The Best Smartphones for Capturing Photos and Video
The days of carrying around both a phone and a camera are numbered. New research from NPD finds – surprise, surprise -- that smartphones are now the source of more than a quarter of the photos and videos people take in the U.S., and that number is only going to rise as the cameras built into smartphones keep improving. Here’s a look at the best for each carrier.
iPhone 4S for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T (starting at $199 on Apple.com)
This phone’s 8-megapixel camera offers autofocus, flash and overall, better quality shots than the iPhone 4’s camera. There’s also face detection and options for cropping, rotating, color correction, and red-eye reduction. And, of course, it shoots full, 1080p video, too. Overall, the 4S captures very high quality images and is just lots of fun to use.
Samsung Epic 4G on Sprint ($0.01 on AmazonWireless.com)
Lots of options like effects, white balance controls, ISO settings and even a built-in photo and video editor (that lets you string together clips with music, even) are fun for photographers who like lots of control. The camera takes nice, fast pictures, with very little lag between shots. Video can be slightly choppy if you’re panning the camera or shooting subject with a lot of motion, though the still images are crisp and bright.
HTC Rezound on Verizon ($149.99 on AmazonWireless.com)
The selling point for this smartphone is the audio functionality, but the Rezound’s camera has a host of features such as automatic face detection, panorama mode, and burst shot. Outdoor shots produce vivid and bright color and great contrast, though low-light photos are dimmer than they could be (despite a built-in, dual-LED flash that lights up the darkest shooting environments). Shutter speed can vary a bit, with some lag, too. The camera can also record impressive, 1080p HD video.
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T ($179.99 on AmazonWireless.com)
Like the others, the Galaxy S II has an 8-megapixel camera, which can shoot 1080p HD video. Included are tools like color effects, white-balance controls, ISO settings, and an image editor that lets you crop photos. The built-in video editor that lets you piece together clips right on the phone. The camera performs well in low-light thanks to the LED flash, and delivers rich color and clarity in outdoor shots.
HTC Amaze 4G for T-Mobile ($199 on AmazonWireless.com)
The coolest camera feature on the Amaze is called SmartShot, which takes a series of pictures and combines elements of each to create that perfect picture. So for example, if one person's eyes are closed in one shot but open in another and another person is smiling in the first shot and only half-smiling in the next, the final image should show everyone beaming and bright eyed. Another feature, Perfect Pics, takes the most technically correct (exposure, composition, color) and automatically places them in a separate album.