Look for these smartphone camera marketing trends and strategies

Huawei P30 Pro rear camera module close up

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Buying a new smartphone can be a daunting task, especially if you are not a fan of the latest news and reviews. Mobile manufacturers are sometimes interested in exploiting this knowledge gap with questionable marketing strategies, especially if you are looking for a great camera experience.

Fortunately, we’ve identified some lesser-tasting smartphone camera marketing trends that manufacturers use to pull the hair out of our eyes. So keep these in mind before splashing on a new phone.

Using studio-level equipment

Redmi Note 11 sample macro image

Marketing photo samples and clips taken with studio-level equipment is a particularly uncomfortable technique. We’ve all seen those photos on a manufacturer’s website, showing a flawless shot or video that seems almost too good to be true.

Read more: All you need to know about the smartphone tripod

However, these images and videos are often taken with the help of additional tools such as studio lighting setup, tripods, gimbals and more, not to mention a heavy dose of editing with professional-grade software. I bet most manufacturers use studio lighting for selfies, macro shots and other samples seen on their websites. For example, the Redmi Note 11 uses the macro shot at the top of the product page. At the very least, we suspect that the phone’s 2MP macro camera took this shot without some extra help, such as staging lighting and editing.

Using extra equipment is not always a bad thing. Long exposure images require a tripod, for example. But the problem is that some brands will post this content without disclaimer and will remind readers that they can easily replicate themselves. So when a company shows off its camera samples you must be a little moody with your expectations.

Or using completely fake pictures and videos

Huawei Nova 3i screenshot image A woman wearing a red shirt and a man wearing a blue shirt beside her on a couch.

Some manufacturers use studio-level tools and go one step further than editing the phone photos to make them look their best. Some brands have marketed pictures or videos claiming to come from a smartphone when it appears the material came from a different, professional-grade camera or video camera.

Looking for a great camera? The best camera phone worth buying right now

One of the first examples of Nokia, including the Lumia 920 in 2012. The company used a DSLR camera in a van instead of a phone to demonstrate its supposed optical image stabilization (OIS) capabilities. Huawei’s Nova 3i was similarly caught in 2018. A deleted Instagram photo of a model revealed that they were not actually taking selfies with the phone but with a DSLR camera.

Needless to say, you should not only rely on the manufacturer’s own images but also examine images posted by third parties or try the phone yourself.

Camera details are omitted

Realme 6 Pro Camera Details

Companies like to shout from the roof about the key features that set their phones apart but are equally keen to omit details of other less impressive specifications. And yes, that’s often the case with smartphone cameras.

Read more: More smartphone marketing strategies we hate

For example, the official product listing and spec page of Realme 8 5G lacks the basic details of macro and monochromatic lenses – such as their resolution. Of course, the more impressive initial camera details are listed in all their glory, though. More generally, manufacturers are silent on disclosing sensor size information for small selfies and zoom cameras but will always let you know when they include a larger main sensor. In other words, you should check the reviews or third party specification tables if the manufacturer’s website misses the original camera details.

Misleading technical terms

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Camera

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

For example, Samsung has coined the term “hybrid-optic zoom” instead of saying Galaxy S20 and S21 using only hybrid zoom technology. It added the word “optic”, which led some to think that the phone had telephoto / optical zoom when they actually lacked this technology. With the advent of the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, the Base and Plus models finally have real optical telephoto cameras. So keep an eye on phones with telephoto, periscope or optical zoom if you value a camera that can get close.

Huawei and Realme are two other companies using deceptive technical terms, marketing that their phones offer AIS and UIS technology, respectively, for image stabilization. That’s right, Huawei’s AIS uses AI technology to smooth out vibrations, so it’s a little different from traditional software-based EIS. However, these are still software-driven solutions that may not be as good as OIS hardware solutions. Therefore, you should always make sure that your preferred phone has OIS if you want blur-free photos and low judy videos.

The megapixel count is being highlighted

Poco X4 Pro Camera Housing

Hadley Simmons / Android Authority

The megapixel count book is one of the oldest smartphone camera marketing strategies and is still a detriment to the industry today. It relies on the misconception that more is always better, which is clearly not the case with megapixels.

Explainer: Why camera sensor size is more important than megapixels

We’ve covered before why more megapixels isn’t necessarily good (see link above). All you need to know is that the camera pixel size and features like OIS, lens aperture and software processing have a bigger effect on image quality than the number of pixels. This is especially important in low light scenes, where larger pixels will help capture more light and, therefore, a better shot. Meanwhile, OIS can provide images with less opacity day and night.

More megapixels during the day can be great, adding more solvable details for cropping. However, you will often not benefit from this extra detail out of the box. Many phones today shoot at low pixel-band resolutions by default for clear images. In other words, those 108MP sensors still give you 12MP images. So look at the pixel size without looking at the megapixels. In the case of 48MP + smartphone cameras, pixels smaller than 0.8 microns are considered smaller.

Interpolated photos and videos

Huawei Mate 30 7,680fps Ultra Slow Motion Video Promo showing a golf club and ball in a green.

Smartphone makers are turning to software to provide higher resolution and faster frame rates than hardware. While this is not always confusing, some phones claim to support a feature that their hardware is not capable of.

We saw a number of third-string Chinese brands like Okitel and Dugi do this a few years ago. Their phone is claimed to have a 13MP rear camera while it is actually an 8MP sensor that enhances the final images to 13MP. These brands often bury the upscaling / interpolation disclaimer in fine print, if they mention it. Fortunately, this practice is quite rare today.

Related: Who actually has 960fps super slow-motion video recording?

Another common software trick is to claim 960fps super slow-motion video support when the result actually extends from a lower frame rate, such as 240fps or 480fps. Samsung is responsible for this. Before using the software to extract a 960fps video clip, the Galaxy S22 Ultra records at 480fps – certainly not as native as its stablemates. Huawei has also been accused in recent years of using interpolated slow-motion video instead of native video output for 960fps. In fact, the company’s recent flagships offer 7,680fps slow-motion video that is interpolated from a native 1,920fps.

Both Huawei and Samsung offer waivers on some of their promotional materials, but not all. Potential buyers should keep an eye on these notifications. That fails, like wealth High-speed cam Do a good job of determining if a flagship phone has interpolated or native slow-motion recording.

What should you look for if you want a great camera?

Google Pixel 6 Pro Winter

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Now that you know some of the strategies that smartphone camera marketing brands use for their cameras, what should you consider if you want a great mobile camera?

One of the most important components is image processing / software, and each brand is different. For example, Samsung cameras typically offer a saturated color and a wide range of dynamics, while Sony smartphones offer more realistic color and muted HDR results. In the meantime, Google is known for its somewhat saturated colors and great low-light quality. It’s not guaranteed for all phones by a given brand, but it’s a solid foundation for what you should expect.

Our complete guide: Want a phone with a great camera? Here’s what to look for

In the case of hardware, you’ll want a larger main camera sensor with OIS and a relatively large pixel. For example, the most prominent flagship phones on the market, such as the Galaxy S22, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, and the Google Pixel 6 Series offer OIS and a one-micron pixel or larger camera sensor. For 48MP, 50MP, 64MP, and 108MP cameras it is best to avoid pixel sizes smaller than 0.8 microns. ফোন 200 phones with 50MP cameras ধারণ $ 1,000 phones with 50MP cameras can’t hold candles – their sensors are too small.

Finally, you should ask yourself how many extra cameras you need. Not sure? Then think about the type of photo you want to take (close-up, landscape, sporting event, etc.). Top flagship phones typically have an ultraviolet camera and a telephoto or periscope zoom lens that covers all aspects. You can still find ultraviolet cameras on budget phones, but telephoto / periscope cameras are expensive and therefore not common in mid-range and budget places.

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