Top 5 Best Camera Phones for Photo & Video

The best smartphone cameras on the market for hobbyist and professional mobile creators alike.

Top 5 Best Camera Phones for Photo & Video — Nomad phone case.

Why Use a Big Camera?

The best camera phones are pushing the boundaries of technology, particularly regarding content creation. Keeping track of the latest and most excellent handsets can be challenging as screens get larger, camera phone sensors become more advanced, and chipsets become more powerful.

The best camera phones aren't just about raw power but also about convenience, with various apps at your fingertips. Picking the best camera phone entails more than just looking at a spec sheet; the best one for you might not be the best for everyone, depending on your photographic priorities. There's much to consider regarding lenses and performance differences between day and night, so we've compiled a list of our favorites.

Any of these phones will be an excellent choice for anyone who wants to take great photos with their phone, and by reading through our entries for each, you'll have all the information you need to make the best decision.

Bonus: If you're looking for comprehensive education on mobile filmmaking, including gear recommendations, camera settings, editing tips, and more — you'll love our 1-hour long Mobile Filmmaking 101 Course.

    Our Personal Favorite:

    Best Camera

    Apple

    iPhone 15 Pro Max

    • 48-MegaPixels
    • Capture INSANE Log Footage
    • New 5x Zoom Lens

    1. iPhone 14 Pro

    Best For Photography

    Tim Cook and his team know how to make the most versatile pocket-sized camera, even outweighing some mirrorless cameras in many aspects. Introducing — the all-new 48MP Main camera with an advanced quad-pixel sensor. Apple's increasingly larger sensors and more advanced lenses are paired with their powerful Apple silicon to perfect low-light scenarios. With a 65% larger sensor, the iPhone 14 Pro raises the bar for what 48 megapixels can do — delivering 4x the resolution in ProRAW for mind-blowing detail in every crop.

    What We Love:

    The quad-pixel format allows for imaginative cropping mechanisms without losing the quality of your overall image. This large amount of data opens a world of possibilities.

    Their latest Deep Fusion is implemented earlier in the capturing process to enable more colors and brighter details. The most significant step for low light "Photonic Engine" will be the furthest step forward in curating images with the most advanced smartphone technology.

    The Details:

    Brand: Apple

    Product Type: Smartphone Camera

    Best For: Seemingly anyone needing a professional-grade mobile smartphone camera for any and all creative use cases, both photography and filmmaking alike. Incredibly wonderful for low-light scenarios.

    Moment 310 185 i Phone 14 Pro Black thumbnail

    Moment

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    Photo By: Mia Moran | iPhone 14 Pro

    Photo By: Mia Moran | iPhone 14 Pro

    Photo By: Mia Moran | iPhone 14 Pro


    2. iPhone 15 Pro Max

    Best For Filmmaking

    While 48MP grabs the spotlight, the primary camera impressively delivers 24MP shots as a standard. This output is achieved by fusing the best of 12MP and 48MP with the ingenious QuadBayer sensors. A bit of nostalgia: it's a doubled clarity right off the bat compared to the iPhone 14 Pro. Night aficionados, take note: the Night Mode remains capped at 12MP, even if you've toggled on the 48MP option. Diving into the details, your wide-angle selfies, expansive ultra-wide shots, and the zoomed images of the Pro model all settle at 12MP. The iPhone 15 Pro Max's unique 5x telephoto lens (equating to a sleek 120mm) maintains a resolution of 12MP.

    Long Battery Life

    Best battery performance we’ve seen on any iPhone lineup.

    AMAZING Color Graded Footage

    LOG footage is large in size but excellent in quality. It's far better than any other phone we've tested. Apple consistently refines its camera technology, amplifying focus, clarity, and overall image quality. The iPhone 12 represented a significant stride in photographic prowess, but subsequent enhancements have been more nuanced. This year, the emphasis has shifted to video. The Pro Max truly stands out in this regard. When recorded in LOG color schemes, its video quality rivals that of our Sony FX3. The outcomes are astonishing, spotlighting the iPhone as a superb alternative angle shot choice.

    The Details:

    Brand: Apple

    Product Type: Smartphone

    Best For: Crisp photos for everyday life that excellent in quality and true-to-life dynamic range.

    Shopmoment thumbnail Moment Case for i Phone 15 Plus Pro Black

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    3. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

    Best Camera For Zoom

    The S24 Ultra from Samsung offers a diverse array of features tailored to meet the needs of mobile photography enthusiasts. From its ultra-wide camera ideal for bright lighting situations to its adaptable zoom capability and advanced A.I. functions designed to enhance artistic output, this device caters to a wide range of creative needs. Additionally, boasting a 10x telephoto camera and the introduction of two tele modules, the S24 Ultra ensures exceptional detail retention and image quality, particularly for long-range shots.

    Samsung's strategic decision to incorporate a 5x portrait lens directly challenges competitors in the industry, positioning the S24 Ultra as a formidable contender. With its 50-megapixel sensor enabling a cropped 10x zoom at 12 megapixels, this device proves invaluable for capturing distant subjects, whether at concerts or family gatherings. Combined with effective stabilization, the S24 Ultra delivers stunning results for still photography enthusiasts.

    However, while the S24 Ultra is a solid contender in photography, its video capabilities leave something to be desired compared to competitors like the Apple 15 Pro Max. Despite software and hardware enhancements aimed at achieving natural colors and improved noise reduction, the S24 Ultra struggles with exposure and color stability in varying lighting conditions. This inconsistency may prove disappointing for users who rely on their phone for consistent performance across different environments.

    Amazing Camera Zoom

    With their 5x telephoto lenses, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a rockstar.

    AI Features for Non-Professionals

    A ton of AI features to highlight the various downfalls of photography or filmmaker for those who need an extra boost.

    The Details:

    Brand: Samsung

    Product Type: Smartphone

    Best For: Creators on the go who like a fast, actionable phone camera to keep up with them.

    Moment T Series Starter Kit for Samsung S24 Ultra 1 Lens Thumbnail

    Moment

    T-Series Samsung S24 Ultra Starter Kit - One Lens

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    Moment Tele 58mm Lens.

    Moment Fisheye 14mm Lens.


    4. OnePlus 10 Pro

    Best Camera On a Budget

    The OnePlus 10 Pro is probably a first-timer on this list, but it definitely caught our attention. It has a 48MP (f/1.8) primary camera, 50MP (f/2.2) for the ultrawide, 8MP (f/2.4) 3.3x telephoto, and a 2MP monochrome camera for enhancing black and white images. The ultra-wide is perhaps the most notable, as it features a freeform lens design that eliminates the "barrel" distortion commonly seen at the edges of ultra-wide shots. The OnePlus 10 Pro's cameras were also developed in collaboration with Hasselblad, though the collaboration was mostly limited to color calibration and the design of the camera app. We expect more from this partnership on future OnePlus phones, but the results are already visible in photos with accurate colors. While the OnePlus 10 Pro has robust manual controls, it also performs admirably in auto mode, making it an excellent point-and-shoot option.

    Great Smartphone Power

    8K video quality, and a capable 16MP front-facing camera, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a good all-rounder as far as photography goes.

    Excellent Color Calibration

    The colors you see are reproduced as accurately as possible

    Great Manual Camera Controls

    It takes fantastic images, with great-looking colors and masses of detail.

    The Details:

    Brand: OnePlus

    Product Type: Smartphone

    Best For: Sharp photos with impressive color accuracy.


    5. Google Pixel 8 Pro

    Best For All-Around Everyday Reliability

    Google's latest, the Pixel 8 series, makes notable strides in camera and video tech, yet it's not without shortcomings. The new wide and ultra-wide cameras are a leap forward, boasting doubled image quality over previous models. However, images can still disappoint, often appearing surprisingly pixelated. The video realm sees the most pronounced upgrade, thanks to beefed-up AI and hardware. But the results can feel unnaturally robotic, lacking the organic fluidity we crave in video content. The distinction between the Pixel 8 and the Pro variant is clear, particularly in camera specs. The Pro stars a new 50MP main sensor and a 48MP ultra-wide lens, both promising improved light sensitivity, and a selfie camera now with auto-focus. Yet, these features, while advanced, don't quite match up to the latest Apple flagships, falling short in delivering that crisp, clear quality.

    Google's keynote emphasized the "magic" of AI and hardware synergy, a claim that feels overplayed and, frankly, under-delivered. The AI enhancements, while impressive on paper, often translate to a less-than-natural feel in practice

    The Details:

    Brand: Google

    Product Type: Smartphone

    Best For: It's a solid, affordable option, though it doesn't quite threaten its high-end Apple competitors. For those embedded in the Google ecosystem and prioritizing budget over top-tier camera performance, the Pixel 8 series is a reasonable pick.

    310 232 Moment P8 P Black Front 01 Thumbnail

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    💡 Hot Tip!

    Want to level up your mobile photography and filmmaking game? Don't we all? While a smartphone's camera is fantastic, it's only the beginning. Unleash the full power of your creativity with additional accessories like MagSafe-compatible mounts, smartphone gimbals, tripods, filters, and lenses. We sell all of these mobile camera goodies, and more, at Moment.

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