best camera phones

Best Camera Phones In 2020

Cameras are one of the most defining features of a smartphone. Manufacturers will claim that their phones' cameras are the best, but have you ever wondered what the best ones really are? In this article, I'll compare our choices for the best camera phones in 2020.

iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro is the latest version of the iPhone soon-to-be released from Apple. Apple has increased the durability and usage for the camera's with each new model of the iPhone. Like the iPhone 11 Pro, it comes with a 12 MP rear camera with Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto lenses. Each lens has a different aperture to make the lens unique, with the Wide lens at ƒ/1.6, the Ultra Wide at ƒ/2.4, and the Telephoto at ƒ/2.0.

Along with the unique apertures, the iPhone 12 Pro comes with advanced zoom settings to optimize the camera. Specifically, it comes with a digital zoom up to 10x with a 2.5x zoom in and a 2x zoom out. The iPhone 12 Pro's camera comes with more features like Night Mode that's compatible with the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses, and Deep Fusion Mode that's compatible with all three lenses.

Auto image-stabilization, advanced red-eye correction, and burst mode add to the iPhone 12 Pro Camera experience. If you use your phone for a lot of pictures or want to make the most of your phone, this camera is a great option. Since it's a new phone it will most likely be pricey, but you can trade in an old phone for a discount or join the iPhone Upgrade Program to save money!

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

An obligatory choice by now on almost all the top smartphone lists, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra's greatest strength is its camera array. It has four cameras, a staggering 108 MP wide, 48 MP periscope telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide, and 0.3 MP depth sensor. This enables the phone to zoom in up to 100 times, a feature Samsung calls Space Zoom.

With this phone you've also got a variety of features like Night Mode and Single Capture. Single Capture takes a 10 second video and picks out a variety of images and clips from that video using AI.

What's really impressive about the S20 Ultra is its ability to take 8K video, an extremely high quality resolution that you can play on 8K televisions. Although these videos take up a lot of space, you can take high quality, cropped images from the video if you'd like. This feature alone makes the S20 Ultra one of the best camera phones in 2020.

The S20 Ultra is pretty pricey, but its relatives, the S20 and the S20 Plus, both have very high quality cameras that you can take advantage of.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The 12 Pro Max is the top-of-the-line iPhone for taking photos. The Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto lenses have similarities to the lenses in the iPhone 12 Pro. However, the Telephoto lens on the 12 Pro Max has an ƒ/2.2 aperture as opposed to ƒ/2.0. Additionally, the Pro Max has a 5x optimal zoom range and a digital zoom of 12x.

Apple iPhone SE

You probably weren't expecting this mid-range iPhone to make it onto a list of 2020's best camera phones. However, we know that people have different, and the iPhone SE is a contender for the best smartphone camera at a mid-range price point.

The iPhone SE carries only a single 12 MP rear camera, similar to the iPhone 8. However, the superior processing power allows the software to improve the photos that you take, showing notable improvement over its predecessor. A few other benefits to the SE's camera include the ability to take photos in portrait mode as well as Night Mode. Night Mode is a new feature in iPhones that allows you to take high quality photos in darker settings.

If you're interested in taking video with your cell phone, the iPhone SE is capable of recording HD video in 1080p and 4K.

Google Pixel 3a

On the Android side of the mid-range market, the Pixel 3a still proves itself to be a worthy competitor to the iPhone SE. With an excellent 12.2 MP rear wide camera, the Pixel 3a has a number of helpful modes such as Night Sight, Top Shot, Time-lapse, and others. As far as video recording goes, this phone can record 1080p HD video at 120 frames per second and 4K video at 30 frames per second.

Similar to the iPhone SE, the software onboard the phone helps improve the performance of the camera. Although phones might have a higher megapixel rating or more cameras, the software on the Pixel 3a helps make the most of its 12.2 MP camera.

If you're looking for an Android smartphone for less that can rival other flagships in photo quality, the Pixel 3a is your best choice.

Google Pixel 4

Stepping out of the mid-range market and into the premium flagship market, the Pixel 4's camera is one of its most notable features. With a better camera and better software than the Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4 immediately became one of the best camera phones of 2020.

What's interesting is that the Pixel 4 retains a 12.2 MP wide camera much like the Pixel 3a. However, it also comes with an additional 16MP telephoto camera, making it a much more adaptable device for different situations. With 2x optical zoom, the Pixel 4 has much more potential than its midrange predecessor.

The Pixel 4 also comes with a wider range of video recording options than the 3a. Pixel 4 users can recrod 1080p high definition video at 30, 60 and 120 frames per second. Notably, the Pixel 4 cannot record 4K video without assistance from third party applications.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Released in September of 2019, the iPhone 11 Pro Max still stands tall against Android competitors as one of the best camera phones of 2020. This device packs three 12 MP lenses: wide, telephoto, and ultrawide. This makes it the most adaptable iPhone camera array currently available.

The incredible software performance, optical image stabilization, and 2x optical zoom all combine to produce stunning photos. In addition, this device has a depth sensor in addition to its 12 MP wide selfie camera. If you're taking photos with groups of people, this device is a good option.

Have you ever heard that there are some movies filmed with iPhones? The iPhone 11 Pro Max can record 4K video at either 24, 30, or 60 frames per second, and can even take video at 1080p HD up to 120 and 240 frames per second. The more frames you have, the smoother the video will appear and the more smoothly you can slow it down in playback.

Speaking of slowing down your video — these amazing frame rates power the phone's slow motion video feature. If you plan on recording a lot of videos with your iPhone, we recommend opting for the 128 or 256 GB model. A lot of HD video can quickly fill up a 64 GB hard drive.

Huawei P40 Pro+

We're getting into the big leagues now. Although it's over a year old, the Huawei P40 Pro is one of the most powerful camera phones of 2020. It has five cameras: 50 MP wide, 8 MP periscope telephoto, 8 MP telephoto, 40 MP ultrawide, and a 3D depth sensor. This device has an incredible amount of zoom, with its periscope telephoto camera being able to zoom in 10 times, and its regular telephoto camera being able to zoom in 3 times.

Keep in mind that this is optical zoom we're talking about. Most phones have to use digital zoom past a certain point to enhance your image, which uses the phone's software, but also makes it blurry in the process. Optical zoom doesn't have this issue, allowing much higher quality photos and videos.

Unfortunately, the P40 Pro is not available in the United State. However, if you click the link above you can still purchase the phone through Amazon. It may be possible to then purchase a separate US SIM card and insert it into the phone, making it compatible with certain US cellular networks.

OnePlus 8 Pro

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a beastly camera that can stand toe to toe with the other premium smartphones on this list. With a quad camera setup, you get the best of its 48 MP wide, 8 MP telephoto, 48 MP ultrawide, and 5 MP depth rear cameras. On the front end, you've got a powerful 16 MP wide camera which is great compared to most phones.

On the video side of things, the OnePlus 8 Pro can record 4K video in 60 FPS, and 1080p HD video up to 240 FPS for slow motion recording.

The main camera has optical image stabilization, which is a standard among premium smartphones to help keep photos and videos from getting blurry and shaky. The OnePlus 8 pro also has a special feature called All Pixel Omni-directional phase detection autofocus. Aside from being a really long name, this phone has superior autofocus compared to other smartphones.

Say Cheese!

Now that you know the best camera phones of 2020, I hope that this will help you make a decision on which one is right for you. If you found this article helpful, please share it with a friend or family member who may be looking for a new phone. Thank you for reading, and if you have any more questions about phone cameras, please leave a comment down below!


Colin Boyd

I'm Colin, the Creative Coordinator for Payette Forward.

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