Thanks to recent smartphone releases, you don't need to own a DSLR camera to achieve professional-looking shots - if you own the right handset of course. Whether you're a budding photographer, aspiring movie-maker or simply an Instagram user looking to improve the quality of your feed, you're sure to be impressed by the smartphones featured below.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung fans certainly shouldn't overlook the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is part of the recent Samsung Galaxy S20 range. Alongside a whole host of state-of-the-art tech specs and premium smartphone features, this handset is home to an outstanding quad-lens camera. In fact, it's the rear camera that led Samsung to market this device as 'the smartphone that will change photography'.
The quad-lens camera has been built with an amazing 108MP wide-angle lens, that not only ensures you have the resolution to capture even the smallest details with stunning accuracy, but also enables you to zoom in without having to worry about compromising on photo quality. The phone is capable of 100x Super Resolution Zoom, as well as 10x Hybrid Optic Zoom, helping you to shoot at a distance or crop a photo however you like.
Accompanying the impressive 108MP camera, there's a high spec 48MP telephoto camera, a 12MP Ultra Wide lens and an additional DepthVision sensor. While the ultra-wide lens will ensure you can broaden your horizons and fit more of your surroundings into the frame, the DepthVision sensor gives you more control over the depth of field, so you can adjust and amend the amount of background blur in any photo to create as much, or as little, as you like.
The 40MP front-facing camera gives you the option to record yourself in 4K. The rear camera, meanwhile, has the ability to record in stunning 8K, and thanks to the VideoSnap feature, you can even take 33MP still photographs from any 8K video you create.
Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
It doesn't matter if you love big-screen handsets, or if you prefer something more pocket-sized, you'll find the same brilliant camera system on board the Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL. Whatever device you choose, there's a dual-pixel 12.2MP camera on the rear, which offers optical and electronic image stabilisation, and comes packed with a great selection of useful photography features.
Night Sight is sure to come in handy when you're trying to shoot in darker conditions. When faced with a low-light environment, the rear camera settings will automatically adjust to ensure even the smallest details are crystal clear, and colours will remain bold and vibrant. Top Shot, meanwhile, helps to make sure you never miss the perfect moment. Once activated, Top Shot will take photos both before and after you press the shutter button - you'll have multiple shots to choose from, making it the ideal feature if you're trying to photograph a moving subject.
A specialised built-in Portrait Mode will help you to recreate a desired bokeh effect on both phones, and you'll have the flexibility to adjust the amount of background blur on every photo.
As for the front camera and video capabilities you'll find a fully equipped 8MP camera for all your selfie and video call needs, and the rear camera is capable of recording in 4K at 30 fps.
iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Featured on both iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max is a rear triple-lens camera system, and an upgraded 12MP True Depth front-facing camera. An Apple first, and part of the iPhone 2019 launch., you can expect to capture stunning, professional-looking photos on either device.
The rear triple-lens camera is made up of a 12MP Wide lens, which can activate autofocus faster than ever, a 12MP Ultra Wide lens that takes images with a 120-degree field of view, and a 12MP Telephoto lens for close-up shots and focused snaps. The Ultra Wide lens is another first for iPhone users, taking in up to 4x more of the environment around you than the other lenses.
With Apple's advanced A13 Bionic chip, you'll be able to switch between each of the three lenses manually and at speed. An all-new Night Mode has been added to the Camera app, letting you snap photos in almost complete darkness, for well-lit, defined images even without a flash.
Portrait Mode has new effects like High-Key Light Mono mode, adjusting the intensity of light on the subject in your photo is now possible with Portrait Lighting and Smart HDR is now better than ever.
The 12 front-facing camera on both phones features a True Depth lens, designed to give you more control over the amount of blur in each selfie. You can also try out the all-new slow-motion selfies – or ‘slofies’ which provide hours of fun and are great for sharing on social media.
Video is equally impressive. Not only can you shoot in 4K at 60fps using the rear camera, you can even edit your videos directly in Apple's camera app. If you zoom in on an object, you'll notice the audio will zoom in too - sound will be crystal clear, even from far away.
Huawei P40 Pro
Huawei's P series has an established reputation for featuring some of the very best smartphone cameras, and the premium flagship for 2020 - the Huawei P40 Pro - keeps up this tradition. Working once again with Leica, the P40 Pro has an Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera, crafted with a 50MP SuperSensing main camera, 40MP ultra-wide Cine camera, 12MP telephoto camera and a 3D Depth Sensing camera.
Taking each of the four cameras in turn, the main 50MP SuperSensing camera not only captures moments in an incredible resolution thanks to the huge megapixel count, it also uses a 1/1.28 inch Ultra Vision Sensor to take in more light when faced with dark conditions. The 40MP Cine camera, meanwhile, is essential for shooting at a wider angle, fitting more of your surroundings into one shot. Dubbed as the 'Cine' lens, the 40MP lens is also responsible for providing the P40 Pro's ultra slow-mo video, telephoto video and timelapse video capabilities - meaning you can record and flick between cinematic effects at your leisure.
Next up, the 12MP telephoto camera. Enabling the P40 Pro's many zoom features, you'll have access to an outstanding 50x Max Zoom on this handset, alongside 10x Hybrid Zoom and 5x Optical Zoom. Whether you need to photograph something at a distance, or you take a shot and suddenly realise there's something you'd love to focus on in the background, the P40 Pro's telephoto camera makes sure you won't lose out on picture quality when you zoom in. Finally, the 3D Depth Sensing Camera. This is a must for bokeh - the professional, blurred background effect - and this lens will help you to take portrait shots that focus on your subject with absolute clarity.
We can't write about the P40 Pro's rear camera without mentioning its many AI features. Alongside an intelligent Night Mode designed to brighten up pictures taken in the darkest of conditions, you'll also find something called AI Golden Snap on the P40 Pro. The first in this trio of AI effects, AI Golden Snap Best Moment can be activated to ensure you'll get the perfect still shot when you're trying to photograph something that's moving. It'll take a moving 4K image, then select one to three of the best frames for you to choose from. Golden Snap AI Remove Passersby and Golden Snap AI Remove Reflection can both be accessed via Gallery Edit on the handset, and function in very similar ways. Remove Passersby will help you reduce unwanted objects or people, while Remove Reflection will help you diminish reflections from your snaps - such as those taken when you're standing near a window or a mirror.
The Huawei P40 Pro has a brilliant 32MP selfie camera as well, adding to this device's all-round fantastic camera offering.
Huawei 9X Lite
The Huawei 9X Lite might be a mid-range smartphone, but its camera offering is seriously impressive. Huawei has added a dual-lens rear camera, so you should expect nothing less than highly detailed snaps from this affordable device.
The rear camera is made up of a 48MP main lens, and a 2MP Depth Assist lens. Whether you're shooting in extremely low light or in broad daylight, this handset has it covered. Super Night Mode is on board to help eliminate shakiness and blur from photos taken with a long exposure, and it's a must for nightscape shots. Multi-frame exposure, on the other hand, can automatically adjust the appearance of any backlit photos, so you don't need to worry about details getting lost in the shadows.
The second lens - the 2MP Depth Assist lens - is essential for taking professional-looking portraits. Your subject will always be the main focus and the background of your snaps can be artistically blurred for a stunning bokeh effect. The device is also enhanced by four unique, AI photography algorithms, each offering a different studio portrait effect.
Sony Xperia 1 II
Known for creating some of the best professional cameras in the world, it's safe to say Sony knows what it takes to produce an amazing photo. Bringing its expertise to a new smartphone, Sony has created the Sony Xperia 1 II which has everything you could need for great smartphone photography.
Designed by the minds behind Sony's iconic Alpha 9 camera series, and in partnership with experts ZEISS Optics, the device is a must for those after a DSLR-like experience from their handset. On the rear, there's a triple-lens camera system, which is accompanied by a 3D iTOF (indirect Time-of-Flight sensor). All three lenses measure 12MP, however they mirror the setup of Sony's Alpha 9 cameras by featuring different focal lengths. Giving you more control over your photos, and providing plenty of flexibility, you'll be able to switch between each individual lens freely. Snap both wide and ultra-wide angle photos, master bokeh or get up close and personal with macro shots.
The unique 3D iTOF sensor has also been added to help you gain more control over the depth of field in your photos, intelligently measuring the exact distance between the camera and the subject of your photo. It's a vital feature for delivering Sony's instant autofocus, and a must have for a number of AR Apps.
If you frequently use video call services, or you love selfies, the 8MP front camera certainly won't let you down. Prefer shooting videos, rather than still images? You'll be able to record in 4K using Sony's special 21:9 aspect ratio, and you won't need to worry about sound quality either as there's a special wind filter to cut out any distortion in your audio.
Google Pixel 4 XL
New for 2019, the Google Pixel 4XL is the most recent instalment of the already-popular Pixel series. Praised for its smartphone camera offering since the very first Pixel was released in 2016, Google has continued tradition with a dual-lens rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera on the Pixel 4XL.
The dual-lens 12.2MP + 16MP rear camera is a first for Google, with previous Pixel models all carrying a single-lens camera system. The 12.2MP main camera has been designed as a wide lens, so you can photograph more of what's around you, and the new 16MP telephoto lens measures the depth of field, helping you to create a blurred background effect.
The Pixel 4XL is packed full of photography-focused features, to help take your shots to the next level. You'll have more control over the composition of your pictures thanks to Live HDR+ (where you can view the effects of advanced HDR before you press the shutter button, rather than after), Machine-learning White Balancing, dual-exposure controls so you can adjust highlights and shadows in two places and improvements to Night Sight.
As well being able to shoot photos in the dark with impressive clarity, you can also capture amazing images of the night's sky. With the astrophotography feature, you can photograph the moon and stars with incredible results. Just position the Pixel 4XL at the right angle, make sure it's stable then begin - it takes 4 minutes and 16 seconds to capture and process one photo using this new camera mode.
Oppo Reno2 Z
Oppo's Reno2 Z features not one, but four lenses for its rear camera. This quad-lens camera system is built with aspiring photographers in mind, and with a 48MP ultra-clear main camera, 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP mono lens and 2MP Portrait Lens to hand, you'll have the freedom to be as creative as you wish with the Oppo Reno2 Z.
Additionally, with Ultra Dark Mode, you'll quite literally be able to shoot in the dark. You'll never be able to tell you were shooting in such dark conditions, as every image will be defined, beautifully lit and full of colour.
Portrait Mode is available to add a DSLR-effect to your shots and keep the subject of your shot in focus while blurring the background. You'll even be able to adjust the level of blur before you hit the shutter button, helping you take the perfect portrait every time. HDR Portrait ensures brightness levels in over-illuminated photos are reduced and increased in snaps that are looking a little dark and dim.
On top of all of this, you'll find a pop-up 16MP front-facing camera for capturing selfies and, thanks to AI Beauty Mode, you'll be able to smooth, refine and enhance your best features. Taking videos is a breeze too, you can film with a bokeh effect, utilise the wide-angle lens to pack more into your video and thanks to Ultra Steady Video - there'll be no shaky footage.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
With a quad-lens camera system on the rear of the device, and a brilliant 10MP camera on the front, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is sure to be a hit, especially if you're already a fan of the Samsung Note series. Professional-looking photos are at your fingertips - just point and shoot for incredible results.
The rear camera setup features a 16MP ultra-wide camera with a 123-degree field of view, a 12MP wide-angle camera that can switch between apertures of f/1.4 and f/2.4 to give you more control in lower light and a 12MP telephoto camera that offers 2x optical zoom and helps to make Samsung's Live Focus feature possible.
The fourth element to the Note 10+'s camera system is the added DepthVision camera. Created by Samsung, it uses two individual sensors to offer refined bokeh-style effects and accurate results when it comes to measuring distances (something you might need if you like to use AR apps like QuickMeasure). It assists the telephoto lens with Live Focus images and videos too, where you can adjust the level of background blur before or after you've captured the moment.
The Note 10+ will also let you shoot videos in 4K UHD. The S Pen (Samsung's iconic stylus pen) is perfect when it comes to post-production video editing too, and you put your touch on footage directly from the device.
Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro has an outstanding quad-lens camera system, alongside a 32MP front-facing camera that snaps amazing selfies. Created in partnership with photography experts Leica, you're looking at one seriously impressive camera offering from this Android device. In fact, the rear quad-lens camera system has been praised by DxOMark (the trusted industry standard for camera quality). Upon release, it was graded at 112 - the highest score ever to be awarded to a rear smartphone camera.
The quad-lens system is made up of a 40MP Super Sensing camera, a 20MP ultra-wide angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens and a TOF (time of flight) sensor, designed to accurately measure objects in the background of your shot for an improved bokeh effect.
The 40MP Super Sensing camera has a wide aperture of f/1.6 too and this, combined with the system's offering of up to ISO 409,600, means shooting in low-light is easy. You can even shoot in darkness, and achieve supremely detailed, clear results. Additionally, there's a Superzoom Lens that works together with the periscope telephoto lens and built-in optical image stabilisation feature to produce high resolution photos. Snap objects far away with Huawei's 10x hybrid zoom, 50x digital zoom and 5x optical zoom, all without losing the important details.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
The Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ will revolutionise the way you take photographs, with multiple lenses enabling you to really unleash your creativity.
On the rear of both phones, you'll find Samsung's triple-lens True Vision camera system. This includes a 12MP Telephoto camera to help you zoom in on the action, a wide-angle 12MP camera and a 16MP Ultra-Wide camera with a 123-degree field of view for panoramic shots. Features like multi-frame composition and dual-aperture ensure taking photos is always straightforward, even in low light.
The 10MP + 8MP front-facing camera on the Galaxy S10+ is well equipped for the selfie lover. Play around with the depth of field on your snaps with Live Focus, add effects to suit your mood, or record a video in 4K UHD. You can even have a go at recording in Super Slow Motion if you fancy.
As for the front-facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S10, you'll find a single-lens 10MP camera. Whether you're big on group selfies or love video calls, this handset is equipped for it all.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Just like the Huawei P20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is powered by a Lecia designed camera system. Three lenses - a 40MP RGB sensor, 8MP telephoto lens and 20MP ultra wide-angle lens - combine to produce amazing images. The ultra-wide lens in particular is fantastic for macro shots, as you can take a close-up photograph from as little as 2.5cm away without losing focus.
AI-powered image stabilisation keeps every photo blur-free, and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro also uses AI to recognise over 1,500 different scenarios, automatically adjusting settings (such as brightness, contrast levels and colour) to your environment.
You'll find Night Mode as well, to help you take shots in conditions with low light levels, and a 24MP selfie camera to capture your best side in amazing quality.
If you're a big fan of Apple, and want an impressive smartphone camera, make sure you consider the iPhone XS as your next handset. This device features a 12MP dual-lens camera and highlights how it's not just the number of megapixels on a phone that matters. Photos taken on the iPhone XS are breathtakingly detailed, with the wide-angle lens and telephoto lens working in harmony to produce shots that are bright, vibrant and clear, whatever the environment.
Dual optical image stabilisation ensures your photos are always in focus too, and the rear camera offers a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom to help you get closer to the action. Depth Control, meanwhile, gives you the freedom to edit the depth of field on a photo even after you've pressed the shutter button, and you can also shoot in 4K, at either 24, 30 or 60 fps.
In fact, Apple even produced a short film titled 'The Bucket' entirely on the iPhone XS. Celebrating the Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, it features some of the most picturesque locations in China. The videography is stunning and showcases just how incredible the iPhone Xs can be.
The iPhone XS has an amazing selfie camera too. The 7MP True Depth front-facing camera will always capture your good side, with Portrait Lighting and Portrait Mode helping you to look your best. Apple's True Depth camera system makes features such as Face ID and Memoji possible on the iPhone XS too.
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