The era of smartphone photography has successfully stroked photographer lying dormant within all of us. Today, Camera holds defining weight-age in almost everyone’s smartphone buying decision. The frenzy for self-portraits and groupies fail to fizzle out of our lives. Increasing popularity of social media networks has further accelerated our love for smartphones suited for photography. If like us, you are also someone who gives priority to smartphone camera in your day to day life and are planning to buy a phone with capable camera under 15K, then you must consider one these options:
Samsung had a decent run in 2015 and the J7 played an important part in this success. For photography enthusiasts, Samsung has pitched in a 13-megapixel primary camera with autofocus and f/1.9 aperture lens. The primary shooter shines in daylight shots as it captures sharp images with good color reproduction. The HDR mode works exceedingly well. In low-light too it handles itself well. However, there are some inconsistencies with metering every now and then. Sometimes you end up with either overexpose highlights or underexpose shadows.
In terms of videography too Samsung J7 holds up pretty well. The phone is capable of shooting 1080P full HD videos with bitrate as high as 17Mbps. Sound captured by microphone is also above average.
The 5-megapixel selfie camera at the front features a wide-angle 120-degree panorama lens which can easily accommodate more than one at a time. It also sports a dedicated flash to illuminate selfies in the dark. Overall, selfies are decent but lacks details and are under saturated.
- Accurate White Balance
- Noise reduction works well
- Excellent HDR Mode
- Selfie camera gets a dedicated flash
- Short dynamic range
- No Slo-mo or 4K video recording
Let’s be straight forward here. Greatest strength of Le 1s (full review) camera is its capability to pull off good Close-ups and micro shots. The Le 1s flaunts a 13-megapixel sensor which is powered by Samsung ISO cell technology. Rear sensor comes with F2.0 aperture, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and single LED flash. In the daylight condition, primary camera shots, especially Marcos comes out sharp with accurate details and colors.
The camera gets tangled in metering issue against sharp exposures and in such tricky lighting, only manual tweaks will come to your rescue. Selfie lovers will also enjoy Le 1s front 5-megapixel snapper as it captures sharp images. The only thing missing in selfie camera is a beatification mode which isn’t a necessity after all.
Another thing which stands out in Le 1s is its ability to capture 4K videos and slo-mos. Under the budget category of Rs. 15k Le 1s is the only phone which can shoot 4K vids. LeEco uses H.265/HEVC codec for 4K videos.
Personally, I love slo-mos and that may be one of the reasons why two Nexuses from 2015 are my personal favorite. (Nexus 6P can shoot super slo-mo at 240frames per second while Nexus 5X can record at 120fps). After two Nexuses, Le 1S has impressed us with its slow- motion videos (considering its price). Le 1s shoots slow-motion videos 1920x1080p videos at 60frames per second. Details in slo-mo are sharp and colors also appears realistic. So next time when you get on the dance floor with your peers and have a Le 1s in the hand, do try its slo-mo recording. I am sure you will be equally impressed.
- Sharp videos
- Only affordable phone with 4K recording
- Slo-Mo videos
- 4:3 aspect ratio by default
- No Dual LED Flash
The successor of Lenovo K3 Note hoists a 13-megapixel primary camera with phase detection, auto-focus, and dual flash. By default 13MP shooter captures images in 16:9 aspect ratio which is different from its adversaries. Like most smartphones, Lenovo K4 Note (full review) captures excellent well-saturated images in outdoor lighting. On the other hand, performance in low-light conditions is bit a mixed bag as images appear to be noisy and details are bit subdued.
Lenovo is using 5-megapixel snapper at the front in K4 Note, which performs well. The camera comes with adjustable beatification mode slider on the selfie viewfinder. For social media buffs, it serves the purpose very well.
- Daylight performance is good
- Good HDR performance
- Soft, grainy low-light shots
- Average video recording
- Slo-mo videos missing
Honor 6 and Honor 5X both have excellent cameras. The reason why we preferred to list Honor 5X (first impression) over Honor 6 the excellent hardware package one gets with this phone. In terms of optics, Honor 5X Honor 5X pack a 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front-facing camera. Image reproduction of the primary shooter depends on lighting conditions. In the well-lit conditions, images are sharp and colors appear natural, however, in dim conditions noise increases sharply in the pictures.
Honor 5X camera takes its time to lock focus and sometimes fails to track moving object. The photo quality of 5-megapixel selfie camera is at par with its adversaries. Nothing spectacular, but it does what it should do. It captures decent images which is good enough for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat sharing.
- One of the better outdoor shooter
- App loaded with manual controls
- Slow-mo video recording
- Plenty of software modes
- Slow to lock focus
- Fails in tracking moving objects
Moto G Turbo carries the same camera which was a part of Moto G 3rd generation. As per the company claims, the features the same sensor which is part of Motorola-made Nexus 6 camera module. It comes with 13-megapixel rear camera, a dual LED colour-balancing flash and 5-megapixel front facing camera. The best part about the camera is its minimalist user interface with just two onscreen buttons. Like all other phones in the list, it features HDR with available auto mode, touch to capture, geo-tagging, widescreen mode, and panorama.
Camera focus is much more smoother when compared to Moto G 2nd generation and does an excellent job in outdoor conditions. With dual-tone LED flash, low-light photos are better than its competitors in the category. However, low-light images have light green tint on it. Beautification mode on selfie camera artificially plasters all the images. Selfie camera can also be used for video chat on various communication apps.
- Shines in Outdoor and well lit indoors
- Twist camera to open
- 720HD recording from front camera
- Struggles in low-light condition
- Lacks Slo-mo recording
There is nothing close to a perfect camera in this price range. Companies still reserve their best for their flagship (we can’t blame them for that as they invest heavily in the development of new technology). Still the improved image quality of budget camera smartphone can be sensed from the fact that sales for point-and-shoot is on a diminishing trajectory. These aforementioned smartphones and their cameras are good enough to freeze moments for social media and other day to day purposes.