Phones that may soon replace some cameras | Articles | Phones


Mobile photography has become so popular that smartphone manufacturers almost immediately responded to demand with supply. Cameras on phones have become so powerful that they can compete with compact cameras.

Cameras on smartphones

Almost all models of modern smartphones now have 2 cameras, and some even three. The Samsung Galaxy A7 is a prime example of this trend. The main camera has a resolution of 24MP, which is quite a good camera. In addition to it, there is also an 8MP wide-angle camera and an auxiliary 5MP camera. The main lens is responsible for the clarity and sharpness of the frame, wide-angle allows you to cover more space. But the last lens allows you to create a bokeh effect. In fact, the difference between such a smartphone and a camera is only in zoom capabilities.

Google Pixel almost immediately after the release was recognized as a smartphone with the most advanced camera. Google Pixel 3 only confirms this status. The XL model is now considered the best for mobile photography, as it is equipped with a real smart camera. While others are chasing the number of megapixels, Google has thrown all its efforts into quality and functionality. The resolution of the matrix is ​​​​12MP, but the camera works more powerful than ever.

For example, the Top Shot function allows you to take several shots at once, and then choose the most successful one. The smartphone even selects frames on its own. Trying to Google Pixel 3XL and compensate for the lack of zoom with digital zoom. The camera in this case independently fills in hard-to-distinguish parts.

Smartphone camera functionality

Compact cameras have always differed from professional ones mainly in their settings. And it seems that smartphone manufacturers are unwilling to lose the race. On modern devices, you get the chance to choose your own white balance, shooting temperature, and even ISO. For example, Xiaomi smartphones, even budget ones, allow you to use manual mode. And, even if it is still imperfect, but, for example, on Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 ISO varies from 100 to 3200 and the difference is very noticeable.

Almost every smartphone offers an HDR feature as well. Of course, it does not give such a result as on professional cameras, but it does a pretty good job. Returning to the Google Pixel, we can note that the smartphone perfectly catches the difference between the evening sky and the shaded street.

Camera app

Let the application for each Android interface have its own, with its own settings and parameters, almost all allow you to select a number of filters and modes. This is most often a square shot, panorama and portrait mode. Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi make sure to turn on the camera’s Beauty mode, which smoothes the skin and makes everything a little brighter. And manufacturers like Apple or Samsung are limited to a simple portrait mode with bokeh and a slight blur.

More experienced photographers will of course prefer manual mode. As for the already mentioned panorama mode, smartphones make it incredibly easy and convenient to use. The iPhone XS Max is a very good example of this. Following the line that the smartphone itself draws on the screen, you simply turn the device and get the finished panorama. At the same time, the smartphone supports all settings and compensates for vibrations.

In any case, it’s worth noting that the smartphone’s app and touchscreen make it a little easier to interact with settings than most cameras. Everything is intuitive, and the difference is immediately noticeable.

Google Pixel has become the smartphone with the best camera, having a single lens at a time when other manufacturers equipped their devices with dual cameras. Now there are smartphones with four and even five lenses, however, the rule “less is better” is still relevant. The Google Pixel 3 still uses a single 12MP camera and still holds its own as the best.

The triple camera benefited the Huawei P20 Pro and Leica played a significant role here, providing its services. So the main camera consists of 40 MP, 20 MP and 8 MP lenses with f/1.8, f/1.6 and f/2.4 apertures respectively. The image processor plays a part, as do the noise reduction and super zoom capabilities. So at night, the P20 Pro is very impressive with its capabilities. Photos from this smartphone look more solid than those from the Pixel 2XL. And if you compare them with a pocket camera, the result will really surprise you.


Compact cameras, like smartphone cameras, are now equipped with the ability to shoot video. As video has become one of the most popular mediums for communication, technology manufacturers are responding. And today, smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 can easily record long videos in 4K resolution. At the same time, many compact cameras still shoot Full HD. This is perhaps one of the significant factors that allows smartphones to gain popularity. One device replaces several at once, including a video camera. Various accessories such as monopods and axial stabilizers, such as the Dji Osmo Mobile, help with shooting. For filming, the same studio light can be used. In other words, you can buy a separate camera or shoot on a smartphone, and the result will be almost the same.


For many, the front camera on a smartphone plays a big role. Now, by the way, these cameras are also often double, as for example on the Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus. The 16 MP + 8 MP camera with f/1.9 aperture is considered one of the best for selfies even in low light. Interface creators do not skimp on filters and beauty modes. So in the same Galaxy A8 there is bokeh with a custom blur level. You can also slightly smooth the skin and enlarge the eyes. As a rule, cameras do not offer such functions, and even professionals have to correct shortcomings in post-processing. For ordinary photography enthusiasts, of course, it’s much easier to get by with what a smartphone offers. As for processing, there are plenty of applications for this too, some even allow you to create moving pictures and videos and customize processing specifically for social networks.

Smartphone or compact camera?

A couple of years ago, it was easy to name several advantages of compact cameras: the ability to shoot fast moving objects, settings, battery, price, availability of zoom lenses. Today, the gap between cameras has narrowed, and there is no doubt that the cameras on smartphones will continue to evolve, and every year the pictures will become clearer.

And even the lack of interchangeable lenses is no longer a problem. At one time, a number of companies, including Sirui, released removable lenses for the iPhone 6S. Among them were wide-angle, and fisheye, and macro.

Now, many of these features can be found directly on the smartphone camera.

From your smartphone, it’s easier to share photos, send them to friends or immediately publish them with suitable geotags, hashtags and captions.

The price of devices also plays a role. A quality camera will cost about the same as a good mid-range smartphone. And on such a device there will already be several lenses, a smart application and enough functions to take high-quality pictures.

Therefore, it will not surprise anyone if, in the near future, SLR cameras remain entirely the prerogative of professionals, and compact cameras are replaced by smartphones.


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