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Top 11 Best Camera Phones For Photography 2018

Top 11 Best Camera Phones For Photography 2018 - If you're looking for a camera phone to capture better quality images with, have a look at our 11 top camera phone recommendations.

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Apple iPhone X in Camera Phones

Cameras in smartphones have come a long way over the last few years, with a number of features that have greatly improved the quality of images produced by smartphones, including optical image stabilisation (OIS), larger sensors, bright lenses, and even optical zoom making them even better for photography. The photographic capabilities of smartphones has become such a massive selling feature, that many premium smartphones now support shooting "raw" images, so you can take complete control over image processing.


Here we highlight some of the best camera phones we've reviewed, up until now, and what makes them unique so you can make a more informed purchase next time you upgrade/buy a new smartphone. You'll also find more in-depth comments on each of the smartphones featured in our top ten over in reviews, plus take a look at our technique and feature sections where you'll find a range of articles, including our 8 DIY smartphone photography tricks you must try feature and our food photography basics, that'll have you snapping top smartphones shots in no-time. 

 

1. Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 In Hand

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses the same, already excellent, camera as the S7, with a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel technology and a bright f/1.7 aperture, and improves the phone with an upgraded 8mp selfie camera with Auto Focus (AF). The screen is an impressive 5.8inch Quad HD+ screen that dominates the front of the phone, whilst maintaining the same compact size as the previous phone! The phone can capture 4K video as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It's dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen and back on the phone, it's ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO800 are selectable in manual mode. 

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

2. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate10 Pro With Leica (7)
 

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is Huawei's top of the range flagship smartphone, not only does it feature dual Leica f/1.6 cameras with colour and black and white sensors, but also features a top of the range processor, that includes a "Neural Processing Unit" designed to speed up "Artificial Intelligence" (AI), for both smartphone and camera features. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a large smartphone, thanks to a 6inch screen, and it's set up with a 12mp f/1.6 colour camera, and a 20mp f/1.6 black and white camera, both lenses equivalent to 27mm in 35mm terms. The main 12mp colour camera features optical image stabilisation, and there is prominent Leica branding next to the cameras on the back, as well as a Dual LED flash. The camera can record 4K (UHD) video, as well as high-speed video at 120fps at FullHD resolution. 

If you're looking for a large smartphone, with an emphasis on the camera(s) included, then the Mate 10 Pro certainly offers a complete package.

Camera features at a glance: Dual cameras 12mp colour, 20mp black and white, f/1.6 lenses, 27mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

3. Apple iPhone X


 

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 Stabilisation (OIS), 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, a 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.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

4. HTC U11 

HTC U11 Blue (1)
The HTC U11 offers an excellent rear camera, with a 12mp sensor, f/1.7 aperture lens and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). There's also the option to squeeze the sides of the smartphone to activate the camera, as well as take photos. There's a 16mp selfie camera, but it is fixed focus. 4K video recording is possible, and the smartphone has a number of microphones in order to record 3D sound. The HTC U11 is also waterproof, meaning you can get a number of underwater shots, without having to buy another case for it. However, it's important to protect the phone, as it has a glass front and back. ISO speeds of ISO100 and ISO800 can be manually selected, but the camera will use higher ISO speeds when needed in auto or scene modes.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

5. Samsung Galaxy S7 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Underwater
Samsung Galaxy S7 Underwater

The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel technology and a bright f/1.7 aperture. It has a quad HD screen, for crystal clear viewing and can capture 4K video as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It's also dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the screen and back on the phone, it's ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO800 are selectable in manual mode. 

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon

 

6. Honor 9 Dual Camera

Huawei Honor9 (1)
 

The Honor 9 from Huawei offers a dual camera smartphone, plenty of ram and storage, a stylish and good looking design, and offers all of this for a much lower price than you would expect. The dual camera offers a “Hybrid Zoom” giving a 2x zoom, with only a slight loss in image quality. The black and white camera takes impressively sharp and detailed 20mp images, and noise is well controlled whether shooting colour or black and white. 

Whilst the smartphone doesn’t feature a waterproof body, there are few smartphones at this price point that do. The camera also records 4K video, and results are good. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS) which not only affects photos, but also video, and at this price point, you should be able to find an alternative with OIS, although most likely without a dual-camera.

If you want to try true black and white photography, and don’t quite have the money for a Leica M Monochrom, then the Honor 9 smartphone with a black and white camera, would make an excellent choice. 

Camera features at a glance: 20mp mono camera, f/2.2 max aperture, CMOS sensor, 27mm equivalent, 4K video.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon

 

7. Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 White (2)
 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 features a 16.0Mp camera with true optical image stabilisation and a maximum aperture of f/1.9. There's a front-facing 5Mp camera and the S6 can record Ultra HD video at 3840 x 2160. In good light, the Galaxy S6’s image quality is nothing short of miraculous. Colour reproduction and exposure metering are also first class and the camera produces beautifully vibrant and accurately exposed results. Low light performance is less convincing, with an ISO range of ISO100 to ISO800, but there is an excellent auto HDR feature built-in. The Galaxy S6 is not waterproof, like the S5, and it doesn't feature a MicroSD card slot, so storage can't be expanded.

Camera features at a glance: 16mp, f/1.9 lens, 28mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, raw (with update).

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

8. Moto G (3rd Generation)

Motorola Moto G3 Product Shot1 Front
 

The third generation of the Moto G features a 13Mp 1/3-inch back-illuminated image sensor, 28mm-equivalent lens, f/2.0 with 4x digital zoom and a 5.0-inch IPS LCD screen. The fixed focal length, 28mm equivalent lens produces distortion-free images, while corner sharpness is almost a match for the centre of frame, although there are limited controls with the built-in camera app. The front-facing selfie camera generates good enough image quality for social media sharing or 6x4 prints, but when viewed any larger, the lack of fine detail is clear to see. Panoramas are a little disappointing but video, captured at 1920x1080, is well detailed, vibrant and well exposed. The Moto G is one of the cheapest waterproof smartphones available, and storage can be expanded with a MicroSD card.

Camera features at a glance: 13mp, f/2.0 lens, 28mm equivalent, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon 

 

9. Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

Apple Iphone 7 Matt Black (13)sRGB

The iPhone 7 is Apple's latest smartphone and features a 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, a bright f/1.8 lens and optical image stabilisation. There's a 4.7inch screen, which makes the smartphone more compact than most, and the screen, as well as photos, are now wide-colour gamut, meaning colour has been improved. The front camera has been improved and is now a 7-megapixel camera. You can shoot raw images, as long as you use a third party app, and Adobe offers Lightroom Mobile, which gives you plenty of manual controls. Detail and colour reproduction in shots is good, although detail doesn't quite match cameras with higher resolution sensors, and the ISO range starts at around ISO20, going up to around ISO1600. There is no MicroSD card slot, and you can choose from 32GB, 128GB or 256GB models, although they are quite pricey.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.8 lens, 28mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, raw.

Iphone7 Plus Cameras

The iPhone 7 Plus features 2x 12-megapixel cameras, with one wide-angle lens, and one telephoto lens, for 2x optical zoom, along with other shooting features, designed to give a DSLR-like performance and blurred backgrounds.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp x2, 28mm f/1.8 (OIS) and 56mm f/2.8 equivalent, 4K video recording, raw.

    Overall Score: 

    Buy On Amazon

 

10. HTC 10

10


Sporting a 12Mp camera and 4K video, the HTC 10 sits at the top of the range in the HTC smartphone lineup. On the front, you'll find a 5.2-inch screen with a QuadHD resolution. Designed to have better than usual low-light performance, the camera has a 12Mp sensor for better low-light performance, as well as a bright f/1.8 lens with optical image stabilisation, and an ISO range of ISO100 to ISO3200. Even the front selfie camera has optical image stabilisation! The app itself is as clear, responsive and easy to use. Plenty of manual control is provided in Pro mode which is accessed via the mode icon located alongside the shutter release icon. Detail and colour reproduction in shots are good and overall, it's capable of producing natural-looking images. HDR capture does a decent job of boosting dynamic range and even its low-light performance is commendable. A MicroSD card slot gives expansion options to store more photos and video.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.8 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

    Overall Score: 

    CBuy On Amazon

 

11. Huawei P9 - Co-engineered with Leica

Huawei P9 Front
 

The standout feature on the Huawei P9 is most definitely its cameras as it features 2x camera with f/2.2 Leica lenses, one camera is colour and the other black and white. The phone also has a 5.2inch screen and is capable of recording FullHD video. The P9 looks great and for the most part, performs really well. The camera produces great results and it's actually bursting with features (once you find them). Those who use their smartphones for taking photos regularly, particularly selfies, will find the auto mode really easy to use and will be more than happy with the shots it produces. Plus, if you do want to dabble with a bit of manual photography, there are the options to do so, including an ISO range from ISO100 to ISO3200. You can expand the storage with a MicroSD card.  

Camera features at a glance: 2x 12mp (Colour, Black and White), f/2.2 Leica lens, 28mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), FullHD video, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon

 

For more options, have a look at the Best Budget Camera Phones for Photography. Have a look at our complete guide to memory cards to find the right MicroSD card for your smartphone, or have a look at more camera phones reviews.

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JackAllTog Plus
8 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
9 May 2016 4:42PM
The only one that seems to have good low light performance is the hTC one - Would be nice to see some ISO SPECs in this list too.
Perhaps focus speed as another comparative guide, and if you are really going to use it for photography then a comment about external storage cards possible/capacity.
StrayCat Plus
14 19.1k 3 Canada
9 May 2016 10:20PM
Do any of them have a zoom lens?
themak 4 1.0k Scotland
10 May 2016 12:34AM
Mine does.
242789_1462836773.jpg

joshwa Plus
7 836 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 8:19AM
Hi, the list is based on our reviews of the phones, for more information, we have linked to the reviews.

We will also be updating this when we review additional smart phones, thanks

We've reviewed the CM1 here:
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-dmc-cm1-camera-phone-review-26772
ChrisV Plus
11 2.0k 26 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 2:16PM
Sorry Johwa, but it looks like this listing is just based on the aggregated scores of individual and quite subjective reviews, rather than being any sort of side-by-side comparison [which might assess their merits in a more in a rather more objective way.

The detailed reviews I looked at were your CM1 review, which as might be expected looked at it from a photographers' perspective and had the sort of specification and testing we've come to expect from the site; and the Sony Xperia review which didn't, seemed to please the tester not least for its price and compact dimensions and just had his/her 'opinion' on things like noise and IQ. The fact the user also suffers from VVS is also rather concerning from an image-takers viewpoint.

I assume you marked the CM1 down on its launch price [like a lot of Panasonic's launch RRPs it was over the top], that has now predictably plummeted. I've no iron in the fire here [well I would put my hand up, I'm an Apple user] - I wouldn't really consider buying a phone principally as a photographic tool.

If that's what I was after [and I'd assume that is the purpose of this roundup], it's hard to see how any of the listed devices here could hope to compete with the Panasonic on those terms. It isn't without flaws - especially if you're more concerned about the smartphone end of business, but the fact it isn't even in a top ten of smartphone cameras just seems completely bizarre.
AlexandraSD 6 733 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2016 11:14AM
I no longer own a mobile phone, i ditched my iphone earlier this year and have not bothered to replace it, and i do not wish to replace it, and guess what? Life goes on Smile

Not being a Luddite, i just got sick of constant interruptions when away from home, silly text messages from friends, notifications from social media, PPI companies constantly barraging me with crap, and neck ache from looking down so much, and now i am not so immersed in that false reality, i cannot help but smile when i see streams and streams of people just glued to their phones as if it is all that matters and missing out on whats really in front of them. Sure, the iphone was handy for a while, but i am one of those who really do take their camera everywhere with them, so the iphone as a secondary camera is not applicable to me anymore, however, my mum now has my old iphone and she uses the camera all the time now, more than the canon compact i bought for her in 2014, and she has even learned how to post to facebook, which is all she really does with images, so she is happy and i can see why many folk feel they need a smart phone with a good camera, i thought that too once but i don't miss it at all!
mannypr 6 9 Puerto Rico
6 Nov 2016 11:53PM
The size of a sensor vs the amount of pixels has a big impact on image quality . Smartphone sensors are very small . If you cramp alot of pixels on such a sized sensor image quality will take a hit , they have gotten better . So a camera phone sensor can give you better image quality with less pixels .
7 Jun 2017 10:19PM
Hello? Google pixel! One of the best ever tasted by dxo. You're starting to get lax ephotozine!
alant1 6 8 United Kingdom
8 Jun 2017 2:43AM
Rather surprised that Sony do not feature at all.
9 Jun 2017 9:34AM

Quote:Hello? Google Pixel! One of the best ever tasted by DxO. You're starting to get lax ephotozine!


At the top of the article we say: "Here we highlight some of the best camera phones we've reviewed, up until now, and what makes them unique so you can make a more informed purchase next time you upgrade/buy a new smartphone."

The Google Pixel isn't a phone we've looked at yet so that's why it's not on the list. Smile
I dont like it, where's the Google Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL?
It is out of list because of no match in phone category Pixel 2 should be in DSLR level? Tongue
25 Jan 2018 2:17PM

Quote:I dont like it, where's the Google Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL?
It is out of list because of no match in phone category Pixel 2 should be in DSLR level? Tongue



At the top of the article we say: "Here we highlight some of the best camera phones we've reviewed, up until now, and what makes them unique so you can make a more informed purchase next time you upgrade/buy a new smartphone."

The Google Pixel isn't a phone we've looked at yet so that's why it's not on the list.
JackAllTog Plus
8 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2018 12:13PM
Has the one plus 5T been put up against these?
https://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/item/oneplus-5t-6637
Camera reviews elsewhere are not too great.
Thanks
31 Jan 2018 8:44AM

Quote:Has the one plus 5T been put up against these?
https://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/item/oneplus-5t-6637
Camera reviews elsewhere are not too great.
Thanks



Hi Stuart,

We've not had a review sample in of the OnePlus 5T as of yet to see if it can feature in the top list.

Cheers,

Nikita.

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