Cameras have become the marquee feature for smartphones, with the quality getting closer and closer to good standalone digital cameras.
Fox News has compiled a roundup of the smartphones with the best cameras.
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
In addition to being Apple’s first phones with 5G (on all iPhone 12 models), the 6.1-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max come with a three-camera system on the back: an ultra-wide camera, a wide camera and a telephoto lens.
The wide camera on the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 47% larger sensor than on the iPhone 12 Pro, which results in an improvement in low-light conditions. The iPhone Pro Max has a total optical zoom range of 5x compared to the Pro’s 4x.
Both iPhones have a LIDAR sensor for better low-light photo taking. Other upsides are improved Smart HDR, which automatically adjusts exposure to create the best image possible, and Apple’s new ProRAW photo file.
The two phones have received a “best smartphone camera” rating by several major review sites, including Consumer Reports.
Samsung Galaxy S20
The high-end S20 Ultra has one spec that stands out: a 108MP camera that can deliver amazing detail. It also has a 100x zoom, which is a mix of optical and digital zoom.
But that spec isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds, since with digital zoom you can lose a lot of image quality at extreme distances. The attention-getting 100x zoom aside, the “native” optical zoom is 4x on the telephoto lens. All S20 phones capture video in 8K resolution, the future of video.
For most, the cheaper Galaxy S20 may suffice. “We found all the cameras to work brilliantly well, and if you’re shooting in the automatic mode you’re sure to be impressed with the results,” said TechRadar about the less-expensive S20.
Google Pixel 5
This is the best bang-for-the-buck camera. It’s a relatively inexpensive phone at $699 compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but its camera is more than good enough for the vast majority of consumers. It has a rear dual 12.2MP camera and a 16MP ultra-wide camera.
“But it’s the software that really elevates this camera to excellence,” according to Digital Camera World.
Huawei Mate P40 Pro
China-based Huawei’s P40 Pro is ranked the top smartphone camera by widely cited DxOMark, squeaking by the iPhone 12 Pro Max. One of the P40 Pro’s standout specs is a 10x optical zoom lens, blowing past the Samsung S20 Ultra’s 4x optical zoom. “The P40 Pro achieves an outstanding DxOMark Camera score…because it is either the best or one of the very best devices we have tested to date across nearly all categories,” the review from DxOMark said.
However, the Huawei phone has a sticky problem that keeps it from the top of many lists. The Chinese tech giant is banned from shipping Google apps and services by the U.S. government, due in large part to accusations by the U.S. of using its devices for spying.