What Phone camera would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by drd1135, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The "Death of consumer cameras" threads got me thinking. I'm starting to think about making the camera a serious issue for choosing the model for my next phone purchase, which has not been true before. What do you think is the best camera/phone combination? Keep it civil folks.
  2. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    The iPhone 7 Plus camera seems to be among the best at the moment. They can now do RAW.
    Robin Wong also tried out the Huawei P9 and seemed to like it a lot.
    Robin Wong: Huawei P9 Camera Review - Is This The Photographer's Smartphone?

    Other than that, I know little about comparative smartphone cameras. This is an area where you will need to do research. Just one thought - the results will depend greatly upon the interaction of the camera and the software. Cannot be considered separately.

    Panasonic had a camera with a smartphone attached. Lumix DMC-CM1. It had potential as it was camera 1st, smartphone 2nd. Now discontinued, so I guess it wasn't a big seller.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Been pretty happy with the galaxy s7 camera. Jpeg engine still needs work though.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    Currently I think Samsung and Apple lead the pack by a pretty significant margin. The S7/S7 Edge/Note 7 are all the same I believe. They look pretty on par with the iPhone 7, and a hair above the iPhone 6s/6s+ from the side by side comparisons I've seen. They all have quite good 12MP sensors with fast, stabilized lenses (f1.7 for Samsung, f1.8 for iPhone 7) and quick user interfaces.

    The iPhone 7+ of course raises the bar a bit with it's second camera. If you haven't followed the news there, it has a two sensors and two lenses on the back, one at 23mm and one at 56mm equivalent. You can instantly switch between them as if you were swapping primes.

    They're both close enough that I would base my decision on your personal preference for Android vs. iPhone, as those will make the biggest difference in daily life.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    iPhone 7 Plus with the dual Focal length.

    Samsungs are bursting into flames due to battery problems and a massive recall is coming. Samsung quality on many items has been sub-PAR lately. Might get a deal on a new one when they correct and redistribute.

    For the extra money though, I'd go iPhone 7 plus and get the two FLs. It's not a cheap phone, but we're talking about the extra $100 or so to get that feature.
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Galaxy S7 / Note 7 and LG G4 / V10 / G5 / V20 are the best all-rounders right now.

    My LG G4 is decent in JPEG, but the DNG output is flabbergastingly good. In good light, the per-pixel resolution at 16MP isn't put to shame by my M4/3 cameras or Pentax DSLR. I bought the G4 in large part for its camera, which I found to be the best on the market in my research at the time, outside of exotica like the Lumia 1020 or Lumix CM1.

    The iPhone 7 has some more features and may be more responsive, but lags in absolute image quality. Maybe with RAW it will be up to competitive snuff.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I've never been one to drop a lot of cash on a phone, because no matter how good they are, I only end up installing a bunch of basic productivity apps and using it mainly as a, err, phone! I'm also a bit old school when it comes to taking photographs, it just feels more natural to me when using a camera. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the camera in my Motorola Moto X. 21MP Sony sensor with PDAF. The images it puts out in good light are similar to my RX100. The first time I downloaded an image from it I questioned if I really needed the RX100, and the first time I downloaded an image from the RX100, I questioned if I still needed M43. The answers were of course yes, and yes!
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Iphone 7+ has a lot of press right now, but they actually use smaller sensors than most. The wide angle is using a 1/3" sensor and the second normal lens is using a 1/3.5" sensor (With a relatively slow f2.8 aperture). That's 7x crop sensor and 8.5x crop sensor.

    By comparison the best from Samsung and others are using 1/2.3"-ish sensors. Those are the same size used in nice regular compact cameras. (6x crop)

    Apple generally wins in SOOC color, exposure and HDR due to superior auto-processing. If you want to get serious and use RAW and more manual stuff, their sensor is not going to be the best by a fair margin.

    Samsung S7/Note 7, HTC 10, LG G5 and Moto Z Force are using bigger sensor with same or bigger aperture.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Sounds like the old M43 vs FF argument here. :026:

    I'm not going to get into an iPhone vs Android argument, but will leave one thought. "The whole is often greater than the sum of the parts." So, even if the iPhone 7 Plus sensors are smaller than some other phones, does that matter as much as the synergy of the hardware and software to produce good results? Maybe even better results? I don't think I've seen any rigorous comparisons yet, so I won't assume anything yet.
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    When shooting RAW (which you weren't able to do on iPhone before) a lot of those processing foibles are rendered irrelevant. I categorically prefer detail with a bit of noise to baked in noise reduction, so I don't like the results from any smartphone camera JPEGs.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    It's relevant because they all use similar Sony EXMOR RS sensors and high quality simple prime lenses.

    And I did not think there was any controversy around larger sensor sizes providing better image quality.

    Surely iPhones are quite excellent. But THE best? I think that would be hard to argue.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  12. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    • Like Like x 1
  13. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Some people get a little touchy any time you question the greatness of Apple.
  14. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    aaaaaaaand scene :-|
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    I know this isn't what you asked but unless the primary function of your phone is to be a camera, I wouldn't choose a phone solely based on that factor.

    For example, the iphone 7+ has a pretty interesting dual camera in it. It also nearly the size of a tablet. That may be great for you or you might not like it.

    For me, form factor, ease of use, ability to run my apps of choice, hardware(including the camera) all would have weight in the decision.

    That reads more like an advertisement than a review.
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    That's a little sensational. The only Samsung phone that is having problems is the new Note 7. My S7 Edge has been fantastic for 6 months; the best phone I've ever had.

    Lens has OIS.
    Shoots RAW.
    Shoots 4k video.
    Supports Micro SD. I put a 200GB card in there.
    AMOLED screen is over 500ppi and shows deep blacks. My photographer friend compared it to his 6S and the Samsung was much better

    Spring Blossom
    by John Flores, on Flickr

    Wood and water. Raw DNG taken with Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Processed on iPad Air 2 with Lightroom.
    by John Flores, on Flickr

    Chimney Rock with quarry in background. Raw DNG taken with Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, edited on an iPad Air 2 with Lightroom.
    by John Flores, on Flickr

    Somerset County Park Commission
    by John Flores, on Flickr
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  17. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    It is a little sensational but it was reported by NPR this week that Samsung quality overall has fallen including other products like appliances. There dishwashers in fact are rated poorest in reliability.

    A dishwasher isn't a phone though and the report focused on phones and batteries in the context of samsung's recent rush for profit leaving quality to fall.

    Apparently they are even considering remotely killing effected phones to force their recall.

    I wouldn't have known if it wasn't in the news.
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Wow this thread fell apart fast...... Dishwashers? :rofl:
    • Funny Funny x 2
  19. Mountain

    Mountain Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 2, 2013

    I also bought the LG G4 specifically for the camera.
  20. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    I bought a Samsung dishwasher specifically for the camera, but it doesn't even record 4K!
    • Funny Funny x 6
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