Take great photos on your smartphone
12 Oct 2012
Top tips for professional looking mobile phone photos
We've already covered the best quick-fix tips for taking fantastic photos on your mobile, but you'll still need the very best kit to capture your memories with pin-point sharpness. Here's our pick of the best phone cameras around...
With advancing camera sensors and highly designed software, your mobile camera is the ultimate snapper that never leaves your pocket. We asked fashion photographer Jeff Hahn (Dazed & Confused, i-D, Nylon, Tatler (Asia) and Versace) to test the year’s top camera phones, and judge which one is the ultimate tool for mobile photographers…
NOKIA 808 PureView
The Nokia 808 PureView has an incredible 41MP camera built in which takes great quality images and includes quick access via a dedicated button. The 808 operates comfortably in daylight and captures action well, easing fluently into areas of low-light where it produces clean, sharp photographs.
Sitting comfortably between the minimalism of the iPhone’s camera and the loaded controls of the Galaxy S III, the PureView gives you the right amount of control from dawn till dusk, thanks to a Xenon flash that blows its competition straight out of the water. It might take a light tweak to get it right, but the 808 makes up for its weaknesses with an array of adjustments and astounding quality.
Check out our full 808 PureView's camera guide for more info!
SAMSUNG Galaxy S III
We loved the Samsung Galaxy S III's quick shooting mode of up to around three frames per second and great performance in any lighting conditions, close or far. This is a wonderful camera phone for those wanting more control over the image than the iPhone, with many variables available for adjustment. The panorama feature allows for accurate stitching by showing you alignment frames. Although there’s no dedicated camera button, accessing the camera is easy and the ripple-swipe unlocking method is just too cute to resist!
Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S III camera guide for more info!
HTC One X
The HTC One X was the first smartphone to give us burst shot and taking photos while shooting videos. You get adjustable contrast / saturation settings to get the perfect image, and our daytime results were both sharp and vibrant.
Apple iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 produces impressively sharp and realistic daytime shots, even if the camera hasn't seen much improvement over the 4S. Instant shutter speeds, automatic adjustment of focal ranges and simplistic design means no wasting time struggling to choose the best shooting modes. With glorious depth of field and good automatic white balance, this is a no-frills, quality approach to camera phone photography, although the lack of features is a real shame compared to efforts such as the Galaxy S III.
T1 TriggerTrap (triggertrap.com, £27.50)
This one’s for the professional photographers. Download the TriggerTrap app (£2.99 but iOS has a free ‘lite’ version too) and then connect your Canon, Pentax or Hasselblad DSLR camera to your smartphone using the dongle, and you’re ready to shoot photos at a distance. The standard ‘cable release’ function allows you to take a shot by prodding your phone’s screen, which worked well after we fiddled with the settings for a couple of minutes. We preferred the timelapse mode, which automatically takes anything between nine and 10,000 shots over a period up to seven days. This produced some fantastic results when used to shoot a landscape.
Rounding off the free app’s features is a ‘seismic’ mode, which triggers the camera if the phone vibrates beyond a certain level. You can get even more modes (including motion detection, extreme light exposure and distance-lapse photography using GPS) by stumping up the three quid for the premium app.
Editor: Chris Barraclough