5 Best Phones for Nature Photography in 2021 – Latest Guide

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Best phone for nature photography

Going on a nature walk is the best. Whenever I go outside, I always take my phone with me. While walking outside, over fields of fresh green grass, or through a forest, you never know when you will stumble across a natural motif that is worth photographing. Therefore you always have to have a good and reliable phone with you. In this article, I will help you find the best phone for nature photography. So stick around and enhance your next trip outdoors.

In the past, I used to take a camera with me every time I went on a nature walk. However, since it was quite heavy I found it extremely inconvenient. I started looking for a solution, searching for a more compact camera, however, none was the right for me. Eventually, one day I went for a walk, just to relax. I found a beatuful stream that I wanted to photograph, only that I forgot to take my camera with me. So I used my phone instead and the results were surprisingly good. The quality of the images was just as good, maybe even better than on camera. So I have been using my phone for photography ever since. Moreover, it is much easier to edit the photos and you can share them right away as well.

Nature photography consists of many types of photography taken outdoors. This includes landscapes, wildlife, plants. As long as displaying natural elements, then you fit into nature photography. But enough about that. Let’s find you your phone. For the purposes of providing the best solution, there are 5 phones feature in the selection. This includes the recommended option and a budget choice. Check them out and see which one suits you best.

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

DID YOU KNOW: An interesting fact about nature is that there are actually 12 times more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way. Still, we need to treasure our forests.

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


BUDGET RECOMMENDED
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Apple iPhone SE Samsung Galaxy A52 Huawei P30 Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

Apple iPhone SE

Samsung Galaxy A52

Huawei P30

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Display 6.3 inches 4.7 inches 6.5 inches 6.1 inches 6.2 inches
Main camera 48 MP wide, 8 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth 12 MP wide 64 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide, 5 MP macro, 5 MP depth 40 MP wide, 8 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide
Video max. 4K@30fps max. 4K@60fps max. 4K@30fps max. 4K@30fps max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+
Front camera 13 MP wide 7 MP 32 MP wide 32 MP wide 10 MP wide
Battery 4000 mAh, non-removable 1821 mAh, non-removable 4500 mAh, non-removable 3650 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 nature photography?

XIAOMI Redmi Note 8

One of the best phone for nature photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 48 MP wide, 8 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth Single 13 MP wide Up to 4K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 is a good mid-range phone that has some cool features and sells at a very low price. The phone has a really cool and modern design, a good battery, and a solid chipset. We really get our money worth with this phone. It is for sure quality at a low price. Therefore it makes our list of the best phones for nature photography.

The phone features quad-camera setup, which is again a feature of good and premium phones. Here you will find one 48 MP main camera with PDAF, 8 MP ultrawide camera, 2 MP macro camera with autofocus, and a 2 MP depth sensor. This is the same camera setup that you will find on the newer Redmi Note 9. Anyway, photos taken during the day with the main camera are decent. However, the overall quality is a little behind the competition. Sharpness could be improved and there could be more detail. Therefore images appear a bit softer. Still, colours look pretty good. Using zoom reduces image quality even more. Photos have more noise and do not come out really sharp. Portraits look more or less good, but only in good light. Low light performance is surprisingly good. Photos have a wide dynamic range with nicely preserved highlights. However, the images are still soft.

Video recording is in fact better than what you will find on Redmi Note 9. Here you actually have an option for 4K video recording. You can also record up to 1080p. In general, videos are more or less decent, however, there is still room for improvement. Videos could be sharper and the dynamic range could be wider. Otherwise, it is okay and average users will not see these flaws as such a big problem.

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

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Great price/performance ratio
  • Since it was released in the late 2019 its price has fallen quite a bit and is now very affordable
  • Hardware is still capable enough to run the latest games
  • Optimal screen size for most people
  • Nicely balanced video noise/detail in bright to moderate light
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Not the best camera for indoor
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

APPLE iPhone SE

One of the best phone for nature photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Single 12 MP wide Single 7 MP Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Apple iPhone SE is a mid-range phone that Apple released in 2020. It has practically all the benefits that come with Apple brand, with a major difference of lower price. It’s still isn’t the cheapest phone you will find, but it’ quite a bargain for such quality. In some areas it’s not competitive anymore; however, if you want an Apple phone at fairly low price, then this is the way to go. So it makes our list of the best phones for nature photography.

On the back you will find only one camera. This is a huge surprise, as most of today’s phones feature at least dual, if not triple or quad camera setup. The phone features 12 MP main camera with PDAF and OIS. You will find the same camera on iPhone 8. However, the advancement in image processing is noticeable. Daytime photos look very good, very natural. The colours are extremely accurate and the contrasts are nice. There is also wide dynamic range and practically no noise. The level of detail is shocking good and the overall quality of images is very high and is simply amazing, especially for such price. Portrait mode is decent, but not the best. This is mostly due to singular camera. Low light photography has improved a lot since iPhone 8. However, it is not as good like on other, more expensive Apple phones. There is also no night mode here that would improve the quality of images.

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

WHAT WE LIKED
  • It basically has the same hardware as iPhone 11 just packed in the smaller chasis. You get a lot of power in small package
  • Especially for people who like smaller devices but don’t want to compromise on performance it may be the optimal choice
  • Very affordable for an Apple device
  • Retro iPhone design
  • Very good texture/noise tradeoff in bright light and indoor
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • The speaker max volume is a bit low
  • 3 GB RAM is a bit low compared to other modern devices
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy A52 – Top Budget Phone for nature photography

One of the best phone for nature photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 64 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide, 5 MP macro and 5 MP depth Single 32 MP wide Up to 4K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy A52 is a very good and capable mid-range phone. It brings a lot of upgrades over its predecessors. It has some cool new features and a brand new design. All of that comes at a reasonable price, which is appropriate for a phone on such level. It has many qualities that make this phone truly great and worth every penny. Therefore, we decided to list it as one of the best phones for nature photography.

There were some improvements on the field of cameras as well. Galaxy A52 feature a quad camera setup. Here we get 64 MP main camera with OIS, 12 MP ultrawide camera, 5 MP macro camera and a 5 MP depth sensor. Photos taken with main camera during the day are very sharp, have wide dynamic range a lot of detail. There is very little, almost zero noise and the colour are more or less accurate. Low light photography looks quite okay. Highlights and shadows look nice and noise is reduced to minimum. However, switching to ultrawide camera during night may reduce photo quality. So stick to the main camera. Samsung also added some extra features that you can have fun with. You will find a quick access to AR effects right in the camera app. As far as video recording goes, you are able to make 4K footages at 30 fps. You can also make videos at 1080p resolution which also look quite nice and the overall quality is very satisfying. Videos taken during the day have wide dynamic range, have a lot of detail and are very sharp.

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

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Great price compared to high-end flagships
  • Snapdragon 720G gaming performance was really better then we expected. This is also one of the main reasons this phone is listed here
  • For people with smaller hands this phone will be easy to handle and comfortable to hold even after longer usage, like gaming
  • Wide dynamic range in stills
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Camera video capabilities are still very basic.
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

HUAWEI P30

One of the best phone for nature photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 40 MP wide, 8 MP telephoto and 16 MP ultrawide Single 32 MP wide Up to 4K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Huawei P30 is one of brand’s really good mid-range phones. It features beautiful design, good camera setup and awesome chipset performance. Now it lacks some of the features that a more premium version P30 Pro has. However, it is still a very good deal, especially as it is cheaper. Based on its capabilities, it makes one of the best phones for nature photography.

Huawei P30 features a triple camera setup. Here you will find a 40 MP main camera with laser autofocus, a 16 MP ultrawide camera and an 8 MP telephoto camera with OIS and 3x optical zoom. However, there is no depth sensor, which Pro version has. Images taken during the day look great. The main camera captures a lot of detail, with a minimal amount of noise. The dynamic range is good and the colors are pleasing. Ultrawide camera produces punchier colors and the dynamic range is not as wide. However, photo quality is still pretty much okay. You do get an option for super macro mode, which is meant for close-up shots. Images in this mode are surprisingly good and high quality. Low light photography is also satisfying. Colors are nicely preserved with really good highlights and shadows. There is some loss of detail, but noise is pretty low. You also have a night mode that improves quality of night time shots.

As far as the video recording goes, P30 can make 4K footages at 30 fps. There is an option for electronic stabilization, which makes videos look smoother. Otherwise the amount of detail is satisfying, but videos could be sharper. Dynamic range is excellent and colors are true to life.

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

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Above average battery life. A feature that is important for gaming phone
  • Nice built quality. Gives a feeling of a top high-end flagship
  • An excellent screen
  • Very responsive performance even with 6 GB version
  • Good target exposure even in very low light
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • The phone lacks wireless charging capabilities
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

One of the best phone for nature photography
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide camera Single 10 MP wide camera Up to 8K 24fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy S21 is a state-of-the-art phone and it is one of the brand’s top achievements. It has a sleek, new design and it is very attractive. The phone is slightly smaller than its predecessor Γ’β‚¬β€œ the model S20. However, smaller size and lighter weight can sometimes be an advantage. S21 is very capable and works really well, which makes it appropriate for both inexperienced and sophisticated users. It’s a nice choice if you are looking for a high-end and compact phone. Therefore, we list it as one of the best phones for nature photography.  

This is an amazing phone, which is just meant for taking photos, so it is definitely one of the top choices. With this phone, you will be able to take photography on a whole new level. The phone features a 12 MP main camera with dual pixel autofocus, which allows you to take very sharp and accurate photos. The S21 also has a 12 MP ultrawide camera with a fixed focus. Additionally, it also has a 64 MP telephoto camera that supports 3x digital zoom. This will allow you to take incredibly detailed photos. The phone camera has a wide dynamic range and well-controlled noise. It also performs well in low-light photography, delivering stunning results. The phone also features a very capable frontal camera, which will allow you to take really sharp selfies, as it can capture a lot of facial details.

Regarding video quality, the main camera can take 4K videos at 30 or 60 fps. Additionally, it also has the ability to capture 8K videos at 24 fps. However, the best results are achieved with 30 fps 4K videos, as they are often sharper and feature more details.

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

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Super fast and responsive performance thanks to Snapdragon 888
  • Easy to hold and place into pockets
  • Battery is really good and supports 25W fast charging
  • 8 GB RAM will handle your everyday tasks without a problem
  • Overall an excellent camera performance in any conditions
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • No external SD card slot. Depending on your style of usage 128 GB of internal storage may not be enough so in that case you should go for 256 GB version
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 nature photography – CONCLUSION

As you have learned choosing the best phone for nature 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 best phone for nature photography you are good and ready to go. Have fun taking photos.

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