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Friday, September 18, 2020

iPhone, Pixel to Lumia 1020: Five phones that changed mobile photography

World Photography Day 2020: Indianexpress.com lists five iconic phones that changed the mobile photography ever.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: August 20, 2020 9:23:45 am
world photography day, iconic camera phones, iPhone, Nokia lumia 1020, Pixel, nokia n95, HTC One, best camera phones ever madeThe iPhone’s 2MP fixed focused lens was nowhere close to a point-and-shoot camera but what worked in favour of the iPhone was its ease-of-use and simplicity. (Image credit: Reuters)

There was a time when taking pictures and shooting videos with phones was an underwhelming experience. But times have changed and phone cameras have become much better, even beating professional cameras in certain situations. The latest smartphone cameras boast large 1/1.28″ sensors, advanced AI-based features, 80mm telephoto zoom lens, and can zoom all the way up to 100x. All of these features were just not available on phones back in the day but despite that many camera phones proved to be trendsetters.

We list down five iconic camera phones that were ahead of the competition.

iPhone (2007)

When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007, no one thought that the phone would become the world’s most popular camera. The iPhone’s 2MP fixed focused lens was nowhere close to a point-and-shoot camera but what worked in favour of the iPhone was its ease-of-use and simplicity. The iPhone put a camera in everyone’s pocket. People seemed to love the iPhone so much that they stopped buying point-and-shoot cameras. Even today, the iPhone’s camera fares better than many Android phones. It’s easier to use, has a familiar user interface, images have plenty of contrasts and vibrancy, shoots better images in low light, and records high-quality videos. That’s an iPhone for you.

world photography day, iconic camera phones, iPhone, Nokia lumia 1020, Pixel, nokia n95, HTC One, best camera phones ever made Nokia N95. (Image credit: Amazon US)

Nokia N95 (2007)

The Nokia N95 went on sale in March of 2007, and it showed the world how mobile photography would shape in the years to come. While the original iPhone stressed ease of use and simplicity, Nokia N95 kick-started the dawn of the megapixel count of cameras. The N95 introduced with a 5MP camera and Carl Zeiss optics (the phone was considered to be the most advanced camera phone of its time). The N95’s camera was not only praised for its picture quality but it had the ability to record high-quality, DVD-like video. It also featured controls for ISO, white balance, sharpness, contrast, and flash. Despite a laggy operating system, Nokia N95 went on to become one of the most successful Nokia phones ever made. Within a year, Nokia announced that more than 7 million handsets had been sold worldwide.

world photography day, iconic camera phones, iPhone, Nokia lumia 1020, Pixel, nokia n95, HTC One, best camera phones ever made Nokia Lumia 1020.

Nokia Lumia 1020 (2013)

It’s 2020, and the Nokia 1020 feels as if it hasn’t aged at all. Launched in 2013, the Lumia 1020 had a 41.3MP, 2/3-inch sensor with 1.12um pixels backed by f/2.2 Carl Zeiss optics. The Lumia 1020 was the photography ninja of its time. What made the Lumia 1020’s unique – aside from the image quality – was the default Pro Cam through which you could manually change camera settings like shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. And, seven years later, the Lumia 1020 continues to impress mobile photographers. In every sense, the Lumia 1020 was light years ahead of the competition.

world photography day, iconic camera phones, iPhone, Nokia lumia 1020, Pixel, nokia n95, HTC One, best camera phones ever made HTC One. (Image credit: HTC)

HTC One (2014)

If the Nokia N95 populated the idea of “more megapixels is better”, HTC One debunked that same theory. With the One, HTC introduced the concept of “Ultrapixels” in smartphone cameras. Instead of an 8 or 13MP camera, the One featured a 1/3.0″ CMOS with 2.0 micron pixels, resulting in a 4 MP unit. The idea of the UltraPixel concept was simple: fewer but larger pixels create better images, especially in low light. The camera in the One was the highlight of the flagship smartphone. In fact, HTC One’s marketing campaigns were all about the new “UltraPixel Camera”. The HTC One was a bold attempt to break the “megapixel concept”, though sadly the ultrapixel concept came too late.

world photography day, iconic camera phones, iPhone, Nokia lumia 1020, Pixel, nokia n95, HTC One, best camera phones ever made Google Pixel smartphone.

Google Pixel (2016)

One of the big moments in the mobile photography space arrived when Google took the wraps off its Pixel smartphone in 2016. The Pixel lacked good looks, but it had an edge over the competition in the camera department. It featured a 12.3MP camera that managed to take excellent shots, beating the iPhones and Galaxys of the smartphone world. The secret ingredient behind the Pixel’s cameras is HDR+, which has consistently improved over the years. Undoubtedly, the original Pixel had a lot of doing in shaping the current smartphone cameras. Perhaps the reason why many call Google’s Pixel as the big daddy of AI-powered phone cameras.

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