Which are the best options when looking at smartphones for photography

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Lord Ba'al, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    Is anyone here by coincidence an expert (or well-versed) on the topic of cameras in smartphones? If you are, I would be interested in your opinion. If you're not but you think you can offer sound advice then I might listen but I might ignore you.

    I'm on the hunt for a new smartphone and I would like it to have a good camera. I've been researching online (not much yet), I've been talking to some people in my surroundings and I've been to some stores. One thing I've noticed is that people don't know the shit they're talking about, which pisses me off because it's just a waste of my time. I'm coming from the perspective of not knowing anything about smartphones having never researched them before about two days ago, yet I am very capable of spotting when someone is talking crap to me, even though I know nothing of a subject and they supposedly know a great deal more. It has been blatantly obvious to me that the people who work in the stores that sell these smartphones (and nothing but smartphones aside from maybe tablets) are incredibly incompetent. They don't have any real in-depth knowledge of the products they're selling. They just know that THIS is a Samsung S8+ phone which costs a lot so it must be great and THIS is a OnePlus 5 phone which is also great but costs a fair amount less so it is a really good deal. When I ask which phones in the store are the best for taking pictures, they tend to go to some random phone. But when I ask why that one is so great or how two phones compare to eachother they ramble on around things. You can know more about this topic from doing some research on the internet for 5 to 10 minutes than those people have in their heads.

    A colleague of mine is a bit of a photography enthusiast. He does have a proper Nikon camera and shit and goes to photoshoots sometimes. He's the type you hope you won't get to talk to because once he's start talking you never get rid of him and he talks about all kinds of shit you don't want to talk about, but this is beside the point. He recommended the OnePlus 5 (1+ 5) to me, he recently bought it himself after doing a lot of research. But when I started researching it myself I found "review" people talking about some things that weren't so great about it but in the end their conclusion was that because the device is quite a bit cheaper it is still a good deal. Now I don't like that. I don't want to spend 500 pounds on something which has great specs but misses the finishing touches, so to speak. I might still end up choosing it after having done more research, but at the moment I just started browsing and I'm open to looking at many different brands and models.

    No Apple!!! Fuck Apple. Don't get me wrong, it's fine if you're an Apple enthusiast (read fanboi). It's just not for me. I don't like the company policy of being completely closed off. Everything Apple does is slanted to making sure Apple stays in complete control of whatever Apple users can do. The products they produce are good, but not necessarily the best. Also they are very expensive. I am an open source kinda guy, not that I do anything in relation to open source, but I like the concept and philosophy of it. (eventually it will be the downfall of Apple, but that's a completely different topic) For this reason alone, Apple is not compatible with me. If their next phone (which should be released next month) is lightyears ahead of anything else on the market, I might be tempted to consider it, but otherwise it'll be a firm no for me. There's nothing wrong with using Apple products for comparitive purposes though. For example, how does the Samsung S8+ compare to the iPhone 7+ when it comes to THIS specific thing, and that sorta stuff. In the end, my choice will however never fall on the Apple product. Well, I'm glad I got that out of the way. Onwards to business!

    I currently have a very crappy phone. I never selected it myself. It just happened to come into my possession because my wife needed a cheap phone and then suddenly we were in a position where it made more sense for me to have the phone with me. I believe it is a Samsung Galaxy Fame. The only things I do with this phone are:
    - Check my email.
    - Make a phone call every now and then.
    - Send some text messages now and then.
    - Check to see if someone has posted on my forum.
    - Once in a while I try to look something up on the internet.
    - Put a Youtube video on sometimes, mainly some rain sounds for when I go to bed.
    - I take a picture every now and then.
    You would think I'm not a very demanding user, and you would be right. However, I think the main reason I don't do stuff with this phone is because it is simply not capable of doing anything. The pictures it takes are horseshit and everytime I take one I find myself wondering why I even bother to try. Looking stuff up on the internet is horrible with this phone because the display is so fucking small and the phone is really slow as well. Compared to how I see other people use their phones, they are driving ferraris while I'm peddling on a tricycle. Last night when I went to bed I put on the Youtube video with rain sounds and it took about three fucking minutes to get it going. This phone was not doing anything, just lying there, I unlock it, tap on the Youtube app, it takes about 30 seconds to load the app, then I clicked on the search icon which took about 10 more seconds, it automatically shows the search parameter I need to find the video as first option (thank god otherwise this process would take even longer) and I select it, it took a few seconds to show the search results, I select the exact same video I play every day (since recently shown as the second search result strangely enoug, whatup Youtube?), then I had to wait for a minute before the video started playing, then I was able to swipe the timestamp back to the start of the video (necessary because it remembered where it left off), then I had to wait for another while before it started playing again. I mean WTF!!! I got a great WiFi network here and bandwidth is most definitely not the issue. It's just this bloody fucking crap phone I have, and I am an extremely patient man, but this is really starting to annoy the shit out of me. Anyway, enough of the back story.

    So what I'm looking for in my new phone is:
    - Fast as fuck.
    - Plenty of memory, both RAM and storage space.
    - Takes high quality pictures.

    This is the reason I posted this in the photography section. As it turns out things aren't quite so cut and clear when considering the quality of cameras in smartphones. Things vary a lot. Some phones are better for taking pictures under THESE circumstances, but if you want to take pictures under THOSE circumstances more than maybe you should look at THAT model phone. Shit, these things are confusing and contradicting. You watch Youtube reviews about certain models but then other videos show the exact opposite results. This is why I thought it couldn't hurt to post here.

    Do you know what to look for in a smartphone camera?
    Which models would you recommend?
     
  2. Joelist

    Joelist I'm showing this for a reason! Staff Member

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    Well, your premise (No Apple) immediately means this is just a look at Android phones. My guess is you want the most power you can find and still get good pictures. The problem there is a LOT of Android smartphones have cameras with high megapixel count but poor RGB accuracy - typically what happens is the pictures are so colorful they look fake as the software punches the color temperatures up too high.

    Maybe the Google Pixel? On the bad side you are giving Google your personal data but on the good side it is a more or less pure Android experience and the camera is supposed to be really good.
     
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  3. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    Giving Google personal data? Like what? That doesn't seem like a thing I'd want. Not that they don't have plenty of data about me already.

    For me the quality of the camera will be more important than the speed of the phone, but of course I will be looking to try to get the complete package. It's really a shame the Samsung S8 has a ridiculous screen as in many ways it would be a very good option. But that screen plus it's the most expensive phone on the market (pretty much) means I probably won't go for it. Also I've seen a comparative test regarding it's speed when opening apps and it appeared to be quite a bit slower than the OnePlus 5.

    For the record, phones I've been looking at a bit:
    - Samsung S8(+)
    - OnePlus 5
    - Sony Xperia ZX Premium
    - Huawei P10/P9 (the 9 is better than the 10 even though a year older)

    Several people have recommended the Samsung S7 to me rather than the S8.
     
  4. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    My vote is for LG. Starting with the relatively old LG G2 which I have, you get a 13MP mp (1920X1080) camera which also takes video in HD and can take video at 30fps. Samsung would be my next pick, however it has gotten very Apple-like in terms of how the apps are used and especially in price which I would have to say is not worth the premium. The Huawei is superior than all of these including the LG. They are new players on the block and the hardware is superior in every respect. Right now, many who are looking at the specs and hardware are saying that Huawei makes the world's best smartphones. Better than Apple, better than Samsung, even better than Nokia which had the best cameras for a while. On your list, the P9 is your best bet. It uses both the RGB and the monochrome sensors in combination to create photos and video.
     
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  5. PussyGalore

    PussyGalore Faster than a scalded child!

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    When you say "good camera" do you mean one that will take high resolution pics in a natural setting such as a nature preserve where you are bird watching, or do you mean one that is good at taking pics in the diffused, dim lighting of a Netherlandian brothel while you are skulking about in the shadows trying to avoid the security guards?
     
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  6. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    I wrote a thread here years ago which talked about cellphone cameras, and why they would be suitable for making relatively decent movies at some point. I have personally used mine with a tripod, with green screen, with lights and without. You can't control the autofocus very well which is frustrating.

    http://www.gatefans.net/gforums/thr...her-tricks-for-the-amateur.27338/#post-867771

    Perhaps some examples are in order. :)
     
  7. Joelist

    Joelist I'm showing this for a reason! Staff Member

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    I would say that important camera features are color accuracy, resolution and ability to not blur motion shots.
     
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  8. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    I agree. And almost every smartphone seems to think we do not want control over auto-focus or f-stop. :(
     
  9. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Bang for the buck, I bought one of these SJCAM SJ4000 (non wifi) on Amazon 3 years ago for $99.00 and it takes video and audio and still shots much better than my cellphone or the SLR camera I had before.

    SKU1214961(4).jpg

    SKU135089c.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  10. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    I've been doing so much research. Still more to do. As it turns out this type of activity is extremely sleep inducing. Had trouble staying awake all throughout the day and crawled into bed at 7pm. My conclusion at this time is, perhaps it's best to wait until Google launches the Pixel 2 and see what that's all about. But perhaps later today I will have changed my mind again. In any case, best not to rush into things, especially when 500+ pounds are concerned.
     
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  11. PussyGalore

    PussyGalore Faster than a scalded child!

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    As you can see the cam on a smartphone probably won't be good enough for your needs:

    [​IMG]
     
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