Maximise your mobile photography with the best camera phones in Australia 2024

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This guide was last updated on 29 January 2024. See more

The best camera is always the one you have on you. And in the 2020s, it’s rare for anyone to go anywhere without their smartphone.

Today’s best phones also happen to be extremely capable cameras.

From multiple lenses integrated into the body of the device to intelligent software designed to make your photos look incredible, smartphone photography has become one of the key battlegrounds for phone manufacturers.

If taking high quality photos is important for you, then having a capable camera phone is essential.

To help you find the best camera phone, we’ve done the research to come up with this list of smartphones with exceptional cameras.

You can read more about how we came up with this list below. But the short version is that we followed a typical journey of searching Google. We then consolidated the products across the top results.

It’s important to remember though that everybody has different needs and expectations. So if you aren’t happy with one of the products listed here, consider our buying advice to choosing the perfect camera phone at the bottom of this page.

These are the best camera phones in Australia right now:

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 on a fence, with the BTTR Hall of Fame badge attached.
10
Expert ScoreRead review
10
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Hall of Fame

We put the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra through its paces for this review and came away thoroughly impressed, though it …

Recommended by 8/10 review sites

Samsung has a habit of creating smartphones that top best lists. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the company’s current flagship, and it sits atop our lists for both the best phone in Australia and the best Android phones in Australia.

During our review, we were blown away by the quality of the photographs from the four-camera array, in particular the 200MP lens.

With the ability to take stunning night shots without a tripod, and even astrophotography from a smartphone, the S23 Ultra is comfortably the best camera phone in Australia today.


Google Pixel 8 Pro

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Recommended by 8/10 review sites

Google has created its best ever camera phone with the Google Pixel 8 Pro. It combines a 50MP wide lens, a 48MP ultra-wide lens and a 48MP telephoto lens in the camera array. That’s an improvement to all three lenses, and includes a new Macro mode.

But the biggest improvements come in the software. With pro controls, and a redesigned interface, you can take superb pictures easily.

If you don’t quite capture the perfect shot though, Google’s AI software can blend multiple images effortlessly to combine them for the perfect shot. You can also easily edit shots to create the photo you wanted in the first place.


Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iphone 15 pro max

Recommended by 8/10 review sites

This year’s iPhone 15 Pro family is the first time that Apple has created a significant difference in the Pro model and the Pro Max cameras.

While the smaller iPhone 15 Pro is arguably better value due to its smaller and more comfortable design and cheaper price, the Pro Max has used the slightly wider body to include a 5x Telephoto setting.

With the larger screen, powerful A17 Pro processor and features like the Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best iPhone for photography right now.


Google Pixel 7a

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Recommended by 6/10 review sites

The low-cost Pixel 7a from Google is an exceptional phone for the price you pay. It offers flagship performance in a more affordable package, particularly when it comes to the camera.

While it doesn’t quite offer the same level of detail or colour as one of the big, multi-lens flagship devices at the top of this list, the Pixel 7a still produces exceptionally clear, beautiful photos from its twin lens system.

Paired with Google’s intelligent image processing, and you get a product that produces top shelf photos at a much lower cost.


Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Recommended by 5/10 review sites

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is Google’s vision of the perfect Android device. A big part of its appeal is its exceptional camera.

In addition to impressive 5x optical zoom functionality and ultra-wide photography, Google has delivered a really impressive software feature: Photo Unblur.

This feature uses Google’s advanced software to fix images with slight blurriness in them. For people who like to point and shoot without spending time getting the framing just right, it is a magnificent advancement.


Apple iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro with the Hall of Fame badge
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro – 128GB – Natural Titanium Brand New Sealed MTUX3ZP/A Hall of Fame

BTTR Review: The Apple iPhone 15 Pro is an exceptional phone with a brilliant camera, intelligent software and the most …

Recommended by 4/10 review sites

The iPhone 15 Pro is an exceptional smartphone, offering exceptional performance across the board.

The three-lens camera array takes great photos, while improvements to the software and the extra power from the A17 Pro processor mean you can now create Portrait shots from any photo after the fact, or convert Portrait shots into a normal photo as well.

With additional features like Night mode portraits and cinematic video, the iPhone 15 Pro lacks the 5x zoom of the Pro Max, but delivers in every other way.


Oppo Find X5 Pro

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Recommended by 3/10 review sites

Chinese manufacturer Oppo may have started life building more affordable iPhone clones, but today it is a smartphone leader, particularly when it comes to camera technology.

Created in conjunction with camera company Hasselblad, the Find X5 Pro’s cameras take incredible shots in all lighting conditions. There’s not a lot of noise in the images, and colour reproduction is great.

Sadly, there is no telephoto lens on the device. This makes it slightly less versatile that the Samsung or Apple phones above. But it is still a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a great camera phone.


Apple iPhone 15

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Recommended by 3/10 review sites

Apple’s standard iPhone 15 may not have all the pro-features you get on the Pro and Pro Max models, but it’s still a fantastic camera phone.

With a new 48MP main camera that shoots in a super-high resolution, photos look great, whether you’re shooting portrait or landscape.

The two lenses offer three optical zoom levels, with HDR and night mode for great images in all scenarios.

You can also shoot handheld video in 4K HDR, with cinematic mode for shifting the focus to the most important subject in a scene.


How we chose the best camera phones

Review sites – including this one – are subjective by nature. Everybody has a different opinion of what is best.

So to try and counter the fact that every best guide on the internet has a different opinion of what is best, we approached our list by combining the results of some of the top sites recommending camera phones on the market today.

To determine this list, we followed the same journey most consumers would follow: we went to Google.

We searched for “Best camera phone” and identified 10 of the top results. It’s important to note that Google results can change often.

Sites referenced

We listed out all of the phones recommended on each site, tidying up any slight differences in spelling for consistency.

We calculated how often each product was mentioned across those 10 guides. The more frequently a product is mentioned, the more agreement there is between experts reviewing these products that the product is among the “best”.

We set a minimum of three mentions across all 10 guides to be eligible for inclusion here. This means at least 30% of the sites surveyed recommend each product.

Before we created this page we took some time to remove products that are either unavailable, or difficult to find in Australia.

We also leveraged our own experience with products to ensure that we wouldn’t be recommending any product that doesn’t deliver.


What to look for when choosing the best camera phones

A close up of a phone camera taking photos of food.

Buying the best camera phone requires a slightly different set of things to look at than buying a phone or a camera separately.

Whether you’re after one of the models listed above or something completely different, these are the decision factors you need to consider when buying a new camera phone.

The camera array

Smartphones do not have the same shape as traditional camera. Manufacturers have had to come up with creative ways to deliver the same functionality.

For most devices, this is in the camera array. This is the number of lenses you find on the back of the phone.

The top performing camera phones typically have two to three lenses. The main lens does the bulk of the work, but the inclusion of a wide angle and a telephoto lens can offer similar performance to standard cameras with a zoom lens.

Megapixels and aperture

When you’re looking at the lenses included in your camera phone of choice, take a closer look at each lens’ aperture and megapixel count.

While megapixels don’t mean too much in terms of absolute performance, larger megapixel sizes offer more versatility. For example, the ability to zoom in on an image without digital enhancements because there are so many pixels there to use.

Aperture is more important. A wider aperture (described by the f/X.X number) will let in more light, which can improve the quality of your images.

For a better breakdown of megapixels and aperture, this guide from Techspot does a good job of breaking it down.

Manual mode

In order to make smartphone cameras as accessible as possible, early camera phones were limited to auto mode.

Today though, many models allow users to dive into the settings like a traditional DSLR in order to take the best quality photo.

Sometimes, this functionality needs to come from a third party app. Understand what you can do with your phone before you invest.

RAW mode

Most camera phones will save your photos as a compressed jpg file or similar.

But if you really love your photos, you’ll want to shoot your photos in RAW – a format designed to capture all the detail possible and let you customise the output to your liking.

Again, sometime’s you can use third party apps to get around a manufacturer’s limitations.

Video recording

We have largely focused on still photography for this guide, but recording high quality video is equally important.

Make sure your phone can record 4K video, and do it at 60 frames per second. It’s also good if the phone has optical image stabilisation to avoid janky motion, and the ability to optically zoom using those different lenses.

Display

In today’s world of smartphone photography, the place you are going to look at your photos most often is the phone.

So it’s important that the phone has a screen worthy of your photography skills. Watch for the resolution and the refresh rate if you are planning on recording (and watching) video.

General performance

Your new phone needs to be able to do whatever you ask of it. That means you need it to have a powerful processor to manage the photos and video you record, as well as a battery that can stay functional all through the day.

You’ll probably want to make sure you have a mobile plan that is good enough to let you upload and share images quickly too.

Price

You should only ever buy a camera phone within your budget. While the quality of camera phones typically goes up the more you spend, if you can’t afford the top of the line model, understand the sacrifices you need to make to get the best camera phone for your budget.


Update history
  • 18 January 2023 – First Published
  • 21 April 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Lowered the minimum number of recommendations to three. Added the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google Pixel 6a, Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Oneplus 11 5G and the OnePlus 10 Pro.
  • 17 July 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Added the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7a. Removed the Google Pixel 6a, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, OnePlus 10 Pro and Google Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 27 October 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed the Google Pixel 7. Added the Google Pixel 8 Pro, Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro.
  • 29 January 2024 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed Google Pixel 7 Pro, Xiaomi 13 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, OnePlus 11 5G, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and Apple iPhone 14 Pro. Added Apple iPhone 15.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

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