The phone cameras phones are getting better and better day by day, but there is one thing that has not progressed rapidly in camera development, and that is the front camera. Cameras require a large sensor to capture more light and deliver good results even under low light conditions. Some impressively large brand new image sensors have started to be offered in the rear cameras of phones. However, the situation is a bit different for the front camera.
We know that a larger image sensor is needed for the camera to capture better light. However, due to the front-facing placement of selfie cameras on the screen, there are limitations on how much the sensor size can be increased. People would prefer having a tiny selfie camera on the screen rather than looking at a massive camera hole on the front of their phones, allowing them to view the display content uninterruptedly.
Samsung brought a very smart solution to this with the Galaxy A80 by implementing a rotating motorized mechanism on the phone. Samsung made it possible to use the rear camera as a selfie camera, allowing users to use the large main camera on the back while capturing selfies and view their faces while taking a selfie. This seemed a pretty good solution, but the pop-up cameras gradually phased out in the smartphone industry.
What to consider for a better front camera on your next phone?
Since the pop-up cameras are no longer present, what you should do is taking a look at some specs of the front camera before buying your new phone. If your priority is a good selfie camera on a smartphone, make sure your selfie camera has auto focus system. Here is an image from a phone with auto focus supported selfie camera.
At first glance, this photo may appear nothing unusual for you, but capturing an image of this kind is actually not possible with all smartphones. This photo was taken with a phone that has a focus system on its front camera, and there is a significant separation between the subject and the background. Let’s zoom in and check out the details.
As you can see, while the model in the photo is sharp, the background is blurred out and this makes the model stand out more instead of the objects in the background. With a fixed-focus selfie camera, the model’s face could end up as blurry as the background. The auto focus system ensures consistent sharpness regardless of the model’s distance from the front camera.
Lately, some phones have started adopting an auto-focus system on their front cameras, such as Pixel 8 Pro and iPhone 14 lineup. While Samsung has been offering auto-focus on the front cameras of its flagship phones for a very long time, the majority of companies continue to prefer the give fixed-focus selfie cameras to the users.
If you’re someone frequently using the front-facing camera, another crucial factor to consider is the video quality. You may want to record 4K 60FPS videos under well-lit environments. Some phones on the market cannot record in 4K resolution and may even struggle to record at 60 FPS regardless the resolution, most smartphones cannot record 60 FPS videos even at 1080p. Be sure to thoroughly check the video specifications of the front camera before purchasing a new phone.
Flagship phones usually offer very good video capabilities, with Samsung and iPhone leading video recording features within today’s smartphone market. The videos out of high-end iPhone and Samsung phones come out sharp, high dynamic range and well stabilized.
You might also consider going beyond the boundaries and getting a Xiaomi CIVI 3. Xiaomi introduced the CIVI 3 model, which comes with two selfie cameras: one for wide-angle shots (video recording purposes) and the other to minimize distortion in photo capture.
Following the launch of Xiaomi CIVI 3, Xiaomi shared a post that presents a side-by-side comparison Xiaomi CIVI 3’s, showcasing images from cameras with a 90-degree field of view and a 78-degree angle. As seen with both models, photos taken with the wide-angle selfie camera has significantly more distortion, whereas the CIVI 3 delivers a remarkably natural result. You should admit that a narrower angle will provide a more natural appearance but if you worry about fitting a crowd into a group selfie, Xiaomi has already addressed this issue by offering an additional 100-degree ultra-wide-angle selfie camera. You can switch to 78-degree selfie camera when you shoot only yourself.
We know there are many smartphones in the market, each with different selfie camera specifications and there is a couple stuff you should be aware of if you take a lot of selfies. At the end of the day, what you purchase really depends on your specific needs.