Perfect photos with your smartphone

How to take photos with your smartphone that look like professional pictures? Which smartphone takes the best pictures? And what can you do in low light? We asked six photo and technology experts for their tips and tricks and compiled their answers in a comprehensive e-book.

You can expect detailed Instructions and practical examples, Suggestions for interesting motifs and image composition as well as our experts’ recommendations for the best Photo smartphones and apps for post-processing. With the help of clear screenshots, you can find all the settings in your smartphone and achieve the perfect photo step by step.

For all of you who are in a hurry, here is a short excerpt from our e-book. Our photo experts will show you with practical examples Video tutorials The most important to-dos.

You can expect detailed Instructions and practical examples, Suggestions for interesting motives and the picture composition as well as our experts’ recommendations for the best Photo smartphones and apps for post-processing. With the help of clear screenshots, you can find all the settings in your smartphone and achieve the perfect photo step by step.

For those who are in a hurry, here is a small excerpt from our e-book. Our photo experts will show you with the help of practical Video tutorials the most important to-dos.

Content

Which smartphone takes the best photos?

The camera is now for many the most important feature of a smartphone. After all, your phone is always with you, so you can capture all the important moments with a quick flick of your wrist. However, if you don’t just want to take a few snapshots, but photos that can keep up with the quality of an SLR camera, you have to look for the right one. So we asked our photo experts for their recommendations for the smartphone with the best camera.

For photo pros: Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9+, Apple iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro

Thanks to dual or, in the case of the Huawei Mate 20 Pros and the iPhone 11 Pros, Even a triple camera, all models impress with outstanding image quality. Thanks to the built-in wide-angle and telephoto lenses in the multiple cameras, it is also possible to image particularly wide or distant objects, and unlike older models, even an optical zoom is possible without loss of quality. Photo pros can manually adjust settings like the white balance, aperture, autofocus, metering, and iso values. Correspondingly large internal memory allows you to store many photos with the highest image quality. A detailed description of each model can be found in the e-book.

Smartphone recommendation: Apple iPhone XS Max

Iphone XSMax

Apple Iphone XS Max

My absolute favorite is the iPhone XS Max. Even if it is hard to believe, but the camera has really improved compared to older generations. The large Retina display renders images superbly, and there’s a lot you can do with the editing options already built into the phone.

But of course you can also achieve great results with older models.

Expert Kristof

Smartphone recommendation: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

An excellent camera phone, for example, is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It has an enduring battery for extensive photo sessions, also takes very decent selfies thanks to the 3D sensor, offers a generous display area, charges exceptionally fast with about one hour and convinces with a triple camera that can meet many requirements – those of hobby photographers in any case! The powerful zoom also quickly convinces in practice. Thanks to an intelligent image stabilizer, videos (up to 4K) also often look better with the device than with the competition. The main camera has a resolution of 40 megapixels and takes great pictures even in low light.

Expert Steffen

Features of smartphones for photo professionals:

  • f 1.5
  • f 2.4
    (variable aperture)
  • f 1.8
  • f 2.4
  • f 1.8
  • f 2.4
  • f 2.0
  • f 1.8
  • f 2.2
  • f 2.4
  • 64 GB: €949
  • 256 GB: €1049
  • 64 GB: 1149 €
  • 256 GB: 1319 €
  • 512 GB: 1549 €
  • 64 GB: 1149 €
  • 256 GB: 1319 €
  • 512 GB: 1549 €
  • 128 GB: 999 €
Iphone XSMax

Google Pixel 3a

Cheap alternatives for photo beginners

If you don’t want to fine-tune every setting in the camera app before taking a picture, or if the professional models are simply too expensive, you still don’t have to sacrifice quality in your cell phone photos. The Google Pixel 3a, the Honor 10 or the Samsung Galaxy A7 are inexpensive alternatives that also convince with razor-sharp pictures and partly also offer multiple cameras. Only an optical zoom is not included in the models, so that distant objects can only be brought in with the help of the digital zoom and the associated quality losses. The exact model descriptions of the smartphones for photo beginners can be found in the e-book.

Features of the three smartphones for photo beginners:

  • f 1.8
  • f 1.8
  • f 1.7
  • 64 GB: 399 €
  • 64 GB: 399 €
  • 128 GB: 449 €
  • 64 GB: 349 €

What is important for a smartphone camera??

Smartphone manufacturers often advertise high pixel counts for the installed cell phone cameras. However, the number of megapixels isn’t everything when it comes to taking outstanding photos with your smartphone – their size and depth also play an important role. The sensor installed in the camera is therefore a decisive factor, because on it sit the light-sensitive pixels. In addition, the built-in aperture has a big influence on how well photos turn out in low-light conditions. Because the wider the aperture can be opened (i.e. the small the aperture number), the more light can still reach the sensor even in low ambient light conditions.

The number of megapixels required for a smartphone camera, how wide the aperture should open, and other factors that influence the quality of your photos are explained in the e-book.

Cheap alternatives for photo beginners

If you don’t plan to fine-tune every setting in the camera app before taking a picture, or if the professional models are simply too expensive, you still don’t have to sacrifice quality for your cell phone photos. The Google Pixel 3a, the Honor 10 or the Samsung Galaxy A7 are inexpensive alternatives that also convince with razor-sharp pictures and partly also offer multiple cameras. Only an optical zoom is not included in the models, so distant objects can only be brought in with the help of the digital zoom and the associated quality losses. The exact model descriptions of the smartphones for photo beginners can be found in the e-book.

Iphone XSMax

Google Pixel 3a

How to take perfect pictures with your smartphone

If you don’t just want to take snapshots, but photos with a wow effect, there are a few things to consider: from the right camera settings, to the choice of subject, to post-processing via app. Our photo experts give you a few tips on how to get the best out of your pictures in this video. The complete and detailed list, including screenshots of where to find the relevant settings in your smartphone, is available as a free download in the e-book.

To get you started Oliver Bender, photographer and cameraman, a few general tricks for smartphone photography:

Expert tip: Horizon according to the rule of thirds

A centrally placed horizon corresponds to our viewing habits – but often looks boring in landscape photos. Therefore, it is better to divide the photo into 1/3 and 2/3 parts. The landscape can then take up about one third of the photo and the sky above it two thirds, or vice versa. Such an image composition according to the rule of thirds creates tension and the photo becomes much more attractive.

Expert Biggi Flot

If you are looking for exciting motifs that do not look 08/15, you should pay attention to an exciting image composition. Pay attention to leading lines, patterns and symmetries in the choice and design of your subject and thus draw the viewer into the spell of your images.

Kristof Goettling, Coach for image editing and photography, reveals in his Video training "Photographing and retouching with the smartphone" lots of tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your images. He has exclusively provided us with two videos of image composition tips from his training: Learn how to use reflections for your image composition in the first video:

Kristof also shows you what you need to know about smartphone photography Designing the foreground and background should be taken into account:

By the way: Kristof shares many more tips on smartphone photography with you in his over three hour long Video training . Use coupon code "EBOOK10" to get a 10 euro discount.

Expert tip: This is why the flash should stay "off

  1. The cell phone flash destroys natural light moods
  2. This makes everything look very artificial and fake
  3. The range of the flash is very limited
  4. Current smartphones take good photos in low-light conditions even without a flash
  5. It disturbs other people (at concerts, etc.).)
  6. It draws attention to you as a photographer, and thus often destroys situations

Expert Markus

You can find all other tips on subject selection and composition, the application of the rule of thirds and how you can still achieve great pictures in poor lighting conditions in the e-book.

What additional equipment is useful for good smartphone photos?

To optimize your photo results, you can use additional equipment. Due to their small size, smartphones quickly reach their physical limits, for example, when it comes to installing powerful lenses. Kristof Gottling has therefore Attachable lenses from three different manufacturers tested, compared the photo results and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages for you:

Which additional equipment If you are looking for exciting motifs that don’t look run-of-the-mill, you should pay attention to an exciting image composition.

Which are the best photo apps for smartphone?

There is not always enough time to adjust the camera settings before taking the picture, so that the photo corresponds exactly to your ideas. How convenient that there are now numerous Photo editing apps that you can use to optimize your pictures even afterwards. We asked our experts for their favorites and got three very clear app recommendations that every cell phone photographer should know: VSCO, Lightroom Mobile, and Snapseed. Here’s a brief overview of the three apps – for a detailed description and all other recommendations from our experts, check out the e-book:

joel fulgencio unsplash

  • What for:
  • Image and video editing
  • The special feature: numerous filters that mimic analog film
  • At least iOS 11.0 or newer
  • At least Android 5.0 or newer
  • Free
  • Annual VSCO membership fee: 21,49 € (Apple)
  • In-app products: 0.72 € -32.99 € (Android)
  • What for:
  • Capture images in RAW format
  • Image processing (color, tonal value, contrast, etc.).)
  • Image Filters
  • At least iOS 11.0 or newer
  • At least Android 5.0 or newer
  • Free
  • Supplementary in-app purchases
  • What for:
  • Image and video editing (color, tone, contrast, etc.).)
  • Image filters
  • At least iOS 9.0 or newer
  • At least Android 4.4 or newer
  • Free

Kristof Gottling shows you in his video, which possibilities for the Image optimization in the aftermath Lightroom Mobile offers:

Kristof will also show you how to use Lightroom Mobile to create remove annoying elements from your pictures or Long time exposures without tripod implements:

E-Book: Smartphone Photography

To make sure that your smartphone photos attract a lot of attention, we have compiled everything you need to know to give your pictures that certain something in our detailed e-book. Detailed Step-by-step instructions show you the way to the perfect picture and thanks to the many screenshots you can find every setting even in your smartphone. Our experts reveal their tips and tricks and give you easy to understand Practical examples.

A good photo is one that you look at for more than a second.

The e-book gives you a lot of information about the following and many more points: Settings, image composition, effects, exposure, photographing with pro mode, image editing, The best photo phones and apps, equipment.

Our experts

We are Biggi and Flo – the phototravellers. Two adventurous travelers who are drawn to faraway places. On our travel, outdoor and photo blog you will find many tips and reports about photography, traveling and hiking. We give photo courses in the Alps and advise young bloggers on the subject of self-employment. Track 120.000 readers per month our adventure.

My name is Oliver Bender. I am 34 years young and work as a freelance cameraman and photographer for various companies in the travel, automotive and editorial sectors. We are currently in the startup phase of a full content agency (pitch this! GmbH) for corporate communications and content creations. Since I myself, and many of my friends, are very active on social networks, we produce target group optimized content for various distribution channels and develop communication strategies on the pulse of the time. I taught myself photography and filming and also completed a master’s degree in "Digital Film Production".

I am Kristof, coach for image editing and photography. My mission: Help others to create better photos easily and with little effort. Through workshops, coaching, lectures and video tutorials, I have been passing on my knowledge to hundreds of people every year for years. I lecture for Adobe, shoot for Nikon, am an author in various trade magazines, and have quite a few of my own products on the market. Photography plays a big and important role in my job as well as in my free time. Especially on my many travels I create lots of memories in the form of pictures.

"Photography with passion", that’s my motto. As a nature and landscape photographer I show you the world in an unseen way. I like to leave the image of reality behind to create pictures with my own handwriting that stay in the memory. Gladly I pass on my knowledge. Currently my new non-fiction book "Nature Photography with the Smartphone" is published as paperback and e-book.

  • 236 color pages with many photos
  • 14x21cm, softcover with flap brochure
  • High quality paper, regionally printed in Bavaria Nature photography with smartphone 2019

My name is Markus Thoma and I work as a photographer, teacher and blogger in Selb (Upper Franconia / Bavaria). I’ve always been passionate about photography, and today I not only work mainly as a wedding photographer, but I also pass on my knowledge to budding photographers. So in 2015 I started my blog, which now contains over 120 comprehensive posts. So over time, my journal has become a popular place to go for tips and tricks on creative portrait photography. From beginner to professional, I think there is something new for every photographer.

As a graduate journalist (FH) I look back on ten years of freelance work in the fields of application software, science journalism as well as entertainment and photo technology. With publications in print and online magazines such as PC-Welt, Computerwoche or Androidwelt, I have also made a name for myself in the past years in the specialist areas of mobile electronics as well as digital end-user solutions. As a passionate hobby photographer, I also like to hunt for pictures with my smartphone beyond my professional work.

You want to have your memories always in front of your eyes or share them with friends and family? Then why not create a personalized photo calendar with your favorite pictures.

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