The Best Camera Phones In 2021

Best camera phones in 2021

Buying the best camera phone instead of a professional camera to save your money and fulfill your photography and videography needs is a wiser decision only because of the diverse usability that cell phones offer. Otherwise, the best camera phones aren’t cheap, either!

Despite that, some best camera phones are now not only worthy competitors of point-and-shoot cameras because of their smaller size and lighter weight but are also forcing professional DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras to push their boundaries to meet up with the excellent compatibility and connectivity that these devices offer. These small powerhouses now carry more pixels and can boast 8k videos. And even though they can’t compete with professional cameras yet because of the smaller sensors technology, you can still easily create professional content with them and compete on a professional level if you’re skilled.

But choosing the best camera phone for its camera capability isn’t an easy job because specs and capability on paper don’t necessarily give you the full picture. Besides, these specs, post-optimization, and image processing can be crucial in delivering the best pictures, and video quality and video modes are also important to consider. Also, the availability of micro-SD slots and battery life plays an important role in how effective and good a phone is for photography. With all being said, let us introduce you to the best camera cell phones available in the market.


10 Best Camera Phones In 2021

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Main cameras: 108-megapixel (f/1.8, 0.8-micron) + 12-megapixel (f/2.2, 1.4-micron) + 10-megapixel (f/2.4, 1.22-micron) + 10-megapixel (f/4.9, 1.22-micron) | Front camera: 40-megapixel (f/2.2, 0.7-micron) |Max Video quality: 8K/24 fps, 4K/30fps, 1080p/120fps | Storage: 12GB / 128GB / 256GB Weight: 229 g

Pros
  • Huge 6.8 Inch Display screen
  • Unriveled zoom capability
Cons
  • Very Expensive
  • No microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera is the best we’ve seen on a phone, even better than its predecessor the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. It comes with a 108 MP f/1.8 main camera and a 12 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one. There are exclusive two telephoto cameras that are both 10MP but one with an f/2.4 aperture lens allows for 3x optical zoom while the one with f/4.9 aperture provides impressive results when zooming in at 10x optical magnification–making it perfect to capture those faraway details that you just can’t get any other way!

The camera on the Galaxy S9 is highly capable. It has a wealth of modes that allow for great shots, including new additions like Director’s View which lets you shoot video with both front and rear cameras at once; it also includes classic features like slow-motion videos!

The 40MP sensor for its front-facing camera offers excellent resolution – perfect for selfie lovers and vloggers alike. All and all, it’s a camera phone with unrivaled zoom capabilities and hence topping our list for the best camera phones!

2. Huawei P40 Pro

The best camera phone

Main camera: 50MP (f/1.9) | Telephoto: 12MP (f/3.4) | Ultra-wide: 40MP (f/1.8) | Front camera: 32MP |  Max video quality: 4K 60fps | OIS: Yes | Storage: 128GB / 256GB | weight: 209 g

Pros
  • Excellent resolution
  • Phenomenal battery life
Cons
  • Limited softwares

While some blogs may prefer Huawei Mate 40 Pro over Huawei P40 Pro for its overall performance, if the camera is the choosing factor for you then Huawei P40 Pro still remains the better choice. Though Mate 40 Pro might show a slightly better performance in the video quality, it is clearly out-beaten by P40 for Slow-Mo videos and front camera resolution.

Huawei P40 Pro is considered without a doubt to be a top-class smartphone camera, the reason being that it shows great performance under all conditions in all of its cameras. The primary camera embodies a large 1/1.28″ 50MP Quad-Bayer sensor that produces 12MP image output, and there is a high-resolution image sensor (40MP 1/1.54″) in its ultra-wide camera, which combined with a fast f/1.8 lens, gives excellent low-light image quality. The P40 Pro’s Tele-camera uses folded optics to achieve a 5x optical zoom factor (125mm equivalent), which may not be as good as Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but when the phone is under 1000 $ only, it becomes hard to resist.

Video quality is also excellent at 30 fps with perfect stabilization, however, its 4k60 videos are not up to the mark and Huawei Mate 40 Pro performs better. Similarly, the lack of Google services for Huawei products is another problem that is hardest to swallow. However, when it comes to shooting in low-light situations, it is undoubtedly an easy topper on our list for the best camera phones.

3. iPhone 12 Pro Max

The best camera phone 2020

Main camera: 12MP (f/1.6) | Telephoto: 12MP (f/2.2) | Ultra-wide: 12MP (f/2.4) | Front camera: 12MP |  Max video quality: 4K 60fps | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Weight:228 g|

Pros
  • Powerful cameras
  • Long battery life
  • Solid built
Cons
  • Extremely expensive

With iPhone 12MP f/1.6 as your main camera, a 12MPf/2.2 telephoto comes with a 2.5x optical zoom and an ultra-wide one with 12Mpf/2.4. And you also get a LiDAR scanner for Night mode portraits and amazing autofocus.

Its smart HDR 3 features combine multiple exposures to create excellent picture results. Moreover, in the iPhone 12 max, you have the Pro RAW option, which allows you to take RAW photos with more data and details for better editing and modification later on. The online editing is options are excellent not only for stills but with Dolby Vision support; it excels in video editing as well. Moreover, all three of the iPhone 11 Pro’s cameras can record at 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second.

iPhone 12 Pro-Max is considered without any doubt to be one of the best camera phones among smartphones. This phone is ideal for exceptional portrait mode, powerful digital zoom, and immaculate low light capabilities. So if you are looking for the best camera in smartphones, iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best choice.

4. OnePlus 8 Pro

Best camera phone for photography

 Main camera:48MP (f/1.8) | Telephoto: 8MP (f/2.4) | Ultra wide: 48MP (f/2.2) | Depth: 5MP (f/2.4)  Front camera: 16MP (f/2.5 |  Max video quality: 4K 60fps | Storage: 128GB / 256GB | Weight: 199g

Pros
  • One of the best displays
  • Excellent cameras
Cons
  • Expensive

Even though the OnePlus 9 Pro has been released with a lot of hype around its collaboration with Hasselblad for color calibration and App design, we still won’t upgrade from the OnePlus 8. The reason being that we don’t see much of a notice-worthy difference in the picture results.

OnePlus 8 Pro still remains the most accomplished smartphone of the company ever. Video stabilization and quality of one plus 8 Pro are top notched. The 3x optical zoom of one plus 8 gives it much credit during zooming in. Its night-time performance is also remarkable; even without light, its shots are outstanding.

Having sony’s latest 48MP sensor assimilated in its camera puts the one plus 8 Pro at the top of the line for its camera. And you may want to go for its OnePlus 9 Pro if you prefer the latest but if you like saving money and still search for the best then the OnePlus 8 is the way to go.

5. Google Pixel 5

The best phone with camera

Main camera: 8 MP, f/2, 24mm (wide), ToF 3D Camera  | Rear Camera: 12.2MP (27mm-equiv. wide angle lens, f/1.7, PDAF, OIS), 16MP (ultra wide angle, f/2.2) |Max video quality: 4K 30fps | Storage: 128 GB | Weight 151 g |

Pros
  • Excellent cameras
  • Excellent software support
Cons
  • No telephoto

An excellent camera with great details and contrast, this phone is another feather in the cap to the Google Pixel series, which are preferred for their impressive cameras. When it comes to cameras, these phones are the best. Google Pixel 5 features a dual-cam setup, 12.2MP 27mm f/1.7 main camera, and a 16MP Ultra wide f2.2camera on the rear. The primary camera is formed with a 1/2.55-inch sensor along with a 12.2Mp resolution.

Its 1080p video quality is also marvelous. However, Google Pixel 5 lacks a dedicated Telephoto lens, which puts it behind its rivals. But where it lags, it catches up with usability and reliability. Its snapdragon 765G chipset along with Android 11 OS gives you an excellent smooth performance. You get a 9Hz refresh rate excellent display. Moreover, it’s water-resistant and allows wireless charging, which is great for long outdoor photography experiences.

6. Xiaomi Mi Note 10

The best phone for photography

Main camera: 108MP (f/1.7) | Telephoto: 12MP (f/2.0) + 5MP (f/2.0) | Ultra-wide: 20MP (f/2.2) | Macro: 2MP (f/2.4) | OIS: Yes | Front camera: 32MP |  Max video quality: 4K 30fps | Storage: 128 GB|Weight: 208g

Pros
  • Exceptional main camera
  • Loaded with shooting modes
  • Wide range of focal lengths
Cons
  • No expandable storage
  • Other rear cameras not up to the mark

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a mid-range phone. It packs 5 cameras with a high-quality 108MP sensor, which makes it distinct from other smartphones. With such a gargantuan resolution, its photographic performance is excellent. It also offers two telephoto cameras with 2x and 5x magnification. Also, its ultra-wide cam has AF capability. 108 megapixels shots show great details. Not just that, its other cameras also exhibit good results.

However, the 108MP camera doesn’t produce excellent details in low-light capture. So If your wallet is not full and you want the best camera phone with half the iPhone 11 pro price, then go for Xiaomi Mi Note 10.

7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The best phone for videography

Main camera: 12MP (f/1.8) | Telephoto: 64MP (f/2.0) | Ultra wide: 12MP (f/2.2) | TOF: 0.3MP | Front camera: 10MP + 10MP (f/2.2) | OIS: Yes |  Max video quality: 8K 24fps | Storage:128GB | Weight:186g

Pros
  • Powerful but sleek design
  • Superb 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Versatile and excellent triple camera setup
Cons
  • Gets hot under load

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is cheaper in price than Galaxy S20 ultra and iPhone 11, yet its camera’s capabilities are on par with aforesaid phones. Its photos are impressive and top-notch. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus has four cameras- a 12MP main shooter joined by a 64MP telephoto lens, 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and time-of-flight sensor — together, these produce impressive images. Its results of zooming in are astonishingly superb, even at 10x power.

It shoots 8K video at 24fps and 4K video at up to 60fps, and it is also loaded with HDR video. So if you want the best, Samsung Galaxy S20 is a worthy choice.

8. Oppo Find X2 Pro

Main camera: 48MP (wide + OIS) | Front camera: 32MP (wide) | Maximum video resolution: 4K, 60fps storage 256 GB Weight: 200g

Pros
  • Possibly the best display on the market.
  • Good battery life with Class-leading charge times
  • Excellent thermal management
  • Excellent zoom
Cons
  • The zoom cam low light image quality lags behind rivals

The camera results of Oppo Find X2 Pro are simply incredible. Incorporating Sony’s new 48MP sensor, its photos show great depth and detail. Pictures shots look great, natural, and stunning. Its 5x zoom telephoto camera grabs stunning snaps of faraway objects. It has also got a 32MP selfie shooter and an ultra-wide camera with a pin-sharp 48MP, which makes this an impressive camera phone.

9. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Main cameras: 12MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.5, OIS), 16MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2), 12MP (Telephoto, f/2.4, OIS), ToF depth-sensing camera | Front camera: 10MP, ToF depth-sensing camera | Storage:256/512GB |Weight : 198g

Pros
  • Future-proofed with 5G
  • Stunning display
  • Excellent cameras
Cons
  • mediocre battery life

With a great camera selection and decent image quality, futureproofed with 5G, Galaxy S10 is undeniably one of the best camera phones in the S-series. Its quad rear is packed with wide, ultrawide, telephoto, time of flight cameras, and jointly they work with great perfection. Their photo quality is top in line and beautiful. The auto-mode performance and image quality are also wonderful.

Its primary camera is 12MP, and its lense has a large f/1.5 max aperture and optical image stabilization, hence work well in low light. The second camera in the rear has a 12MP sensor, but its lens effectively gives 2x telephoto zoom compared to the primary camera. The third rear-facing camera is a 16MP ultra-wide module. You can also record video in HDR10+ to gain extra dynamic range, plus there are slow motion and super slow-motion video as well.

10. Google Pixel 3a

Main camera: 12pm (f/1.8) | Front camera: 8MP | OIS: Yes | video 4K 30fps | Storage: 64/128 GB | Weight: 147g

Pros
  • Excellent display
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Clean UI with guaranteed updates
Cons
  • No wide or telephoto cameras
  • No dust and water resistance

Google Pixel 3a offers the best mid-range camera phone. Its phone has incorporated AI and google images for its camera, which produces marvelous results in automatic mode. The picture quality is impressive and gives great details in daylight.

Moreover, Its night mode will also not disappoint you. Its 8MP selfie camera is excellent. In daylight, video can be captured at 30fps 4K, or 60fps 1080p for maximum flexibility. In low light, however, 30fps 1080p footage gives more detailed and better results.


What are the features to look for on a smartphone camera?

Various phone manufacturers claim that their smartphones come with a lot of features and some of them can compete with the camera of our digital compact cameras. But what are these features? What makes an electronic device to be called a good camera? How does it compare with our traditional system cameras or DSLR cameras? Let us take a look at the smartphone camera features to look for when buying a new phone.

Megapixel:

The number of pixels that the image sensor can capture, determines how much information will be captured by the device and it is one of the most common measurements used to compare cameras from different brands. Yes, more megapixels means better quality images but these numbers are not always directly proportional to the image quality. For smartphones, a good number of MP is around 8 or more. This means that if our subject fills 8 megapixels of the frame it will be reproduced faithfully without losing its details at 100%.

Lens Quality and Focal length:

The lenses play a major role in determining how much information is captured by the device. A good lens in a camera will ensure that no unnecessary light rays can seep in so as to reduce noise in our images. But when it comes to lenses for smartphones, they are fixed and that means that there is not much we can do about it other than choosing which brand we want to buy. So if you are not keen on lens quality, take note also of the aperture size. The smaller the aperture number (f-stop), it means that more light will enter into the device, and this together with its microphone sensitivity is what we call a good camera for low lighting conditions.

Zoom:

Most cameras use digital zoom which is just the magnification of pixels through software. The most effective zoom that you can get on a smartphone camera however is optical zoom. Some smartphone manufacturers are also using these two in combination and have come up with hybrid zoom. But optical zoom still remains the most effective one. So, before getting surprised by the high zoom capability of your smartphone camera, do check what type of zoom it actually is.

Display:

Displays are generally measured in inches, but there’s talk of Quad HD now – with four times the resolution of Full-HD. The higher the resolution, the crisper and sharper everything will look on screen. Standard displays have a pixel density of 217ppi, while Full-HD screens have 400ppi, and Quad HD measures in at a whopping 538ppi.

Image Stabilization:

Hand-held shots for smartphones are tricky because of their small size and it is difficult to grip it perfectly without causing a shake. Image stabilization was first introduced by Canon to reduce the effects of camera shake that cause blurry images ( read more ). This feature can be found in other electronic devices like smartphones. There are 3 types of image stabilization offered today, namely optical, digital and sensor-shift.

Later on, other manufactures introduced their own versions of stabilization technology like Sony with its Steady Shot and Samsung with its OIS. Smartphones that offers electronic image stabilization claims to compensate for camera shake through software but it also increases noise in images which you need to take note of if you are using high ISO settings.

Manual Control:

Do not just look at the features offered by an electronic device but it is also important to check when the feature becomes useful in saving your images under certain circumstances. As smartphones today are designed with touch screen technology, some manufacturers offer their own version of manual control which you can find in advanced models like the Samsung Galaxy S4. This comes in handy when you are shooting in conditions that need exposure compensation because it allows us to quickly change the shutter speed and aperture without having to go through multiple steps.

When it comes to taking great pictures at night or in low light conditions. This can be done via three methods, namely manual control, image stabilization, and high ISO.

Storage:

It took phone manufacturers a while to catch up with the idea of cloud storage, but it’s here now and it has revolutionized the way we use smartphones. You can buy handsets with as much as 128GB of internal storage – more than enough for all your apps, videos, and pictures – but you’ll have to pay top dollar for that privilege. However, it’s always better to look for smartphones that come with support for SD cards.

Battery:

Along with storage capacity, battery life is one of the biggest complaints about smartphone users – especially those who are never within reach of a charger. You can’t do much about your phone’s battery capacity, but you can research how long it will last on average – and look for handsets that have batteries with higher capacities or that support quick charging features that let you recharge in less than two hours.

Types of cameras that come in modern smartphones:

Gone are the days when smartphones came with two cameras, front and rear mainly. Now expect your phone to come packed with multiple cameras. Let’s talk about them.

High Dynamic Range ( HDR ):

When taking images at a high dynamic range, some areas of an image become overexposed while some areas become underexposed and this is where HDR comes in. It allows us to capture details of both shadows and highlights. But for this to work, the exposure compensation must be set to its optimal level since it will limit its range so much so that you can pull back some of the image’s highlight area. To set it properly you’ll however need to work with it and learn to use it to your benefit.

Main camera/Rear camera:

Jack of all trades, this camera is which usually decides how good your camera phone is. This camera usually doesn’t offer any zoom but what it offers is the highest megapixels in your smartphone.

Front Camera/Selfie camera:

This camera is the second higher resolution camera on most smartphones and is getting better and better in megapixels. This camera is used for taking selfies and video calls.

Ultra-wide camera:

Ideal for group photos and landscape photography these cameras come with an ultra-wide field of view. Using this camera means you don’t need to create tedious panoramic effects to capture wide angles.

Zoom camera:

Smartphones these days come with a separate telephoto camera that can usually offer 2x to 3x optical zoom or a periscope camera that offers 3x to 10x optical zoom. Some cameras now offer variable zoom while others combine optical zoom with digital zoom to provide further magnification. However optical zoom always yields better results than digital zoom. So, always check the times and type of zoom that your phone camera offer.

Macro Camera:

A recent addition to the phone cameras is the macro lens that takes macro shots such as insects and tinny objects. These cameras usually have a low resolution from 2MP to 5MP.

Monochrome camera:

You may not see it on many camera phones but this type of camera offers straight out-of-the-camera black and white photography instead of turning them black and white through filters. These cameras can be helpful in low-light photography as well for improved depth effects.


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