It seems most cell phone cameras are in the 25-35mm wide-angle focal range, which produces less-than-desired proportions when taking photos of people.

Some phones have a "portrait mode", but this seems to simply blur the background without actually increasing the focal length.

Are there any phones that have a 50mm-90mm equivalent focal length for taking better portraits?

(There seem to be 3rd party camera lens attachments for increasing focal length)

  • I did find the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom which is literally a point-and-shoot camera (24-240mm) + S4 phone on the back. – Xeoncross Sep 20 '18 at 20:34

Short answer: not yet, but getting better.

There is a current trend of putting multiple camera assemblies with different focal lengths in high-end smartphones. These tend to have one moderate wide-angle lens (as is typical in single-camera smartphones) and one which is closer to "normal".

For example, the iPhone X features two lenses, one with a 28mm-e* focal length and one that is 56mm-e. That's a bit shorter than often preferred for portraits but will allow you to fill the frame with less apparent too-close perspective distortion.

On the Android side, the Samsung Galaxy 9S is similar, with 26mm-e and 56mm-e cameras. (The LG VG35 ThinQ goes the other way, with one wide angle and one even wider 16mm-e.)

There's possibly the "Light" phone with a multi-camera array coming sometime soon — read about this at various gadget sites, but this is kind of out there and I wouldn't hold my breath.

Note that another possibility is cropping. Today's phones have a lot of resolution and relatively high quality. For the purposes of perspective distortion, cropping and zooming are exactly equivalent. Stand further back and cut out the background later. This is particularly useful for social media, where you don't have to have a lot of resolution anyway.

* where "e" is "equivalent", which in this case means "resulting in approximately the same field of view as a lens with this focal length on a 35mm film camera".

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