The most interesting smartphone photography features available today

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Guest post by Photo Editors

Smartphones have taken a toll on the camera industry. Between 2010 and 2018, worldwide camera shipments dropped by 84 percent — from 121 million to just 19 million. It’s no wonder why, though. Smartphones are a cheaper, simpler and more convenient option, especially for amateur photographers.

Today, there are a handful of smartphones that create photos of exceptional quality. In order to stand out, companies have created great features to go along with the already great camera. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, here are a few options with their top smartphone photography features. 

Samsung Galaxy S10: Ultra-Wide Photos

Smartphone photography: Samsung Galaxy S10 © Quang Nguyen Duc (Dreamstime ID 140083576)
Samsung Galaxy S10 (image courtesy Dreamstime)

Both the S10 and the S10 Plus are equipped with triple rear cameras, created with the purpose of taking wide-angle pictures. The 16MP lens can take a 123-degree field-of-view photo — all you have to do is enter the camera app and switch to the icon with three trees to enable the feature.

iPhone XS Max: Smart HDR

Smartphone photography: iPhone XS Max © Manaemedia (Dreamstime ID 141803555)
iPhone XS Max (image courtesy Dreamstime)

Phone cameras without HDR (high dynamic range) have a difficult time exposing for details where both shadows and highlights are present — this is why tapping on the screen in different places makes the lighting better or worse. But the iPhone XS’s Smart HDR marries multiple photos into one shot, so shadow detail and bright highlights are better captured and evened out.

Google Pixel 3/3a: Night Sight

Smartphone photography: Google Pixel 3 XL © Mr.nutnuchit Phutsawagung (Dreamstime ID 148399477)
Google Pixel 3 XL (image courtesy Dreamstime)

Have you ever tried to take a photo at night when it’s too dark without flash, but flash creates a harsh glare and gives you those creepy eyes? Smartphone photography has been traditionally lacking when it comes to low light photos. The Google Pixel has solved that problem with Night Sight, which essentially lets your camera see in the dark.

Both the front and back cameras are enabled with Night Sight, brightening the photo without ruining the quality through algorithms and segmented exposures. It’s perfect for capturing photos in dimly-lit bars, areas with no street lights and dark rooms.

Huawei P30 Pro: 50x Zoom

Smartphone photography: Huawei P30 Pro © Grzegorz Czapski (Dreamstime ID 148046296)
Huawei P30 Pro (image courtesy Dreamstime)

With a 5x optical zoom mixed with AI-driven digital magnification, the Huawei P30 Pro has an incredibly impressive zoom for a smartphone. At 5x zoom, the photos are completely clear and even the 10x hybrid zoom is still very good.

Once you begin to zoom further than that the digital zoom effect will become a bit more obvious and photos do become blurry at 50x, it’s still acceptable and you can clearly read lettering.

LG G8 ThinQ: AI Cam

Though they’re often minor tweaks, the LG G8 ThinQ’s AI Cam accurately suggests and makes adjustments for camera settings (such as white balance and ISO) after it recognizes common subjects and places in real time. AI Cam is available on both the front and back cameras, meaning that your selfies can always have the same perfect lighting that your landscape photos do.

The smartphones on the market today are making it easier than ever to shoot professional-looking photos without a bulky camera. Whether you’re looking for something will help you color-correct or take better photos in low lighting, there’s a smartphone out there for you.

What do you think about the recent advances in smartphone photography? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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