Does Having the Best Camera Phone Matter?

by Volker Weber

huawei leica1

Unless your phone is several years old, we don’t recommend upgrading just to get a better camera. But if you need to upgrade anyway, we think you should go with what’s familiar—switching platforms for the promise of a slightly better camera is not worth the hassle. And unless you’re actually printing your photos, most of the differences between phone cameras get ironed out in the process of sharing photos through messages or social media, which shrink and compress images to save data:

The photos that Apple shows at keynotes are all stunningly beautiful and well curated. That's not the camera. It's the photographer and the art director. When I see bad camera phone photos, it's always human error. The inability to correctly frame a shot, not close enough, dark faces against a bright background. Yes, that ski slope is beautiful, but everybody in front of it will be very dark. And the sunset behind that friendly face? Yup, the face is gone without a fill-in light. You can try this as often as you like with any camera. Photography is painting with light.

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Comments

The difference maybe is not relevant if you only compare highend devices like a current iPhone, S9 or P20. But the camera is the one main thing that differentiates highend phones from midrange or low end ones.

A great photographer probably can do great photos even with low end devices. But an amateur does by far better photos with an iPhone than with a Moto G or Huawei P Smart. That's especially true for low light situations or other more demanding environments.

Andreas Eldrich, 2018-07-12

maybe technically better, but that's not the most important thing about a good photo.

Karl Heindel, 2018-07-12

Why settle for less? I’m quite skilled at taking pictures, and I know how to set the scene so the limitations of the camera don’t overly show. I was ready to move on from my hate-Love Nokia 1020 to IOS only when Apple came out with the 6s plus or 7 plus - to me, a good camera is crucial.

Friedrich Holstein, 2018-07-12

It helps if you read the rest of the linked article: "but all the experts we interviewed (including one who helped design DxOMark’s test) agree that stressing over which flagship phone has the most impressive camera is a waste of time, because they’re all impressive."

Volker Weber, 2018-07-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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