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Shooting photos with a smartphone is a norm these days. In fact, there are numerous brands out there capable of producing amazing image quality, letting you leave your point-and-shoot digital camera or even DSLR behind.

Smartphones vs. DSLRs?

There are many reasons why people prefer to use smartphone cameras over DSLRs. Among them is portability that won’t weigh you down as well as ease-of-use and wireless sharing purposes via social media platforms.

Most of today’s smartphone cameras are versatile enough to shoot everything from a selfie to portrait as well as wide-angle, ultra-wide and telephoto. Depending on brands, you can find smartphone cameras with either dual, triple, quad or even quintuple lens.

smartphone vs dslr

As for DSLRs, the general bulkiness of its body can be a turn-off, no matter if you carry them or store them inside your backpack. Of course, DSLRs has several advantages, namely the ability to mount external flash and interchangeable lens compared with smartphones. 

Besides a larger sensor strictly dedicated to shooting better photos and videos, you also have absolute control over the likes of aperture, ISO and shutter speed when using a DSLR.

At the end of the day, it all depends on your respective needs and profession. If you choose to stick to smartphones, we have round up the best of them ranging from high-end flagship to mid-range and budget-friendly options here.

1. Huawei P30 Pro

Best smartphone for night and low-light photography

Price from RM3,399.00

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It goes without saying that Huawei P30 Pro’s major selling point is their amazing Leica triple-camera setup. This includes a 40MP + 20MP wide-angle & ultra angle along with an 8MP telephoto snapper, all of which complement different types of shooting conditions.

The P30 Pro scores a high point when comes to both night and low-light photography, producing images with clear details with minimum noise. It is also able to deliver up to an ISO sensitivity of 409,600 while incorporating RYYB sensor to improve images taken in near-dark environments regardless of indoors or outdoors.

You can expect blur-free image results as well, thanks to P30 Pro’s combination of Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and 10x hybrid zoom. Finally, given its premium price, you’ll get what you paid for: a large 6.47” FHD+ display, an IP68 rating that resistant against water and dust, a powerful Kirin 980 processor and a long-lasting 4,200mAh battery capacity.

2. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Best smartphone for macro photography

Price from RM3,299.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM3,299.00 shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM3,299.00
add_circle Beautiful design
add_circle Vibrant, sharp screen
add_circle Powerful performance
remove_circle Pricey

Get up, close and personal with Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, which can pull off an awesome macro shot as close as 5 cm from a subject. And did we mention that it comes with a whopping total of five lenses? Here, you’ll get 12MP rear shooter as well as 16MP ultra-wide and 12MP telephone camera lens.

If that’s not enough, the S10 Plus also includes an 8MP front-facing RGB depth camera and a 10MP selfie snapper. For avid photographers, there’s a Pro Mode that allows you to play around with various camera functions such as ISO speed, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation.

Specs-wise, the S10 Plus boasts a bezel-less 6.4” Quad HD+ display, a speedy Exynos 9 octa-core processor and an ample 512GB storage capacity. Then, there’s the massive 4,100mAh battery capable of sustaining up to 11-12 hours, depending on the usage.

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Best smartphone for landscape photography

Price from RM4,199.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM4,199.00

Sporting a large 6.8” Infinity-O display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ cuts off as many bezels as possible. That means you can enjoy uninterrupted views on the screen regardless of watching a video or playing a game. Other key features include a lightning-fast 7nm octa-core processor with a 12GB RAM for a seamless multitasking experience and a long-lasting 4,300mAh battery.

The Galaxy Note 10+’s quad-camera setup is another winner here, boasting an astounding 16MP ultra-wide camera at a 123° field of view. This is especially useful for those who like to shoot nature or city landscape. Photography enthusiasts can also look forward to the additional dual 12MP wide-angle & telephoto lens and a 10MP front-facing selfie shooter.

4. Sony Xperia 1

Best smartphone for food photography

Price from RM3,490.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM3,490.00 shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM3,490.00

This flagship Sony Xperia model features a total of three different lenses: 16mm wide-angle, 26mm f/1.6 normal and 52mm telephoto. All of those are engineered to capture superb photo quality with the help of BIONZ X; the same image-processing technology used for Sony’s Alpha cameras.

With that, the phone camera’s autofocus system is just as sharp and accurate. Its Sony Optical SteadyShot (a combination of optical & electronic image stabilisation) feature ensures you get blur-free photos even if you shoot in a dimly-lit scenario.

Being a flagship phone, expect plenty of other premium goodies. For starters, you get a 6.5” 4K HDR OLED display with a 21:9 CinemaWide screen at a horizontal view.  The phone also has an immersive Dolby Atmos sound system and a CineAlta-powered Cinema Pro feature to recording either professional-level 24fps or 4K HDR videos.

5. LG V40 ThinQ

Best smartphone for underwater photography

Price from RM2,890.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM2,890.00 shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM2,890.00

Thanks to its IP68 rating, you can safely take the LG V40 ThinQ for some underwater shots as long as it doesn’t exceed beyond 30 minutes at 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) max. Speaking of shots, the camera is no slouch either with its 16MP super-wide and a dual 12MP telephoto + standard rear shooters located at the back of the phone.

On the front, you’ll find an 8MP primary lens and a 5MP secondary snapper; all made suitable for portrait or even wide-angle group shots. You can even make use of the phone’s cool Cine Shot feature to select and animate certain parts of your still photo into a GIF.

Other highlights include a huge 6.4” QHD+ OLED FullVision display that produces rich details and superb colour reproduction. There’s also a lively DTS:X 3D Surround Sound system and a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM to ensure buttery-smooth performance for multitasking purposes.

6. OnePlus 7 Pro

Best smartphone for gaming and photography

Price from RM2,999.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM3,295.00 shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM2,999.00

Here’s an unlikely flagship phone that packs all the essential features for your mobile gaming needs. OnePlus 7 Pro has a Snapdragon 855 processor with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB storage and a massive 4,000mAh battery capable of lasting up to 9 hours of usage. It also sports a vibrant 6.67” QHD+ AMOLED display and a 90Hz refresh rate for a smoother gaming experience.

The OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t skimp on its camera features too, with three different lenses comprising of a main 48MP, 16MP ultra-wide and 8MP telephoto lenses. Selfie lovers, in the meantime, can enjoy the phone’s 16MP mechanical front-facing, pop-up selfie shooter.

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Best smartphone for product photography

Price from RM2,799.00

shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM3,699.00 search Search on Lazada Malaysia

DSLRs are no longer the only viable option to capture quality product photos, as high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can pull off the same impressive results. It has a dual 12MP camera setup with 2x optical zoom and dual optical image stablisation that gives you a crisp and shake-free image quality.

The phone also has two different aperture modes including F/2.4 for clearer and sharper results during daylight shooting. Meanwhile the super wide F/1.5 benefits those who shoot in low light condition. Let’s not forget that the phone makes shooting easier with its scene optimiser, consisting of 20 modes such as Food and Portraits that automatically detect and enhance your subject accordingly. 

As for the rest, the Galaxy Note 9 packs a huge 4,000mAh battery that can last all day and a built-in 128GB capacity, which can be expanded up to 512GB to store your captured photos. The phone is designed for speed and performance in mind, thanks to its multitasking-ready 10nm processor and 6GB of RAM.

8. HONOR 20 Lite

Best budget smartphone for photography

Price from RM799.00

Can’t afford a high-end camera smartphone? Well, there’s always a cheaper alternative and one of them happens to be Honor 20 Lite. For such a price point, you’ll get a triple camera setup including a 24MP main, 8MP ultra-wide and 32MP front-facing selfie shooter.

The phone has a nifty AI feature capable of recognising up to 500 different scenarios in 22 categories. Then comes the eye-catching phone design with a lightweight body, a large 6.21” display and a decent Kirin 710 chipset.

9. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Best mid-range smartphone for photography

Price from RM1,010.00

shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM1,010.00

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE may belong to the mid-range category but it sports a flagship-like triple-camera setup including a 48MP main, 13MP ultra-wide and 8MP telephoto lens. For selfie shooters, the phone comes equipped with a 20MP front-facing camera that is able to produce quality results with reasonable details perserved.

Beyond that, the Mi 9 SE packs a speedy Snapdragon 712 processor. It also has an advanced in-screen fingerprint sensor, a sleek glass design on the exterior and a bezel-less 5.97” Samsung AMOLED display.

10. Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Best smartphone for photography and video

Price from RM4,899.00

shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM4,899.00

Here’s a premium smartphone that packs a punch in both camera and video capabilities. The former sports an impressive triple-camera setup: 12MP wide, ultra-wide & telephoto, all built with versatility in mind to capture amazing photos with rich details and vivid colour reproduction.

Planning to shoot a short film on a budget? The iPhone 11 Pro delivers with its 4K video at 60fps. There’s also the cinematic video stabilisation to ensure shake-free footage. Moreover, edit your footage in-camera with various filters and other relevant settings. Together with the Audio Zoom, it helps to focus on the subject while minimising background noises.

And if you’re shooting either in low light or dark setting, the iPhone 11 Pro’s A13 Bionic and its all-new Night Mode ensure everything is sufficiently lit with minimum noise.

11. Asus Zenfone 5z (ZS620KL)

Best smartphone for street photography

Price from RM1,299.00

shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM1,499.00 shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM1,299.00

The Asus Zenfone 5Z sports a dual-camera setup on the rear, starting with a 12MP primary shooter that has AI assistance capable of detecting up to 16 different scenarios regardless indoor or outdoor. More interestingly is its secondary 8MP lens that allows you to shoot as wide as 120 degrees.

For that price, you can expect key features ranging from a large 6.2” Full HD+ display to a fast Snapdragon 845 processor made suitable for multitasking performances. Moreover, the brand’s BoostMaster technology supports quick charging.

12. OnePlus 6

Best smartphone photography for beginners

Price from RM1,699.00

shopping_cart Shopee Malaysia RM1,899.00 shopping_cart Lazada Malaysia RM1,699.00

The OnePlus 6’s camera setting is made easy for fuss-free user experience. Simply double-tap on the power button for a shortcut gesture that launches the camera app. As for the camera itself, it boasts a 16MP main shooter and a secondary 20MP sensor for shooting bokeh-style images in a Portrait mode.

When it comes to specs, the OnePlus 6 boasts a large 6.28” FHD+ AMOLED display with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM and a built-in 128GB storage capacity. All of those contributes to a performance-driven level of speed that allows you to multitask.

Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thank you!

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