The iPhone 14 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are among the many greatest digicam telephones you should buy in 2023. Packed with a number of lenses and wonderful AI software program, these telephones can take pictures that rival skilled mirrorless cameras

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However, these prime telephones include big value tags that make them out of attain for many people. Worry not. Even for those who’ve obtained an older iPhone or Android telephone or a budget-focused mannequin with out all of the bells and whistles, there’s quite a bit you are able to do to nonetheless take stunning pictures. After all, as any photographer will let you know, it isn’t simply one of the best digicam that takes one of the best photographs. 

Still, you may must put in some effort your self to raise your pictures from easy “ho hum” snaps to “oh, wow!” items of artwork.

Here, then, are my prime suggestions for find out how to get one of the best pictures from an older iPhone, Galaxy telephone or any older Android telephone. 


In this shot, taken on the iPhone X, the highway snaking its manner into the body helps so as to add a number one line that guides the attention up towards the cloudy mountains.

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Nail your composition 

You can take a photograph utilizing essentially the most superior digicam system on the planet, however for those who’ve tousled your framing, you may nonetheless get a nasty picture. After all, for those who’re taking a photograph of a beautiful church and also you handle to cut off the spire, no quantity of modifying will carry it again. 

Don’t simply snap away wildly at your picture location. Instead, decelerate, stroll round and take into account the scene in entrance of you and the way you need it to look in your shot. Taking a panorama shot? Look for main traces equivalent to pathways or outdated stone partitions that snake their manner into the scene. Or maybe there’s some fascinating rocks or flowers that would add some curiosity within the foreground. 


Taken on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. I used the curving rock face as foreground curiosity, taking pictures by means of the hole that factors towards the reservoir within the distance.

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You may activate a “rule of thirds” grid overlay within the settings to assist line up the totally different parts in your scene in a visually pleasing manner — or just to assist preserve your horizons straight. 

If you’ve got obtained a number of rear cameras that provide a zoomed-in or wide-angle view, experiment with these totally different choices. Maybe zooming in may also help remove distracting parts, or maybe that wider view can seize extra of the attractive scene in entrance of you. 


With no wide-angle lens on the iPhone 11 Pro, I used the panorama mode to seize a a lot wider scene right here.

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If you do not have a wide-angle view, attempt utilizing the panorama mode to get a wider shot than the usual digicam can obtain — or use clip-on lenses, as I focus on beneath.

Tell a narrative

The most impactful, iconic pictures by means of the years aren’t merely those taken with one of the best digicam, however the ones that inform a selected story or seize a second in time. And certain, perhaps you are not making an attempt to win a photojournalism prize in your summer season trip, however pondering like a photojournalist may also help you’re taking pictures that you will need to look again on in years to return. 

Perhaps you are heading to the attractive Italian coast this yr. Of course, you may get a pleasant snap of the ocean out of your lodge terrace, however have in mind what else has made your journey so memorable; the plates of scrumptious meals, the outdated, dusty streets, the musician taking part in within the sq. or the colourful colours of the fruits and flower stands on the native market. All these parts will make for nice photographs that seize the center of the situation and inform an excellent visible story once you look again by means of them. 


This stunning, shaggy Highland cow wasn’t the explanation I visited Scotland, however this was an excellent alternative to seize a picture of an iconic animal. And the shot actually provides to the story instructed by the photographs I took on that journey. Taken on the iPhone 11 Pro.

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And it would not should be one thing you do solely on an enormous household trip. A weekend stroll downtown to the street-food market will provide up nice storytelling alternatives, from the graffiti artwork you see alongside the best way to the plates of vibrant delicacies you select on arrival. And none of these items require the most recent digicam {hardware} to seize fantastically.

Use the sunshine to your benefit

Though at this time’s prime telephones can take nice nighttime pictures, older fashions seemingly will not have night time modes. As a outcome, darkness will not be your buddy once you’re making an attempt to get nice pictures. If you are heading to a viewpoint overlooking town, attempt to get there throughout the day, maybe when there is a pretty blue sky sprinkled with fluffy clouds.


Though the center of the day is not at all times a good time for panorama photographs, you would possibly seize moments of peace like this. Taken on the iPhone X.

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Middle-of-the-day pictures is commonly averted by panorama photographers due to its harsh high quality, however for those who’re exploring metropolis streets, it might probably provide some nice alternatives to search for distinction brought on by shadows, which may make for dramatic pictures.

No multi-camera iPhone? Use clip-on lenses

Older iPhones would possibly lack the a number of lenses discovered on the newest fashions, however you do not simply should make do. Companies like Moment and Olloclip make lenses that connect to your telephone, offering wide-angle, telephoto and even macro views. 


Using its customary lens (left) the iPhone X can solely match a lot in body. But with the Moment broad angle adapter (proper) we get a a lot wider view.

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Sure, it’s important to carry an additional little merchandise in your bag or pocket as you discover, however including a clip-on lens is an effective way to get a superwide view for these sweeping cityscapes with out having to splash the money in upgrading your telephone.

Shoot in DNG uncooked, even on outdated telephones

Apple’s ProUncooked picture format, launched on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, makes use of computational imaging methods like HDR however nonetheless supplies you with a DNG uncooked file that is a lot simpler to edit in apps like Adobe Lightroom. It is not a operate discovered on older iPhones, however these of you on older telephones can nonetheless shoot in common uncooked for those who’re eager to do your individual edits.

You cannot shoot in DNG uncooked in the usual digicam mode, so you may want to make use of a third-party digicam app that provides uncooked taking pictures. I normally use Lightroom itself, as its digicam shoots in uncooked and routinely imports the photographs into your library. But I’ve additionally had good outcomes with the Moment app.


By taking pictures in DNG uncooked, I had much more flexibility in Adobe Lightroom to make this portrait of my candy bundle of lovely surprise look much more heartacheingly attractive. 

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Shooting in uncooked permits you extra flexibility to regulate white stability and coloration tones whereas usually making it simpler to tone down shiny highlights or loosen up shadowy areas. Those of you seeking to squeeze each ounce of high quality out of your telephone digicam ought to think about using uncooked — so long as you are prepared to spend the time modifying.

Keep in thoughts, although, that uncooked recordsdata are bigger than their JPEG counterparts, so you may shortly replenish your telephone’s storage for those who shoot every part you see in uncooked. 

Get inventive with modifying apps

Taking your picture is barely a part of the method, and a eager eye within the modifying stage could make all of the distinction in creating stunning photographic artwork. If you need to preserve a extra pure trying {photograph}, look towards apps like Lightroom or Google’s Snapseed. These uncooked picture editors offer you management over colours, publicity and distinction and allow you to fine-tune your pictures to fit your style.


Edited in Prisma, the summary artwork model means it would not matter if the unique picture is not wonderful high quality.

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Or you possibly can take your creativity to a complete different degree with apps like Prisma, which transforms your pictures into typically psychedelic-looking scenes, or Bazaart, which helps you to simply create wild picture collages that may look actually cool. You can take a look at my roundup of my favourite picture modifying apps for extra inspiration.

The good thing with modifying is that there is not any proper or fallacious method to do issues, and you may at all times return to your authentic picture for those who do not just like the modifications you made. But utilizing a few of these methods can flip an in any other case forgettable shot into one thing that basically stands out. My recommendation is to make a cup of tea, settle into a snug chair and mess around with the sliders in your app of alternative and see what you possibly can provide you with.

Read extra: Best Free and Paid Photo Editing Apps for iPhone and Android

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