Spoilt for choice

- Bivek Khatiwada

Oct 24, 2017-


Freezing memories

I mostly use my phone to take photos and therefore I was planning on getting my hands on the best camera phone available. Initially, I had my heart set on the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy because of their dual camera setup and the quality of their final images. As if the choice wasn’t hard enough, Google has now rolled out Google Pixel 2 and 2XL, each with single rear camera which, from what I’ve heard, happen to be the best smartphone camera till date. Now I am in a dilemma. Could you suggest one smartphone with the best camera, whose shots resemble those from DSLRs?

—Swaechchhya Dahal

Dear Swaechchhya,

It is undeniable that the purpose of the dual camera is to make the phone capable of producing vibrant and well-detailed images. The presence of dual camera offers advantages like wide field of view, enhanced depth perception, ability to detect small objects, symmetry and more.  

You might wonder why if a DSLR can produce vibrant shots with plenty of details with just a single lens that a smartphone needs dual cameras for the same purpose. To explain it in simple terms, DSLRs are equipped with large aperture, big lens and a large sensor, which make them of capable of capturing adequate light and plenty of details during shots. 

However, in smartphones with dual-cameras, subject and background can be segregated with the additional details sensed by the secondary camera. And the blurring of the background is entirely through a software, which may result in images with unnatural intensity of the blurs. In some cases, the subject may even lack sharp edges with blurry boarders. And in the case of zooming and wide angle shots, dual-camera smartphones are way behind DSLRs. So the concept of dual-cameras came as an alternative, where the details collected from two cameras blend to form one image resembling a DSLR’s output.

If you like applying effects while taking the shots, then dual-camera smartphones can be ideal for you. If you love travelling or visiting places then having wide-angle camera is a faithful companion. And if you indulge in portraits to flaunt on social media, a Telephoto camera would be the better choice. But if you love natural shots without artsy effects, single camera works perfectly fine.

As for the Google Pixel 2/2XL, what you heard is true. The tests were performed by DxOmark, a benchmark platform for smartphone cameras, digital cameras, lenses and sensors. Superseding the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8—which both scored 94 points on the Dxomark benchmark test—Google pixel 2/2XL scored 98 points. The DxOmark benchmark test protocol uses panel of imaging experts rather than a software. The images and videos are shot by experts in real life situations at different light conditions reviewing Bokeh (portrait) mode, zoom feature, autofocus and sharpness, taking into account the motion of the scene and the speed of image/video capture, etc. And taking account to these benchmark scores, Google Pixel 2/2XL obviously has the best overall camera performance. However, these Google devices are not officially available in Nepal. And getting devices from the grey market is expensive and unreliable. So going for iPhone 8 plus or Note 8 will be the best choice here as of now. But if you can wait, Huawei Mate 10 Pro might be the fitting option in your case. It has a DxOmark score of 97 points and is queued for a launch in Nepal.

Published: 24-10-2017 08:13

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