Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past decade. Ten years ago, it was a privilege to have a smartphone with a camera. Nowadays, we expect cameras to work almost as good as traditional DSLR cameras. If this is the case, there are lots of features smartphone cameras can have which make them good in some areas, and potentially not as good in others. What smartphone you chose to purchase will, to some extent, depend on the quality of the camera. With this, here are some of the main elements you should look for in a smartphone camera for 2017.
Portrait Mode – Software vs Hardware
Portrait mode was something that was first introduced onto the iPhone 7 which enables the subject to stay in focus and the background to blur out, creating portrait images of subjects similar to how traditional cameras can focus on a subject.
The way smartphones have done this is through introducing a second camera, so one camera focuses on the subject and the other creates the blurred background. This has proved good for smartphones such as iPhones, OnePlus 5/5T, Note 7 and more.
However, there is a new wave of smartphones, mainly from Samsung with the S7 and the Google Pixel 2, that uses artificial intelligence software to determine what is the subject so that it knows what to blur in the picture and what to not blur. Either way, looking for a camera with portrait mode is a necessity for smartphones cameras in 2017.
High Dynamic Range is a way for the smartphone to take two pictures at different exposure rates, stitching them together to make the blacks blacker and whites whiter in the image (so the dynamic range is higher).
Smartphones in 2017 should have HDR by default. With this, just make sure the camera and processor supports it.
Although this does not impact the actual quality of the shots taken with the smartphone camera, it does impact what type of pictures you can take with your smartphone. Although most feel they might not need a waterproof smartphone, there will always be a time throughout the year where you are by a swimming pool or in the a rainstorm and wanted to take a picture. A waterproof smartphone will allow you to take whatever shot you want, be it above or below water.
Optical Image Stabilisation
A lot of the shots people take tend to be blurred when processed, since the shake of the smartphone in the person’s hand when taking the picture causes the image processed to blur. This is where optical image stabilization comes into place. What OIS does is minimize the effect of shaking on pictures, so images maintain sharpness and less blur with shake – for those looking for sporty shots and always on the move, this is a necessity.