Today's smartphone cameras are so advanced they can often rival professional DSLR models. By incorporating multiple lenses, as well as settings like HDR and a whole host of specific modes for shooting different subjects, smartphone photography has never looked so good. We explore some of the ground-breaking features we’ve seen in recent handsets below.

Huawei P40 Pro - 50x Max Zoom

Quad camera system: 50MP Ultra Vision camera + 12MP Telephoto camera + 40MP Ultra Wide Cine camera + 3D Depth Sensing camera, 8K video, 5x Optical Zoom, 10x Hybrid Zoom, 50x Max Zoom.

Released in April 2020, the Huawei P40 Pro is one of three new additions to Huawei's already popular P range. Working once again with camera experts Leica, this handset has a quad-lens rear camera setup, which includes an outstanding 50MP main camera, 12MP telephoto camera, 40MP Ultra Wide camera that Huawei also refer to as the 'Cine' camera, and a 3D Depth Sensing lens.

Thanks to a combination of features from the telephoto lens, the P40 Pro is capable of achieving an amazing 50x Max Zoom. Using optical zoom and super-resolution processing simultaneously, the device is able to take images from far away distances, all without sacrificing image quality. You can adjust the Max Zoom and focus in on the smallest details either before or after you take a photo - whether you're honing in on something you simply can't get closer to in real life, or you've noticed something you'd love to focus on by cropping an existing image taken on the phone, the Huawei P40 Pro's impressive zoom capabilities won't let you down.

iPhone 11 Pro – Night Mode

Triple camera system: 12MP telephoto lens + 12MP wide lens + 12MP ultra-wide lens, 4K video, Quad-LED dual-tone flash, 10x digital zoom, 2x optical zoom.

Launched in September 2019, the iPhone 11 Pro is packed with high-end specs, and the triple-lens camera system is no exception. Using a combination of intelligent software and an A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone 11 Pro can achieve unprecedented clarity in low light with its new Night Mode.

Perfect for photographing softly lit scenery, Night Mode will activate automatically when the setting requires it. When you take a single photo, multiple images will be captured – the software then aligns these images to tune out blur and noise, giving you a crystal-clear end result.

Google Pixel 4 – Astrophotography

Dual camera system: 12.2MP wide lens + 16MP telephoto lens, 4k video, Dual-LED flash, 8x Super Resolution Zoom, 2x optical zoom.

One of the most talked-about new features after the Google Pixel 4 release, Astrophotography mode is a major upgrade to Google's pre-existing Night Sight. The addition of Astrophotography makes the Google Pixel 4 (and 4 XL) the first smartphone ever to offer features capable of capturing an accurate image of the Milky Way.

When you opt to use Astrophotography mode, your handset will cleverly combine 16 different 15-second long exposures, processing over four minutes to create a stunning final shot. You’ll need to hold your phone completely still during this period, so a stand or tripod will help you make the most of this setting.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – 8K Filming and Night Hyperlapse

Quad camera system: 108MP wide lens + 48MP telephoto lens + 12MP ultra-wide lens, DepthVision lens, 8K video, LED flash, 100x Super Resolution Zoom, 10x hybrid optical zoom.

The premium of four handsets released in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series in March 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has been described as the smartphone that will revolutionise photography. Comprised of four separate lenses, the camera system on the S20 Ultra has huge capabilities, but two of the most exciting features it can offer are Night Hyperlapse and 8K filming.

Night Hyperlapse is a new addition to Samsung’s already adept Night Mode, which enables you to take breath taking video footage in low light. The exposures are long enough to capture atmospheric light trails – think twilit cityscapes, sunrises and more. One minute of shooting is condensed into one second of footage, so setting your Samsung up somewhere stationary is a must.

Meanwhile, when you’re filming at a regular speed, you can enjoy footage with an 8K resolution – which is 16 times bigger than FHD. Subjects in your field of view will stay sharp as they move, so you can even extract 33MP stills from your film to freeze that perfect frame.

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