, f/3.4, 125mm. Plus, TOF 3D camera, 32MP f/2.0 dewdrop front-facing camera, 4K, Full HD & HD video, 6.47-inch (1080×2340) with on-screen fingerprint sensor, ISO 50 to 409,600, 4200mAh battery, water/dust resistance rating.

2. Samsung Galaxy S10:

Smartphone Cameras


The S10’s camera system is similar to the S9 Plus’. But instead of just two cameras, it has three. There is the standard wide camera (12 megapixel, f/1.5 optically stabilized lens), the now-familiar telephoto camera (12 megapixel, f/2.4 optically stabilized lens), and a brand new ultrawide camera (16 megapixel, f/2.2 lens). All of this mounted on the back of the phone. This system gives you a level of versatility – you can go from super wide shots all the way to portrait close-ups with just the press of a button on the screen. It is like having a whole camera bag full of lenses built right into your phone.

The ultrawide camera is ideal for sweeping landscapes or cityscapes and lets you capture significantly more in the frame.

For the front camera, the new 10-megapixel sensor with autofocus produces very sharp images, and there’s a button to get a little bit wider of a shot if you’re shooting a group selfie.

Camera features at a glance:

12mp+12 mp+ 16 mp, f/1.5-2.4 lens, 26mm equivalent wide-angle, and telephoto f/2.4 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS for both cameras), 10mp + 8mp selfie camera with AF, MicroSD slot, raw.

3. Google Pixel 3/ 3XL:

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The Google Pixel 3 (and 3 XL) may only have one rear camera but they make up for it by providing some of the best camera softwares available. This offers a number of intelligent shooting modes that combine a number of shots (often without you even being able to notice any kind of delay). The features include Super-Res technology to give 2x zoom with improved detail. There is a very impressive Night Sight mode, which can give excellent low-light shots. There is a Bokeh effect/portrait shooting mode for portraits, and Auto HDR improves the dynamic range in shots. High-speed continuous shooting may not be new, but the “Top Shot” feature makes it easy to get the best shot. And it all happens quickly, easily, and for the most part automatically.

The Pixel 3 also features dual 8mp front cameras, with an ultra-wide angle, and a wide-angle to let you get more people into group shots. Available in two sizes, as the Google Pixel 3 with a 5.5inch screen or the Google Pixel 3 XL with a 6.3inch screen and larger battery. Like other premium smartphones, Pixel 3 is waterproof.

Camera features at a glance:

12mp, f/1.8 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 4K 30fps video, dual 8mp selfie cameras (ultra-wide and wide-angle), raw.

4. One Plus 6:

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The OnePlus 6 smartphone can be described as an affordable flagship that has premium features at a not so eye-watering price. Image quality is excellent, the camera app gets the ‘thumbs-up’ and the red version is particularly stylish. We think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy!

The OnePlus6 is a reasonably priced smartphone with specs that make it fit right at home alongside the lines of premium Samsung, Apple and Sony devices. Yes, it does not have the curb appeal an iPhone does but a sensible person can push this to one side and be impressed by what the OnePlus 6 has to offer them.

The main camera performs really well and we really like the camera app which is really intuitive and easy to use. It’s a shame the second rear camera doesn’t give a longer focal length or something a bit different like a black and white camera (as Huawei do) but with how well the lenses that are built in perform, it’s not really a complaint, more of an ‘it would be nice’.

The screen size is excellent and viewing is not a problem. The phone looks smart, particularly the red version which is definitely eye-catching.

There is no microSD slot which is surprising for an Android phone, there is no official IP rating (so do not get it too wet). It has a lack of stereo speakers but apart from that, we think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy.

Camera features at a glance:

Dual 16mp and 20mp f/1.7 lenses, 27.22mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) & Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), 4K video recording.

5. Apple iPhone X:

Smartphone CamerasSource

The Apple iPhone X marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and the iPhone X’s camera which builds on the dual camera of the iPhone 7 Plus. But features updated cameras, with both the wide-angle (28mm equivalent) and telephoto (56mm equivalent) lenses now featuring Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). There is a brighter aperture for the telephoto lens (f/2.4 instead of f/2.8), and a larger sensor. Both dual cameras feature 12-megapixels, same as the iPhone 8 Plus, and the wide-angle lens features an f/1.8 aperture.

The front ‘selfie’ camera has 7-megapixels as well as an aperture of f/2.2 and you can use Portrait Mode to create ‘bokeh’ in the background of your self-portraits.

Some other features worth mentioning include the 5.8″ super retina HD screen which is surrounded by a smaller bezel so the smartphone remains a reasonable size, water, and dust resistant design and those who capture video can now do so in 4K up to 60fps. As with previous iPhone models, there’s no headphone socket.

The iPhone X is unmistakably a premium smartphone that’s built well, feels solid and looks really great.

Camera features at a glance:

Dual 12mp wide-angle and telephoto lenses, f/1.8 & f/2.4, 28mm and 56mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording.

6. Honor View 20:

Smartphone CamerasSource

Honor View20 will grab the attention of photographers with the headline ’48-megapixel camera’ and rightly so, it’s a pretty cool thing to see in a smartphone.

It is great to have such a high-resolution sensor built in but a lot of the shooting features switch back to a 12MP image quality option, the smartphone still uses the 48MP lens, and the Sony sensor technology to capture images, combining the pixels to output images at a smaller 12MP size. This occurs when using the portrait mode, aperture mode, night mode, etc.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? No, it’s not, but with the device advertised as a 48-megapixel shooter, it would be nice to see this resolution used and available more often.

When you can shoot 48MP images, the detail is excellent and you only have to compare similar shots taken with a smartphone with a smaller sensor to see the difference. Having said that, you do have to look rather closely to see how much detail the smartphone is capable of capturing in a 48MP image so is it something most will need? Perhaps not, but the option is there so why not invest in a smartphone which gives you the option to shoot in a little more detail? Even more so if it won’t break the bank.

Overall, image quality is good (both 48MP and 12MP) with an accurate reproduction of colors (even in dull conditions) and the night mode is particularly impressive as you do not even need a tripod (thanks to a clever night scene mode)! Selfies look great and portraits, particularly with a bit of bokeh, are excellent.

The design is great, particularly with the cool nanolithography and the screen is a really decent size, even more so with the cutout camera rather than a top-notch taking up room.

If you are looking for a smartphone that’s full of camera features and is capable of taking really good photos – have a look at this one.

Camera features at a glance:

48MP f/1.8 rear camera, 25MP f/2.0 selfie camera, super night shot, AI, 4K video, Aperture/Portrait Mode, Pro Mode, ISO 50-65536

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 9:

Smartphone CamerasSource

With the same cameras as the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is bound to impress. However, Samsung has updated the software to include auto scene recognition. This will automatically apply optimum settings to deliver better photos. There’s a large 6.4inch screen which makes composing and viewing photos a great experience. There’s manual shooting letting you select f/1.5 or f/2.4 apertures with the wide-angle lens.

There is also raw support, Auto HDR, and an 8mp f/1.7 selfie camera with autofocus ensuring selfies are correctly focused. As you’d expect with a premium smartphone, it’s waterproof with an IP68 rating. It has plenty of RAM and storage. It comes with a Bluetooth stylus that can be used as a remote shutter release! ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO1250 can be used, and there is a large 4000mAh battery for great battery life.

Camera features at a glance:

12mp, f/1.5-2.4 lens, 26mm equivalent wide-angle, and telephoto f/2.4 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS for both cameras), 4K 60fps video, 8mp selfie camera with AF, MicroSD slot, raw.

What Does This Mean?

In the end, it all comes back to the notion of good enough. Is a smartphone good enough to meet your photographic needs? Two or three years ago, the answer might have been no. But today, a smartphone is a go-to camera for millions of people. Proof can be found when you look at the number one camera brand on Flickr for the last several years. It is not a Nikon, Canon or Sony. It is the iPhone.

A DLSR is not a bad choice. It is just becoming more of a niche product. It is a camera for specific people in specific situations because convenience is a huge factor here. Professional photographer, Chase Jarvis, is fond of saying, the best camera is the one you have with you. I happen to believe that this is exactly the world we live in today.

Of course, there is nothing to say you can not have your cake and eat it. The smartphone can be your everyday camera for spontaneous moments of sharing creativity. While your DSLR can be reserved for ultra special occasions. The choice is yours.

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