Do you prefer wide-angle or telephoto cameras?

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Image credit: Android Central)

Google recently announced its new Pixel 4 smartphone, and it brings a lot of big upgrades with it — most notably dual rear cameras. Google's making big claims for the 16MP telephoto camera on the phone, but a lot of folks were disappointed in the company's decision to use a telephoto lens instead of a wide-angle one.

As you might have guessed, that's resulted in an even bigger debate about these two types of sensors.

Telephoto's great for getting up close and personal with subjects that are far away, but for a lot of folks, wide-angle is both more useful and fun to use. Here's what some of our AC forum members have to say on the matter.

I've had phones with both and I found the ultra wide angle way more useful than a telephoto. I guess depends on the type of photo taking you tend to do. Mine is mostly travel photography (landscapes, cities, architecture etc).

KrisYYC

The wide angle is what kept me with LG for so many years. Was so useful. Particularly when taking photos of people like at parties or dinner. Easy to fit everyone in without having to walk back 10 feet. But like others said..........why not both? Why omit something that most other flagships have.

SupraLB

Haven't used telephoto ever and 2x optical is near useless when all telephoto cameras are what 20-30x these days Wide angle is a wide angle, that's why wide angle camera cost way more then telephoto. Google's reason telling people They think telephoto is more important is obviously BS. The only reason they didn't include it is money, save some now and dont have to innovate in the future, it...

kolyan2k

I don't know about others but I don't think it's a knee jerk reaction for a lot of people. Wide angles are very useful depending on what you like to photograph. I find you can often move closer to something but it's often harder or impossible to back up to take group or landscape shots. Having 3 lenses gives you everything.

Mike Dee

Now, we want to hear from you! Do you prefer wide-angle or telephoto cameras?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

21 Comments
  • I prefer the wide angle especially for group pictures and scenery. I think Google should have included both. Very dissapointing!
  • I bought the wide angle moment lens for the pixel 3- so that would be my preference. Honestly though, I didn't use it too often. Probably a different case if it were standard on the phone.
  • Easy. Wide angle. I can always crop my photo to zoom in. Can't fake a wide angle shot though.
  • Had 2 LG phones with wide angle and never used it. I have, as a sports fan, often wished I had better telephoto abilities on my phone.
  • Depends on usage. If you have kids a telephoto can better, as they are often doing stuff too far away for a standard lens to capture, school plays, swimming, sports etc. Although for birthday parties, family gatherings etc. a wide angle might be better. My kids' friends are all ugly and my family are weird, so I prefer the telephoto.
  • So savage but sometimes the truth hurts
  • I would use the telephoto more often for sure!
  • Considering how many phones have both these days. Google really has no excuse for excluding the wide angle camera.
  • I have no opinion as I have a Pixel 2XL with only one and it works fine. I have faith in Google that the two lenses plus their software magic will be fine.
  • Wide angle. All day! Sure, it's nice to have a zoomed in shot sometimes. But try taking a picture of something right in front of you without looking backwards and moving. A desk in your office. A sign just inside an entrance, your whole house from your front yard... Etc etc.. It's amazingly convenient. Even though I'm still stuck on Android 8.0.0 on my 2yr old flaghship $900 LG V30 (sprint)... Loosing wide angle camera for an "upgrade" sounds terrifying.
  • I use wide angle all of the time. Thankfully, my Galaxy S10+ has both.
  • Well, people don't use wide angle lenses appropriately. Wide angle lenses are not for "fitting stuff in the frame" as any photographer would tell you. But 99% of the people will tell you it's nice to fit all the people in a group shot in the frame. I don't need a wide angle lens for that. I'll just step back a couple steps and use a lens that will have less distortion (the normal lens on the phone). Is it nice for landscapes? Yes! That's where I want a wide angle. However, I do that fairly infrequently and when I do, I will bring the big camera with. The telephoto is definitely more useful day-to-day IMO. Also at special events like concerts, the telephoto will be much more useful than a wide angle. Would I have liked a wide angle lens as well? Sure. But again, knowing it's not really for "fitting stuff in the frame", I really don't care that much. And plenty of photographers love the 24mm-35mm range for everyday shooting. This is why 24-70mm lenses exist and are so readily used by pros. Your normal lens on your smartphone is going to be around 24-28mm which is perfect. All the other stuff is specs and nonsense. Going wider than 24mm is generally for very specialized use.
  • Telephoto definitely, I zoom in a lot and I kinda think that the regular lens is a little too wide.
  • I've can count the times I've used zoom with a good result on one hand; I use wide angle daily at work, taking photos of enclosed spaces.
  • I think the more important question is does it iffer anything unique to the competition. And the answer is no. Last year Google said they could do telephoto with one lens and now this year they admit that the ultrawide is fun but telephoto is more important. Every year tech sites and diehard fans make excuses for whatever decision Google goes with. Next year Google will include the ultrawide and all of a sudden, all the naysayers will say they love it. Go figure.
  • A 2x telephoto is near useless with the really good digital zoom we have now. A 5x on the other hand would be awesome.
    I use the wise angle for lots of different purposes. I'm one instance stairwells. Sometimes I need to get the whole staircase in and the wide angle gets it done where the regular won't.
  • Absolutely wide angle. For my use, I'd use the wide angle 20 times to ever time I use a tele... especially if it's 2x.
  • Wide. If i need a telephoto I use a real camera.
  • I need telephoto more often. Such as taking pictures of kids events, wildlife, etc. So could really use a 5-10x optical zoom.
  • Kind of strange that in an article raising a question as to preference, it made what can only be presumed as a deliberate, conscious effort to only quote posts in the forum favoring one of the views, despite there having been able posts supporting the other... A more balanced approach would have included quotes from both, as each have expressed arguments to explain a personal preference for either option.
  • I'm fine with the wide angle on the selfi, it comes in handy there. Otherwise my photos are always of specific events and people where zoom capabilities are helpful. I guess for a huge group shot, like in that Samsung commercial, wide angle is great but otherwise I've been very happy with my travel photos without wide angle and I'm thinking that I'd only use it sparingly.