Apple iPhone XS
Apple die-hards are always quick to point out that the iPhone always captures the best ‘true to life’ images. The XS features an improved camera from last year’s iPhone X. There’s Smart HDR that elevates lowlight photography — images with more highlights and then larger and deeper pixels. Our favourite portrait mode gets a boost with advanced depth segmentation for professional quality bokeh images. (Rs 99,900 onwards)
Google Pixel 3XL
it’s not just a brilliant camera but manages to produce brilliant images despite a single lens rear cam. It’s also our favourite selfie cam (8MP + 8MP) of the year, breaking away from cameras that produce ‘over beautified’ selfies. You can have unlimited fun with the device’s Playground mode that allows you to super-impose a host of characters (including Ironman) and effects into your photos or selfies. But it’s Nightsight mode that blows away the competition with stunning lowlight images (Rs 83,000 onwards)
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
arguably one of the most feature-packed cameras of the year. The triple-rear cam co-engineered with Leica allows you to shoot up to 5X with ‘lossless zoom’. One of these three lenses is a wide-angle lens that adds a brilliant perspective to cityscapes. The video cam has some tricks of its own including a cool AI Colour mode where the subject remains in colour but everything else fades to black and white. (Rs 69,990)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung’s 2018 flagships with their unique dual aperture feature (where the camera automatically flits from f/1.5 to f/2.4) was one of 2018’s standout camera innovations. It gives the Note 9 an edge in lowlight photography. The Note 9 is one of the best all-round cameras and shines whether you’re shooting portraits, slow-mo or time-lapse (Samsung calls it hyper-lapse) videos. The cam features AI enhancements and a dedicated ‘food mode’ that compulsive Instagrammers will find useful. (Rs 67,900).
we really like the Portrait mode on this device. The 6T combines a bunch of software tweaks and hardware upgrades from its predecessors to produce a high-quality camera experience. One of its talking points is Nightscape mode– the dual rear cam (16MP + 20MP) snaps up to 10 multi-frame shots with high dynamic range and then puts them together to create the perfect lowlight image. (Rs 37,999 onwards)
ASUS ZenFone 5Z
AI has been a recurring theme for cameras in 2018. The dual cam set up features 16 AI modes that guarantee the perfect shot with minimal fuss. The hardware specs complement the AI modes — at its heart is a Sony IMX 363 sensor (f/1.8 aperture). The 5Z bolsters the camera with Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) in addition to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) to reduce the blur, while a wide-angle lens (with a 120-degree field of view) is a handy option.
(Rs 29,999 onwards)
— Ashwin is a lifestyle writer and consumer technology expert. Catch the latest digital and tech updates in this weekly column