Not one, not two, but now some phones are showing off a camera with three lenses on the back (the main camera) – but why would you need three?
A dual lens will give you the best of both worlds. One lens is the main shooter, while the other captures the depth. This gives you the ability to separate a foreground subject from the background, meaning you can refocus or recolour either part of the image.
· Aperture - The little hole in the lens that light enters through and projects an image on the light sensor on the back. The aperture in your lens corresponds to different f-numbers. As the hole gets bigger (opens up more and more), the f-number goes down, but as the aperture decreases, the f-number goes up. For example, an aperture that gets F2.8 is a lot bigger than an aperture that gets F5.6
· Bixby Vision - An image search feature by Samsung. Simply point the camera at an object, image or location and choose Bixby Vision. You can use Bixby Vision to identify and shop for items, translate text or identify location
· Iris scanner - Iris recognition is an automated method of biometric identification on one or both of the irises of an individual's eyes
· Live focus - A Samsung feature that allows the camera to capture the background and the subject separately, so you can adjust the focus
· Megapixels - The resolution on a phone camera is measured in megapixels. A megapixel means one million pixels. For example, a 12-megapixel camera can produce images with 12 million total pixels. The higher the number of megapixels, the better quality the image
· Optical zoom - Being able to get a closer view of faraway subjects. Cameras vary in zoom size – the higher the zoom size the closer the image can get
· Portrait Mode - Helps you take better pictures of people by capturing a sharp face and a blurred background. Specifically made to improve close-up photos of one person
· Portrait Lighting - An Apple feature that uses software to apply several pre-set lighting effects to a subject's face
· Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) - A screen that provides an exceptional viewing experience. It offers a wide range of colours with an incredible degree of colour clarity which translates into far greater resolution
· True Tone display - An Apple feature that dynamically adjusts the white balance of the screen to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate, paper-white viewing experience
· TrueDepth camera – Apple’s front-facing camera system that enables Face ID to work, replacing the need for a fingerprint sensor
It’s not as simple as ‘more megapixels = better quality photos’. A lot of it depends on the size of your mobile phone camera’s sensor and having the right amount of pixels squeezed into it. The images you take with a 12-megapixel smartphone camera could be just as good as 42-megapixel photos. However, more megapixels can help with zoom viewing.
Ultimately, we recommend you try before you buy at your nearest Vodafone store, and also read the user reviews. That will give you a sense of the overall photo quality that the technical stats can’t.
There's real variety on offer when choosing the best mobile phone camera for you. Think carefully about why you want a good phone camera. Are you looking for a good all-rounder that can capture life’s fun moments? Or something more specific, like a rugged phone you can take on travels and adventures, a big-buttoned mobile phone with a camera, or an easy-to-use mobile phone? Or just a stylish model that looks great in the hand and makes you and your mates look even better in selfies?
Ultimately, you want better photos and videos – but unfortunately, a phone with the best-quality megapixel camera won’t automatically make you a better photographer. However, you can develop your skills by starting with a smartphone with a good camera that suits your budget, reading articles, watching a few videos and practising. For visual designer Hugo Miguel Sousa, the secret to great digital photography is composition. Read his tips for top urban photography on our official Vodafone blog.
Or maybe you want to get great pics of the night sky? Don’t have a DSLR to hand? You can still get great pictures of the stars and planets with our guide to taking stellar shots from astrophotographer Tim Burgess.
Listen, learn, do – and watch your photos rocket in quality.
There’s an amazing spectrum of digital filters, effects and shooting modes available with today’s camera phone. But to get the best images from your camera phones, it’s always better to apply filters after you’ve taken an image, not before. You can make a colour image black and white, but not the other way around. Travel blogger and professional photographer Laurence Noah gives some great advice on how to edit your photos, and what tools to use, on our official Vodafone blog. And don’t forget to try out brilliant accessories such as the Sony ZX310AP Headphones or Samsung Gear VR headset to take your photos and videos to a whole new level.