Four flagship phones perfect for photographers

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There are probably three key elements that distinguish flagship phones from mid-range and entry-level devices, besides price of course, with processor performance, camera capabilities and large batteries the most important elements.

Today we’re focusing on camera performance in particular, and while you may think that all flagship phones boast great cameras, they are not all cut from the same cloth.

With that in mind we’re highlighting four flagship phones in particular for photographers and content creators, with these devices combining large megapixels, multiple lenses and smart software to yield great images and video.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

First up is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, which recently became available to purchase in South Africa. Say what you will about the design of the new 12 series or the lack of charger in the packaging, but when it comes to camera performance, it is hard to look past what Apple has assembled for its Pro lineup.

You may be wondering why we have not gone the whole hog and listed the Pro Max model? Well besides the increases screen real estate, the camera systems on both devices are exactly the same, and support the same formats and functionality.

Here we’re specifically shouting out the trio of 12MP lenses (ultra-wide, wide and telephoto), along with the new A14 Bionic chip which brings all of this to life. Added to this is the ability to shoot in Apple’s version of RAW, which content creators in particular will be interested in.

With all of this packaged in the supremely easy to use iOS camera app, the iPhone 12 Pro is worth considering for its camera performance alone.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G

Next is an interesting device from Huawei. The Mate 40 Pro is not interesting in terms of its design or performance, but rather for the fact that at the time of writing, is still not available in South Africa to purchase. This despite the fact that local media have been sent review units to test some two months ago.

As such, much of this recommendation hinges on whether the Mate 40 Pro will indeed by launched in South Africa. While we wait for confirmation on that front, let’s run through what makes the flagship phone impressive in terms of camera performance.

Here, the Mate series has usually boasted the latest tech compared to Huawei’s P series, and it’s no different here. Leica-certified, the Mate 40 Pro features a new primary lens on the rear in the form of a massive 50MP wide-angle option.

This is supported by 20MP ultra-wide and 12MP telephoto lens, all of which combine with the Kirin 9000 chipset to smooth out any inconsistencies in your shooting to yield great images each and every time.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Our third option may surprise you, as it is not the out and out flagship option within the ever-growing list of premium 2020 Samsung phones. It’s the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition), which distills all of the best features of the Galaxy S20 into a more “affordable” package.

The same goes for the camera setup. On this front, and like the other options on this list, a trio of lenses is present – 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto. As expected, this mix yields great pictures, but we’re highlighting the S20 FE for its zooming capabilities.

This as Samsung has been doing a bit of overkill in this department with its Pro model of S20 and Note 20. Here, a more reasonable 3x optical zoom and 30x super resolution zoom is present. It means you can focus in on content, retain nuance and not worry about grainy results, or the need for additional devices to stabilise it.

LG V60 ThinQ 5G

Rounding up our quartet of options is another South Korean flagship phone – the LG V60 ThinQ 5G. We’re considering this device sans the Dual Screen cover, which is yet to fully win us over as being an essential smartphone experience.

What is essential, however, is the high-end range of cameras on the back of this device.

Like Huawei, LG has fitted a massive lens for the primary option. 64MP to be more precise, which is paired with a 13MP super-wide and 5MP depth sensing option. The latter two mean wider shots and portrait photography have added dimensions of detail, but the amount of pixels on offer from the 64MP option will not be shy in terms of resolution.

Either way it covers all the bases nicely, and is one of the cheaper 5G flagship phones you can find right now.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.