Hi, techies! Consider considering buying a $400-500 iPhone, especially if you love the iPhone SE (2022) or iPhone 13. It appears that the iPhone SE 4 (2024) will launch in spring 2024, marking the most substantial upgrade in Apple’s mid-range “Special Edition” portfolio. Today, we’re focusing on the camera, a critical part of any new smartphone.
The 48MP Camera Upgrade
Let’s address the elephant in the room. The iPhone SE 4 may change smartphone camera expectations. You ask why? Let me tell you. Apple may give the iPhone SE a 48MP camera like the $800 iPhone 15 instead of the 12MP shooter they’ve used for years.
This is significant news, but why? If you’re not a camera expert, it may seem insignificant. For photography enthusiasts, this might be game-changing. The iPhone 15’s 48MP camera is one of Apple’s most crucial camera advancements, so having it on the iPhone SE is fantastic.
Why all the fuss over the competition? According to rumors, the Pixel 7a may lose its “best mid-range camera” distinction. Apple’s upcoming iPhone SE 4 could enter the fray with the same 48MP camera as the iPhone 15, potentially stealing the title of “best mid-range camera” from the Pixel 7a. Ouch!
Multi-Camera vs. Single
Let’s address mobile phones’ confusing rear cameras. I’ve always disliked this concept. Your primary camera, zoom lens, ultra-wide-angle lens, and other sensors are crammed together. Often, these supplementary lenses are inferior to the primary shooter. That causes shot inconsistency. And colors? They can be everywhere. Additionally, 3-5 camera sensors on the back of your phone may appear odd. I know it’s “the norm” now, but isn’t it strange?
The Single-Cam Solution
Ideally, the best smartphone camera would have one large sensor. Imagine a big sensor with zoom and aperture controls. It would work consistently and seem like a camera, not a sci-fi device.
Camera Performance and Usability
My single-camera fantasy isn’t possible for premium flagships. They need specific sensors for various tasks. Budget and mid-range phones needn’t follow suit. They must give a good camera experience at an affordable cost.
The Depth-Macro Conflict
The kicker: one good primary camera is better than several inferior ones. Reasonable to claim it’s subjective. But look at affordable and mid-range Android phones like the Galaxy A34, Galaxy A54, and several Xiaomi and OnePlus phones. One flagship-grade primary camera boosts the phone.
Ultra-wide cameras have their uses, but an excellent primary shooter makes mid-range photography premium. It’s not rocket science – if your additional cameras can’t match the quality of the primary sensor, you’ll probably wind up using that primary camera most of the time, especially in low light. Having a tremendous primary camera is compromised by redundant other cameras.
Telephoto Lens with Sensor-Cropping
Let’s not even get started on those 2-5MP “depth” and macro sensors in budget and mid-range phones. Like optical illusions, they make you think you’re receiving more for your money when you’re not.
Camera Battle: iPhone SE 4 vs. iPhone 14
Bring out the iPhone SE 4 and iPhone 14 for a camera battle. If the iPhone SE 4 has the same 48MP camera as the iPhone 15, it’s a no-brainer. The iPhone 15’s 48MP camera beats the camera on the iPhone 14’s dual 12MP sensors every day.
Image Processing Development
Having an ultra-wide-angle snapper is cool, but the iPhone 15’s image processing is much better than the iPhone 14. Apple’s new 48-megapixel camera takes stunningly clear and detailed photos at just 24 megapixels. Processing has improved, eliminating overly sharpened 12MP photographs. You also get a super-useful 2x optical zoom crop from the high-resolution sensor in both pictures and movies, which feels like having an extra camera. Also, portrait mode? The iPhone 15’s subject-background separation mechanism is excellent. Additionally, the HDR system transforms images shot in tricky lighting.
Video Quality and Best Camera Phone
With Apple’s excellent video quality, the iPhone SE 4 will likely dominate $400-500 videos. However, the iPhone SE may become the most excellent mid-range camera phone with its 48MP camera, sensor-cropping, and improved picture processing.
Current Champion: Pixel 7a
The current winner of “best mid-range camera phone” goes to the great Pixel 7a, which has a great camera setup for the price. If the iPhone SE 4 rumors are true, the Pixel’s ultra-wide-angle camera may be the only reason to buy it over the iPhone SE (2024).
Bottom Line: Can iPhone SE 4’s Camera Beat Android?
But, the iPhone SE 4 may be the long-awaited paradigm shift in the affordable premium smartphone photography category. Will Apple prove that one iPhone camera can beat many Android cameras? We’ll see in April 2024. Stay tuned for more camera excitement!