Back in the day, most phones had only one or two rear cameras — "the day," of course, being just a few years ago and almost a millennium in smartphone terms. But the number has positively exploded over recent years with flagship devices getting telephoto, wide-angle, macro, and dedicated "portrait mode" cameras. With so many different and varied cameras available in phones now, which ones do you actually care about or want?

The days of one good rear camera aren't over yet, just see the Pixel 4a, but most smartphone makers have started including a few extra cameras across most price points, even when it comes to pretty cheap phones. There are a lot of reasons for that. For one, a telephoto or a wide-angle camera can actually be pretty handy to get a better shot in a challenging scene, without resorting to stuff like digital zoom effects or a multi-frame panorama. And in markets where numbers and specs matter more than anything else, extra cameras help plump out the feature list for comparison shopping.

"More" does not always equal "better."

There have also been a lot of different approaches when it comes to multi-camera setups, from things like monochrome cameras that ostensibly enhance dynamic range or low-light performance, and color-filter cameras for IR photography, to massive parallel camera arrays.

Of course, that doesn't mean all cameras are equally useful. While it comes down to your own circumstances, use cases, and tastes, not everyone will find the same benefit from the same cameras. I'll refrain from expressing my own judgments here, to avoid imparting any bias before you've had a chance to vote, but I know that I feel pretty strongly when it comes to the actual utility of different types of cameras.

So which kinds of rear cameras do you actually want in a phone? Feel free to select all that apply, and if there's a camera that you want that isn't included in the poll below, feel free to bring it up.

What kind of rear cameras do you want in a phone?

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