If you’re a photographer, you’re a photographer all the time: whether you are carrying your DSLR or not. And because it just isn’t practical (or responsible) to have your most prized artistic instrument with you at all times, you need something compact and always handy to be there when your camera can’t be. Fortunately, there are several smartphones on the market these days that incorporate impressive camera systems and fit easily into your pocket, so that you’ll never have to miss that once-in-a-lifetime shot again. Here are our top three favorites.
As pretty much everyone already knows, the iPhone is an all-around great piece of technology, and this applies especially to its photo-taking capabilities. Boasting not one, but two cameras, 8 megapixel resolution, infrared filter, a variable automatic aperture, LED flash, face detection, HDR, and HD video capacity, it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful camera phones on the market today. When you combine that with incredible screen clarity, easy fingertip zoom and resizing features, one click emailing, web sharing platforms, geotagging, and literally hundreds of apps for photo editing and enhancement, you are left with one hell of a phone for a photographer.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Indisputably another industry leader when it comes to camera phones, the Samsung Galaxy S II is also a photographers’ favorite. Similar to the iPhone in size and appearance, the Galaxy S II also has two cameras, 8 megapixel resolution, LED flash, and shoots full 1080p HD video. It impressively handles bright outdoor conditions, can connect device-to-device with wi-fi direct (so that you can send files straight from your phone to your printer without a wireless access point, for example), and has a screen resolution to rival the iPhone. A few downsides, however, are slight lags on shutter speed and when opening the settings menu. But all in all, it’s a great option for those photographers who are keen on Google’s formidable Android platform.
More than any other phone on the market, the Nokia N8 puts photography first. With a hefty twelve megapixel camera, Carl Zeiss optics, an unprecedented sensor, and Xenon flash, this is one powerful phone camera. It also shoots 720p HD video, has an extremely intuitive and useful video-editing suite, and boasts 16 GB of on board memory and up to another 32 GB in removable storage. Aperature: F2.8, focal length: 5.4. My favorite feature, though, and one that is so simple and yet so often overlooked on camera phones: the camera button is perfectly placed, exactly beneath the pad of your index finger. When all is said and done, this baby packs arguably the best camera of any phone ever. Aside from the lack of full-1080p video capability, the phone’s one drawback is that it runs on the increasingly irrelevant Symbian operating system. If it’s photography you’re after, though, this is the phone for you.
Between price, lens quality, user-friendly interface, ease of editing, sharing, and all the other innumerable features out there to choose from, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a camera phone. So it won’t exactly be an easy decision. The good news, though, is that there are a ton of great phones with great cameras on the market today, and the technologies are only getting better and better each year.
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