Generally speaking, low-light photography isn’t the thing of smartphones, the reason being their small camera sensors aren’t exactly a standard to take photos in the dark conditions. That’s why DSLR cameras with their massive sensors are perfect for photography, whether it is day or night. Though, this, however, doesn’t mean that they are not capable of taking good pictures in dim light conditions. With a unique combination of hardware and software, it is quite possible to take decent images in dark conditions. That being said, let’s talk about the smartphone collection that can shoot snaps in low-light environments. Note the below list is not in any particular order.
Samsung has always dominated in the camera department, and with that it has been leading the table of a smartphone with best cameras. So, certainly why their new flagship devices would be left out of this list. The low-light photography is something that is not an easy thing to do, as you need passion and knack for photography. Well, you can certainly learn about it from our guides on Low-light photography using smartphones. The S6 and S6 Edges are the devices that have improved upon its predecessors. The 16MP camera is capable to take real good results, even under the low ISO’s than what can be seen on the Sony Z3. The results are poised to be better in this because, the lesser noise levels are noticed in the camera capture during dark knight. Learn about its camera capabilities and see some samples too by heading over to the Camera review of the device.
These are another set of smartphones from Samsung that would be coming in this category are the Note 4 and Note Edge. The new Note devices were launched last year and have been favorites of the tech community. The high ISO sensitivity doesn’t always means great results; that’s what Note 4 taught us. There are no special night modes available on the devices, but the 16MP camera module does its magic to the captures retaining the details. Learn more about its low light capabilities in our detailed review of the device.
Last year Sony launched two flagship smartphones while there was no companion for Z2, the Z3 saw a compact version. These devices pack 20.7MP rear camera, but only Z3 & Z3 compact got little tweaks on the camera features. The high ISO sensitivity allows the device to capture contents even in darker places. While there are various ways through which you can capture the low-light shots on the Z3 & Z3 Compact, like the night scene mode & superior mode. But the captures in high ISO were indeed much better than the above modes. To learn more about it, you can read our camera review of the Sony Xperia Z3.
While Nokia has a great list of devices, but there were few handsets in its Lumia series that packed camera modules with the capabilities to take extremely great photos in the low light. Nokia Lumia 930 and 1020, are the devices that pack PureView cameras during 930 packs 20MP module, 1020 have 41MP camera module. OIS is as important as ISO on smartphones, if you are looking to take great quality photographs during low light. You’ll have hard time finding out a better smartphone companion to take low-light images.
This smartphone-camera hybrid is something to be a perfect smartphone with best camera you’ll see on a smartphone. The 16.6 mm thickness and 200 gram sure makes it hard to fit in the pocket, but the 20.7 MP rear camera with 1 /2.3″ sensor, OIS, Xenon flash and 10x Optical Zoom makes it worthwhile. The device is perfect for photography under daylight conditions, but it made the cut here because the low-light capture quality is appreciable. You can learn about the camera captures of the device in our detailed review of the same.
When Apple announced its biggest smartphone yet, which was meant to blow the mind of photography enthusiast’s users of iPhone, and it certainly did something like that. Although, there is some noise level seen on the captures, it is the best 8 MP rear camera with OIS support you can ask from the Cupertino giant. The iPhone 6 Plus delivers the best low light photos you can ever get from an iPhone. Know more about its low-light capabilities in our detailed review of the device.
It is amazing how Asus managed to get results with its Pixel Master that no other camera technology has ever done before. There Zenfone 5 and 6 models packs 8MP and 13MP rear cameras, with no stabilization options such as DIS or OIS. The PixelMaster technology does the magic in here, as it increases light sensitivity by 400% as well as reducing the noise levels and lighting up the color saturation too. In the result, you get amazing low light captures out of these mid-range priced devices, which is very good thing. You can learn about the camera capabilities of the device in our camera review of the same.
This is another smartphone-camera hybrid that has made the cut to the list. It packs 20MP rear camera with a 1″ sensor, which is the largest ever sensor available on a smartphone. The camera module further boasts features like 28mm wide-angle Leica lens, as well as ability to shoot RAW. But the most interesting thing other than camera hardware is the ISO sensitivity of up to 25600.
The above list is the collection of some of the popular and tested smartphones for Low-light photography. These are mostly from the tier 1 brands, and if you find any device that is missing from the list. And if you came across any devices that might be worthy of the list, then do share your feedback in the comments below.