The best camera phones

| February 18, 2014

What are the best camera phones out there?

Let’s face it, everybody likes to take a picture, or the occasional selfie, with their smartphones. But have you ever stop and asked yourself “What are the best camera phones that you can buy?”. In this article I’ve compiled a list of devices you can find on the market, some being more camera than phone. But in the end why would you want a phone that has an optical device just as powerful as a decent regular camera?

Well there are a lot of reasons. Some professional photographers seem to favor the simple camera phone over the expensive professional DSLR when they’re just strolling around the city. It’s much easier to graph a phone than to pull out the camera from its carrying bag, and a lot faster to. Thus photographers can always capture the moment when they come across it. Camera phones are also a lot more light and easier to carry, always walking around with a huge DSLR on your neck and some additional lens can become quite tiring. Also you can become an easy target for thieves. It’s more convenient for them to steal that big chunk of technology around your neck than to carefully insert their hands into your pocket and just walk away with your smartphone. Oh how the skill of pickpocketing has died in these modern times.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the best camera phones out there that money can buy!

Nokia Lumia 1020, one of the best camera phones you can buy!

One of the best camera phones

It’s pretty obvious that Nokia is really working hard to make an impact in the smartphone market. In 2013 they’ve invented a wireless charging method that makes the phone look like it’s being charged by magic. Nonetheless it turned heads from every direction in the smartphone market. Another thing that they did in 2013 is release the Lumia 1020. One of the best camera phones out there, it literally comes with an immensely huge 41MP camera strapped to its back. The device has the highest MP count out there and it’s pretty amazing that they managed to pull something like this off. Besides the uninspired Windows Phone camera app it also comes with Nokia Cam Pro. This app comes with everything you would expect from a normal camera and the huge pixel count makes it even more desirable. Nokia truly outdid them with this smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

One of the best camera phones that actually looks more like a camera

Whilst still on the subject of phones turning into camera I present to you the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. You can think of it as a camera with a phone strapped on its back. This device has a 14 MP sensor and optical zoom, a first in the smartphone field. I think that when Samsung released the Galaxy Camera they saw room for improvement. By taking the S4 and making it smaller in size they managed to fuze the two products together and the result is the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It offers only a part of the features of the original smartphone and it’s not that powerful in specs, obviously they needed to make room for the camera. The device is very thick and chubby but I think it’s a small compromise if you want a camera that also has the ability to run apps, surf the web and make phone calls. Because of it’s optical zoom and the fact that it’s still a smartphone, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is up there with the Nokia Lumia 1020 in this list of best camera phones.

iPhone 5S

The most intuitive of the best camera phones

You might be wondering why I’ve included the iPhone 5S in the best camera phones list and not the Galaxy S4. Well, technically I have, you can think of the S4 Zoom as its camera savvy cousin. Nonetheless Apple’s flagship device is worthy of mentioning. It only has an 8 MP sensor, tiny compared to the 14 MP one on the zoom and minuscule to the 41 MP sensor on the Lumia 1020, but it knows how to take full advantage of it. Apple has completely reworked the camera app for the iOS 7 but the design philosophy remains the same: it strives for ease of use by limiting options and forcing intelligent automation. They’ve nailed the interface which is a success, the app’s extended functionality remains intact even though the intuitive point-and-shoot usability that Apple is known for is preserved. It’s quite frustrating when you think that some Android camera apps give you more freedom of choice while the iPhone 5S camera app forces decisions. Some might think it’s a good thing, when starting out nobody want’s to get overwhelmed by the huge array of choices that even a normal camera has. In the end, the iPhone 5S offers an intuitive and easy to use point-and-shoot that can achieve great results.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Xperia Z1, one of the leading best camera phones

Another well received release in 2013 was Sony’s Xperia Z1, an upgraded version of the Xperia Z that can easily compete with the top dogs of the smartphone market and besides being water proof and dust proof it has a pretty good camera as well. The Xperia Z1 has a normal camera size 20.7 MP sensor, bigger than the S4 Zoom. It has a dedicated camera button and the photos are the same in quality like a normal camera. It has all the option that you might find in an Android camera app for you to fiddle with and the dedicated button makes it feel like you’re shooting on a normal camera. One annoying thing when you launch the camera with the special button is that it always loads with Sony’s Superior Auto mode. This ambitious capture mode is supposed to auto-detect the current scene and load the appropriate preset. In reality it doesn’t work that as well as switching to the Manual mode and putting in your own settings. Despite this annoyance it’s still one of the best camera phones you can find.

HTC One, the one with the least pixels!

HTC One, one of the best camera phones that has the least amount of MP

If by now you’ve gotten used to phones with huge MP count you’re in for a surprise. The HTC One is one of the best camera phones out there that has the least amount of MP, ten times smaller than the Nokia Lumia 1020. That’s right, it only has 4 MP but HTC implemented its new Ultra Pixel technology to make its camera stand out. With the 4 MP Ultra Pixel camera sensor HTC choose to focus more on the quality of each pixel rather than increasing the number. The problem with most phones is that they all tend to use the same sized camera sensor, which is incredibly small. If you want to cram more megapixels into a small sensor it’s only logical that you have to make them smaller. With smaller pixels you can’t capture the same amount of light and detail as larger pixels. So HTC decided to go a different direction with this device and it proved to be a wise choice. With the Ultra Pixel technology you can capture up to 300% more light than many of the 13 MP cameras on the market.

That’s it!

There you have it, the best camera phones out there that money can buy. You’ve got everything, from the huge megapixel count of the Nokia, to the optical zoom of the S4 Zoom, the big sensor of the Z1, the simplicity of the iPhone 5S and the new innovative technology of the HTC One. Now all that’s left is to choose one and if these smartphones still don’t do it for you I advise you go out and buy a camera. Feel free to point if I’ve missed something in the comment section below!

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