5 Best Phones for Landscape Photography in 2021 – Latest Guide

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Best Phones for Landscape Photography
New Zealand’s landscape

Landscape photography can produce the most mesmerizing photos. Taking pictures of trees, rivers, lakes or sunsets connects us with mother earth. Just by looking at a picture of nature induces a sense of peace in ourselves. It is not a surprise that landscape photography is one of the most highly regarded photography genres.

If pictures have been captured with a high-quality camera and a dedicated lens, images can be sold for thousands of dollars. But you do not need to own a full array of tools, like ultra-high quality cameras, effect dedicated lenses, tripods, etc., in order to produce great pictures.

These days, smartphones have become pretty good at producing high-quality photos. You do not need to be an expert in photography in order to produce a stunning landscape photo. In this article, we have decided to list 5 phones that do a great job at taking landscape photos.

If you want to read a full detailed review of our recommended phone for landscape photography click here. Or if you are more interested in our top budget pick we got you covered here.

Did you know Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) is one of the most highly regarded American landscape photographers. He was an environmentalist, well known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He advocated “pure” photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph.

NOTE: Below you can find a comparison table and a detailed description of the best phones for landscape photography.


BUDGET RECOMMENDED
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC Huawei Nova 5T Samsung Galaxy Note10 Apple iPhone 12 Sony Xperia 5 II

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

Huawei Nova 5T

Samsung Galaxy Note10

Apple iPhone 12

Sony Xperia 5 II
Display 6.67 inches 6.26 inches 6.3 inches 6.1 inches 6.1 inches
Main camera 64 MP wide, 13 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth 48 MP wide, 16 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide 12 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide
Video max. 4K@30fps max. 4K@30fps max. 4K@60fps, HDR10+ max. 4K@60fps max. 4K@120fps
Front camera 20 MP wide 32 MP wide 10 MP wide 12 MP wide 8 MP wide
Battery 5160 mAh, non-removable 3750 mAh, non-removable 3500 mAh, non-removable 2815 mAh, non-removable 4000 mAh, non-removable
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

* International and US hardware.


OVERALL RATING

We evaluated the phones based on several key factors that are important to capture high-quality photos. The most important being camera megapixels, resolution, and lens zoom performance and capacity. And we must not forget the display as you don’t want just to capture an image in high quality but to also look nice on the screen.

We tested and evaluated all mentioned features and compiled results to a single score number. Please note that the final score does not take the price into the account. So obviously the budget phones will not perform as well as the high-end flagship. But we make sure that all our recommended phones will give you a great camera experience.


What are the best phones for landscape photography?

XIAOMI Poco X3 NFC – Top Budget Phone for landscape photography

One of the best phone for landscape photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 64 MP wide, 13 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth Single 20 MP wide Up to 4K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC is a good mid-range phone that brings a lot of trendy features. It comes with a quad-camera setup, a high refresh rate screen, and a great chipset. Battery life is very good and the phone truly delivers what it promises. Another big plus is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on these features. Poco X3 NFC comes at a very affordable price. That’s why we decided to put it on our list of best phones for landscape photography.

Poco X3 NFC has a quad-camera setup. It is equipped with a 64 MP main camera, 13 MP ultrawide camera, 2 MP macro camera, and a 2 MP depth sensor. The daytime photos look excellent for this class. The photos taken with the main camera come out very sharp with a lot of detail and a wide dynamic range. There is also practically no noise and colors are very accurate. You can also make very decent selfies with a 20 MP selfie camera. The subject is nicely exposed with a high level of detail. Zoom shots look okay but do not have as much detail as you would expect. Also, there is more noise in the photos. However, this is more or less due to the lack of a telephoto camera. Close-up shots taken with a macro camera are more or less decent. They have as much detail as you would expect from a 2 MP camera, but the noise is very low. Sharpness could be improved on this camera. Low-light photography is not the best. The dynamic range is pretty narrow and images are sort of noisy. Colors remain good, but highlights and shadows do not look their best. However, for a basic user, all this might not pose a problem. Night mode might help improve photos. Still, you will find better low light performance on other mid-range phones.

Video recording is quite good. You can make 4K videos at 30 fps. There is also an option for more basic footage that can be recorded up to 1080p. In general, videos have great contrast and accurate colors. The dynamic range is wide enough, however, the level of detail could be improved.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Many people argue that you get a lot of the phone for the price. We agree
  • We really like 120 Hz 6.67 inch screen. It is bright, large and perfect for watching videos, playing games or browsing the web
  • The powerful mid-range chip will allow you to play graphic intense games smoothly
  • Large battery and a 33W charger is a dream combination
  • Accurate white balance and pleasant color rendering in stills
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • There is no wireless charging
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

HUAWEI Nova 5T

One of the best phone for landscape photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 48 MP wide, 16 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth Single 32 MP wide Up to 4K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Huawei Nova 5T is one of Huawei’s most beautifully designed and mid-range phones. It looks very similar to Honor 20, so if you are familiar with that phone, using this one will be a walk in the park. Otherwise, the phone has a good chipset and a pretty long battery life. It is also very affordable which makes it one of the best phones for landscape photography.

Huawei nova 5T features a quad camera set up on the back. Here you will find one 48 MP main camera with PDAF, one 16 MP ultrawide camera, one 2 MP macro lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. Camera set up might not be the best feature here, as you can find similar setup on cheaper phones. Still, the image quality is good. Day time photos taken with main camera look okay. They have a lot of detail and sufficiently wide dynamic range with little noise. Night time and low light photos can have reduced quality, although still satisfying. Basic users will probably not have any problem with the quality, however professionals might be bothered with some details, as images tend to be softer.

As far as video recording goes, you do get an option for 4K videos at 30 fps. However, you can always take footages up to 1080p at 30 or 60 fps. In general, video quality is good. There is plenty of detail, little noise and wide dynamic range. Although, if video recording is important to you, you might want to check out some other, but more expensive phones, like Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Highly readable and highly responsive IPS screen, 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • Performance is amazing for a mid range phone. It holds its own even against pricier models
  • The fingerprint reader works wonderfully and is faster than the Honor 5X
  • Battery lasts all day video chatting, taking photos and watching videos non-stop
  • Good exposure and wide dynamic range in photos
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Does not have a memory card slot. Since there is only 128 GB version available you must decide if that is enough for you
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy NOTE 10

One of the best phone for landscape photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide camera Single 10 MP wide camera Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is a great new addition to a Note line of phones. It is a more compact version, which means that it is slightly smaller than Note 10+ and Note 10 Lite. However, this makes it easier to handle and it is also more pocket-friendly than other versions. The phone is very user-friendly and you will get a hang of the S Pen very quickly too. Buying a Galaxy Note phone is a great choice for people who do not wish to spend too much money. Additionally, it is very capable and has enough storage (256 GB) for all your stuff. Note 10 is truly one of the best phones for landscape photography.

Regarding photography, you can take some quality shots with this phone. It has an excellent dynamic range and can capture a lot of detail with a minimal amount of noise. The colors look pretty good, however, there is no autofocus, therefore close-up shots will not look their best. Still, portrait mode is awesome and shots look just as good as on Note 10+. You also get an option of 2x zoom with a telephoto camera, where you can still capture a lot of detail with practically no noise. Night shots are also no problem. The main camera is more than capable of that and you will not lose any quality.

Regarding video quality, you can make 4K videos at 30 fps or 60 fps. They look excellent and you will most likely be very satisfied with them. It also features live-focused video, which gives you the blurred background behind the subject, making the subject stand out a little bit more.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • The phone was released in late 2019 and has gotten significantly cheaper since then. However the specs are still better then most new mid-range phones
  • Nice and large screen with thin bezels makes photography and watching movies very enjoyable
  • In 2021 you can really get good deals on this phone. You can get a power house phone for bargain price
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • No memory card slot. Still 256 GB is plenty of storage space but you must consider there is no expansion possible
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

APPLE iPhone 12

One of the best phone for landscape photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Dual with 12 MP wide and 12 MP ultrawide Single 12 MP wide Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Apple iPhone 12 brings quite a few changes over last year’s model. It is a high end device, so don’t expect it to come cheap. Price aside, you get a lot of premium features that other phones are missing. There has been a significant improvement on the field of security, especially face recognition. The phone also comes with a very good chipset and GPU for the best experience. It is also very user friendly, so you will have no problem adjusting to iOS, even if you never owned Apple phone before. The quality of this phone speaks for itself, therefore we decided to list it as the best phone for landscape photography.

Apple iPhone 12 comes with dual camera setup. Here you will find 12 MP main camera dual pixel PDAF and an OIS. You also get a 12 MP ultrawide camera. Daylight photos are very good. There is a nice amount of detail and very little noise. Sharpness is nicely balanced and colors are pretty much accurate. You also get a wide dynamic range. However, Apple started fall behind the competition. Other brands feature multiple camera setups and cameras have better sensors. When you zoom in too much, you will see that photos become softer on this phone. Still, images look great but could be improved. On the other hand, portraits look pretty decent. They are sharp with a lot of detail and the background can be blurred. When taking shots in lowlight, night mode will automatically kick in. These photos are truly amazing. They are surprisingly sharp with a lot of detail and no noise. Colors are nicely preserved and you get nice highlights and shadows. The contrast looks great and the exposure is true to life.

Video recording quality is one of the best you will see. You are able to make 4K footages at 24, 30 or 60 fps. Videos look great, with the right amount of detail and very little noise. Dynamic range is impressive and the colours look very good with a nice contrast. Lowlight videos give outstanding results and beat the competition by far. There is also electronic stabilization for super smooth videos.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • As any Apple product it is very responsive and the user experience is just amazing
  • Sizewise it hits the sweet spot for people with smaller to medium hands
  • Great camera setup
  • Solid photo performance and impressive video capabilities, especially for those who can take full advantage of the phone’s Dolby Vision HDR processing
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • A bit shorter battery life due to 2815 mAh battery. But it supports fast charging and recharges 50% of its capacity in just 30 min
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

One of the best phone for landscape photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide Single 8 MP wide Up to 4K 120 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Sony Xperia 5 II is a flagship phone of 2020 that truly lives up to its promises. Here we can find all the features that we need and all the features that make this phone so great. You get an excellent chipset, great cameras, and a very good battery life. On top of everything, it all comes together in a beautiful design. This is a phone that is certainly worth the money we are paying for it. Therefore, it’s on our list of the best phones for landscape photography.

Xperia 5 II features a triple camera setup. Here you will find an excellent 12 MP main camera with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS. Additionally, there is also a 12 MP ultra-wide camera and 12 MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS. You also get HDR support. In general, photos taken during the day with the main camera look great. There is an excellent amount of detail, wide dynamic range, and practically zero noise. The photos are also very sharp with natural-looking colours. Portrait mode has an excellent subject separation and a very good focus, despite missing ToF camera. There is again plenty of detail with good-looking colours. Zoom photos taken with telephoto camera are just as good as you would expect. They are very sharp with great dynamic range. The quality can easily compare to the one from the main camera. Lowlight photography gives you good results. Highlights and shadows are nicely preserved. Colours have good saturation and look pretty great. Additionally, there is also plenty of detail and a wide dynamic range as well. You can get some really good pictures and that is even if you are using telephoto camera.

As for the video recording, you are able to make 4K videos at 24, 30, 60, or 120 fps. The quality here is great and you also get HDR support as well. Colors are spot on and there is plenty of detail featured in the video. All of this helps you get that natural look. Even while using zoom, we still get a great result with excellent sharpness. Additionally, you can also stick to normal videos that go up to 1080p. Those look good as well.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • It is on the smaller side compared to some other flagships which makes it very easy to handle in one hand
  • Very powerful chipset which will be able to handle any games, browsing the web and social media, multitasking, you name it
  • Minimal Android overlay with little to no bloatware
  • An excellent battery life
  • Well controlled noise in most photos and videos
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Maximum brightness of the screen is not bad, but could be improved
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

Additional hardware information

Cameras

The phones these days feature multiple-camera setups. In fact, it is very difficult to find a phone with just one camera. Usually, they have at least two in the back and some even feature four. Now there is a logical explanation behind all this. The companies aren’t just stacking cameras left and right. Each camera is different and serves its own purpose. This is how we get the best results and enhance our photography experience. The most common camera types you will find are wide camera, ultrawide camera, telephoto camera, macro camera and ToF sensor.

Wide camera – It is also known as the main camera that we find on the rear side of the phone. You will notice differences in Megapixels that a certain camera has. A good main camera should have at least 12MP. Furthermore, it is also good if it has good autofocus and an optical image stabilizer, also known as OIS.

Ultrawide camera – It offers a wider field of view than the main camera. This way you can capture more into the image and it is more similar to what our eyes see. It can offer a great advantage when taking wider images such as family reunion photos for example. However, sometimes a photo can appear curved due to a wider angle and some objects might appear abnormally shaped.

Telephoto camera – It is normally used for zoomed-in shots that are taken from a distance. You can zoom in on a scene or subject and get closer without actually having to move. This can serve us well when we don’t want to approach the subject. A telephoto lens increases focal length. It brings objects closer to you.

Macro camera – It is used for close-up shots. We can capture images of small objects, such as insects or plants. These objects can appear big in a photo and we can capture a lot of detail. In fact, we can capture things that are too small to be visible to the naked eye.

ToF sensor – It is a piece of equipment that most flagship phones these days have. A ToF sensor can help you determine the distance between the camera and the object. It is actually a depth sensor that helps the phone create a three-dimensional map of the world. It uses infrared light to determine the distance between the objects and maps 3D space.

Dynamic range

The understanding of dynamic range can really help us improve our photos. Dynamic range describes the ratio between the maximum and minimum light intensities. In simple words, it tells us the difference between the lightest and darkest tones in an image.  Each device has its own dynamic range, which affects the output – that is our image. The wide the dynamic range, the better. You will stumble across this topic a lot in photography. So just remember that a wider dynamic range gives you better results. A wide dynamic range will allow you to capture more detail in brighter or darker areas. Otherwise, those areas will just appear very bright, nearly white or very dark, nearly black. So to create a good exposure, there must not be too bright or too dim parts.

An interesting fact is that human sight has a relatively high dynamic range. No camera can match it. Therefore some pictures of sunsets for example appear different than they are in real life.

Sharpness

Sharpness in photography stands for the overall clarity of the image. This combines focus and contrast. The subject must be clear, lifelike, and have a lot of details. This is when we can speak of sharpness.

Sharpness is very important in photography. Better sharpness means more detail. Furthermore, it also emphasizes the textures of the subject. You should always try and make your photos as sharp as you can. This way the images will appear more professional and interesting for the viewers.

For the best results, you will have to have good equipment as well as the right technique and well-developed skills. However, with the right gear, it can be much simpler. It is also important to know that sharpness is related to the resolution, as the number of pixels and their size affect overall sharpness.

Resolution

The image resolution relates to the number of pixels that are featured in an image. Higher resolutions simply mean that there are more pixels in the photo, whether lower resolutions mean that there are fewer pixels in a photo. The number of pixels also determines how much information is captured in an image. Or in other words, how much detail it can hold. So, the more the better, as it usually results in higher quality photos.

Changing the resolution, you are basically saying how many pixels you want to have per square inch. So it is always good to have a little more than less. After all, it affects the sharpness of the image as well, and you don’t want blurry photos. You want to capture as much information as you can. Cropping the photo, while keeping the same resolution will significantly drop the quality of the photo. That happens because you remove a certain amount of pixels, which basically means you lose a certain amount of information that should occupy that space. So avoid doing that.

There is a lot of talk about Full HD resolution these days. Here we have 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high image. Such resolution is very common among televisions these days. However, there is also Ultra HD, which is also known as 4K. This means that the resolution here is about 4000 pixels, although is usually a bit less – 3840 pixels.

Contrast

Contrast represents a visual ratio between different tones in an image. It defines color characteristics and affects areas such as highlights, shadows, colors, clarity, and textures. A simple way of putting it is to say that contrast is the scale of difference between black and white in the photo. High contrast means that there will be bright highlights and dark shadows, whether low contrast images have little difference between light and dark tones.

We also know different types of contrasts. There is Tonal contrast, which refers to dark and bright areas in the photo. Then we have Color contrast which means pairing warm and cold colors to make them stand out more. We also know Conceptual contrast, which helps us add depth and encourages viewers to engage with the photo. Then there’s also Texture contrast, where we combine rough and soft elements for an extra punch. All of the contrasts are very important if we want the image to look professional and appealing. So we must know how to use them if we want to achieve that magical result. They can help us tell a story and make certain things stand out more. So we can really be artistic with the contrast.

Best phone for landscape photography – CONCLUSION

As you have learned choosing the best phone for landscape photography is not a trivial task. The phone cannot compare to a professional DSLR camera with its small sensor size. Therefore, it is important that the sensor quality is at the top level and you will also need to play with some manual camera settings, as standard auto mode usually won’t cut it.

Any phone from our list will give you the best camera experience. So if you stay within our selection of the best phones for landscape photography you are good and ready to go. Have fun taking photos.

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