Whether it's capturing memories of those great nights out, sending back holiday snaps to instil jealousy in those left at home or ensuring you never forget those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we all love to take photos. And with the latest generation of smartphones, you don't even need to carry around a separate digital camera to get sharp, clear images that you can enjoy for years to come.
In the early days of the smartphone, cameras weren't exactly a feature to get the pulse racing. Low pixel counts, poor or non-existent flashes and limited zoom usually meant you ended up with blurry snaps that looked like you were taking pictures through smeared glass.
But the latest handsets can rival standalone digital cameras now for their photographic capabilities. And with the ability to instantly upload them to Facebook or Instagram, you can easily share your snaps with the world.
So if you can't go a day without recording your life on camera, here's our pick of some of the best smartphone cameras on the market.
The sharpest image – Nokia Lumia 1020
The once-dominant phonemaker has struggled in recent years, with Apple and Samsung hogging the headlines and the sales figures. As a result, the Finnish firm needed a new niche to win back customers – and it found it with its photo technology.
Its flagship Lumia 1020 has a frankly ridiculous 41-megapixel sensor in its camera – so if you want to capture the tiniest detail, this is far and away the best option. But it's not all about the pixel count, as it also has a huge range of options in its Pro Cam, so you can fiddle with white balance, shutter speed, exposure settings and more to your heart's content.
Full of features – Samsung Galaxy S4
If a wide range of editing options is your thing, Samsung's flagship device has you covered. Within its camera app, you've got settings such as Best Face – which takes a group of shots in quick succession, so your perfectly-posed snap won't be ruined by the one person who blinks, sneezes or dozes off at the wrong moment.
Other options include tools to smooth out blemishes and perfect action shots. If you're serious about your photography, you can even opt for the special Galaxy S4 Zoom edition, which sticks a retractable optical lens onto the back of the device – just like a dedicated camera.
Into the outdoors – Sony Xperia Z
Of course, one of the perils of trying to capture action shots and outdoor sports with a smartphone is worries about their fragility – a camera might survive a drop, but will a phone? If you expect to get a little rough in the outdoors, Sony's Xperia Z might be just the thing.
The key selling point of this device is it's fully waterproof – so if you're at the beach or the swimming pool, you won't need to carry it high over your head like an object of worship to keep it out of range of any loose splashes. In fact, it can survive up to three feet underwater for up to half an hour, so you can even take it snorkelling.
The all-rounder – iPhone 5S
But if you just want to take the occasional shot of you and your friends having fun, Apple's latest iPhone provides a great option. Its 8MP sensor isn't as sharp as the Nokia or the Samsung, but features like image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash for low-light conditions make it perfect for quick snaps that still turn out at high quality.
And you won't be alone if you decide the iPhone is the right choice for you. Last year, the previous iPhone 4 version was responsible for more photos uploaded to Flickr than any other gadget – including popular DSLRs such as the Canon EOS and Nikon D90.