Photography on smartphones has come a long way. From the timid 0.3-megapixel VGA sensors found on early feature phones to enhanced multi-camera systems, including 108-megapixel sensors, optical zoom, periscope lenses, and so on. Camera hardware and features are important aspects for most smartphone consumers. They often look for features like resolution, the number of cameras, software features, and of course, the overall image quality. In this article, we’ve listed down some of the best camera smartphones under Rs 30,000 that you can buy in India. These may not be the best camera phones out there, but they are the best in their price range.
Things to look for in smartphone cameras
Resolution doesn’t matter, but it helps
It is true that the resolution of a sensor on a smartphone doesn’t really matter, but it has become common for phone makers to include high-resolution cameras even on mid-range phones. A higher resolution camera can help take pictures with plenty of clarity, and further allows you to crop certain parts without losing too much of the details.
By default, phones with high-resolution sensors will shoot at a lower resolution to save space. Phones that offer a full resolution mode will usually have the feature hidden away in settings. Once enabled, you may not get the best-looking pictures in terms of colors and lighting, but they’ll have plenty of detail.
Color and dynamic range
Social media has played a vital role in the evolution of smartphone photography and as a result, humans have started to prefer images that are bright and punchy over something that is more natural-looking. A large sensor is no good if the camera software can’t produce good colours or offers a limited dynamic range. A wider dynamic range ensures that you get the best range of colours. Additionally most smartphones today offer HDR image processing bringing out more details in the highlight and shadow areas. This is not easy, and most mid-range phones don’t do HDR post-processing well. However, the technology has come a long way, and even mid-range phones offer good HDR imaging these days.
High-quality and smooth video recording is another feature that you should look for when buying a smartphone. Video recording is important to most users as they can use the feature to record memories, and make content. While mid-range phones have started offering 4K 60fps video recording with optical image stabilisation, most of them are still limited to 4K 30fps and most importantly, miss out on implementing optical image stabilisation. Instead they rely on electronic image stabilisation to deliver smooth video. Just like image quality, the quality of video also needs attention when it comes colour, contrast, and dynamic range.
With the advancement in computational photography, a variety of camera features are now available on smartphones. These include portrait mode, night mode, slow-motion video recording, beauty mode, scene detection, and so on. Make sure that the phone offers plenty of such software features that can improve the camera performance.
If you’re buying a new smartphone, it’s also a good idea to look at how versatile the camera system is. Mid-range phones offer at least two to three different types of camera lenses for various shooting modes. A main wide lens is usually coupled with an ultra-wide lens, depth lens, telephoto, or macro lens. These are some of the lenses found in mid-range phones, and it’s best if you look at buying a phone that offers plenty of options.
Best camera smartphones under Rs 30,000 in India
|OnePlus Nord 2 5G||Rs 29,999|
|iQOO 7 5G||Rs 29,990|
|Xiaomi Mi 11X 5G||Rs 27,999|
|Samsung Galaxy M52 5G||Rs 24,999|
|Vivo V21||Rs 29,990|
|OPPO F19 Pro+||Rs 25,990|
|Realme GT Master Edition||Rs 25,990|
|Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge||Rs 26,999|
|Motorola Edge 20||Rs 27,999|
|POCO F3 GT||Rs 28,999|
OnePlus Nord 2 5G
OnePlus smartphones have generally offered good camera performance, and the OnePlus Nord 2 does things pretty well in its segment. It comes with a triple camera setup that consists of a 50-megapixel Sony sensor with OIS, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with 120-degree field-of-view, and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor whose only purpose is to take black-and-white photos. It also gets a 16-megapixel front-facing camera which takes good selfies.
The phone offers good color reproduction, a wide dynamic range, stable autofocus, plenty of details in the video, and a decent white balance. The phone can record 4K videos at 30fps and comes with a Night mode, Pro mode, AI Photo/Video enhancement, and Super slow 240fps video. It is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC with 5G connectivity and gets a 6.43-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It houses a 4,500mAh battery and offers up to 12GB RAM with 256GB storage.
The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is available for purchase at a starting price of Rs 29,999 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. The 12GB+256GB variant is priced at Rs 34,999.
Buy: Amazon, OnePlus
iQOO 7 5G
The iQOO 7 may be known as a mid-range gaming phone, but it also has a capable rear camera setup. The phone features a 48-megapixel primary Sony sensor, which is coupled with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide unit, and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. The phone shoots well-detailed photos in daylight with a wide dynamic range. You also get features such as AI scene detection, night mode, Pro mode, and beauty mode. The ultra-wide-angle camera does a decent job as well. For selfies, a 16-megapixel sensor is available upfront.
This phone is powered by the Snapdragon 870 SoC and comes with a 6.6-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It gets a 4,400mAh battery with 66W fast charging support.
The iQOO 7 base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is available for purchase at Rs 29,990. An 8GB RAM and 256GB storage version is available at Rs 31,990, whereas the 12GB + 256GB variant will cost you Rs 33,990.
Buy: Amazon, iQOO
Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi’s Mi 11X is a mid-range powerhouse that features a triple rear camera setup. The phone gets a primary Sony 48-megapixel sensor that takes good pictures in daylight with decent dynamic range and colors. It’s not the best among all the phones in this list, but it’s still a good camera setup at the price. There’s also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 5-megapixel tele-macro sensor which is quite nice. The tele-macro sensor lets you shoot nice macro photos without getting too close to the subject. There is also a 20-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls.
The phone gets plenty of camera software features such as Beauty mode, Night mode, AI scene detection, and shoots video up to 4K 30fps. It is powered by the Snapdragon 870 SoC and has up to 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. The device features a 6.67-inch AMOLED FHD+ 120Hz display and houses a 4,250mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X is available with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for Rs 27,999. If you want the 8GB RAM variant, then you’ll have to shell out Rs 29,999.
Buy: Amazon, Mi.com
Samsung Galaxy M52 5G
The Samsung Galaxy M52 is an affordable mid-range 5G smartphone that packs in a lot of features. It comes with a triple rear camera setup that consists of a high-resolution 64-megapixel primary sensor. There’s also a 12-megapixel ultra-wide unit, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. The main rear camera shoots good pictures with pleasing colors and plenty of details. The video performance is sold, and you also get a 32-megapixel front camera that takes crisp selfies.
The Galaxy M52 is powered by the Snapdragon 778G chipset, has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, and houses a 5,000mAh battery.
You’ll be able to purchase the base variant of the phone with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for Rs 24,999. The 8GB RAM version is Rs 26,999.
Buy: Amazon, Samsung
The Vivo V21 was released in May last year and has an excellent rear camera setup. With its 64-megapixel primary rear sensor, the phone can take highly detailed images with vibrant colors during the day. The phone does offer a Night Mode, which lets you take decent night shots as well. It also comes with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Selfie enthusiasts will love the image clarity produced by the phone’s 44-megapixel front camera. The device can also shoot 4K videos at 30fps.
The smartphone features a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, 8GB RAM, up to 256GB storage, and is equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor. It houses a 4,000mAh battery that offers 33W fast charging support.
The Vivo V21 is available for purchase at a starting price of Rs 29,990 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB variant. For Rs 32,990, you’ll be able to buy the 256GB variant.
Buy: Amazon, Vivo
OPPO F19 Pro+
The OPPO F19 Pro+ comes with a quad-rear camera setup, making this a versatile smartphone camera. The phone is also more affordable than some of the other smartphones on this list. It comes with a 48-megapixel primary sensor, which does a good job in daylight. The photos offer good details, color reproduction, and are plenty bright. There’s also an 8-megapixel sensor for ultra-wide, and dual 2-megapixel sensors for monochrome and macro effects. A 16-megapixel sensor is available upfront for selfies and does a good job too.
The F19 Pro+ is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC and offers 5G connectivity. It gets a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a 4,310mAh battery with 50W fast charging support.
You can buy the OPPO F19 Pro+ online for Rs 25,990. The device is available in a single variant in India.
Buy: Amazon, OPPO
Realme GT Master Edition
The Realme GT Master Edition offers a good rear camera setup that does a good job with photos and videos. It’s not the best in the segment but is good enough for the money. The phone comes with a triple rear camera setup that houses a 64-megapixel OmniVision primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. While the main camera does click detailed photos, it does tend to oversaturate the images, but this can be fixed via a software update. For selfie lovers, the 32-megapixel front sensor takes excellent detailed photos.
The Master Edition is powered by the Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, offers up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, a 6.43-inch AMOLED FHD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, and houses a 4,300mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging.
The Realme GT Master Edition is available in three RAM+storage variants. The 6GB RAM/128GB variant is priced at Rs 25,990, the 8GB RAM version is Rs 27,990, and the 8GB/256GB model is Rs 29,990.
Buy: Flipkart, Realme
Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge
Xiaomi’s 11i Hypercharge is an excellent phone for the price, as it offers some of the best features in the segment. The phone gets a triple rear camera setup, which houses a high-resolution 108-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. The main camera takes good pictures in daylight, and also offers a full-resolution mode. The rear camera can record at 4K resolution at 30fps, and you do get a lot of software features baked into the camera app. A 16-megapixel selfie camera is available that takes decent and beautified selfies.
The 11i Hypercharge is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC and gets a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. The device houses a 4,500mAh battery and supports up to 120W fast charging, which is an incredible feature for a phone in this price bracket.
The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge is available in two variants. The base version with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is available for Rs 26,999, whereas the 8GB RAM variant will cost you Rs 28,999.
Buy: Flipkart, Mi.com
Motorola Edge 20
The Motorola Edge 20 comes with a 108-megapixel main sensor at the back, which is paired with an 8-megapixel telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide. The images taken from the main camera offer good details, especially in daylight. It offers a night mode, which does well on the primary camera, and also comes with a 108-megapixel mode that preserves all details. Video recording is capped out at 4K 30fps. The telephoto sensor offers OIS, which helps in taking good zoomed-in shots with less blur and noise. For selfies, a 32-megapixel sensor is available that takes excellent self-portraits.
The Edge 20 is equipped with Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC and comes with a beautiful 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display that offers a 144Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. It houses a 4,000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.
The Motorola Edge 20 is offered in a single variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, which is priced at Rs 27,999.
POCO F3 GT
The POCO F3 GT is a good camera smartphone to consider if your budget is Rs 30,000. It comes with a triple rear camera setup with a main 64-megapixel OmniVision sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 2-megapixel macro unit. The main sensor takes good photos in daylight with plenty of details and contrast. The phone can record 4K videos at 30fps, and it comes with a 16-megapixel selfie camera that takes decent selfies.
The phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 processor, which coupled with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, makes the phone a great performance. It comes with a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel that offers good brightness. The device houses a 5,067mAh battery, which supports 67W fast charging.
The POCO F3 GT is available in three variants with the 6GB/128GB priced at Rs 26,999, the 8GB/128GB priced at Rs 28,999, and the 8GB/256GB version priced at Rs 30,999.