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Battle of the megapixels: 6-way blind camera comparison

Posted: , by Nick T.

Battle of the megapixels: 6-way blind camera comparison

UPDATE: Voting is now over and the results have been posted here.

If you're among the people who still think that a high-end smartphone can't be as good of a shooter as a dedicated point-and-shoot camera, get ready to have your mind blown away. That's because we're once again taking some of the best cameraphones out there for a shootout at the alley. Which ones we've picked, however, is something we chose to not share with you, guys. Instead, today we're having a blind camera comparison, in which you can vote for the photos you personally like the most.

To keep things fair, all of the smartphones we're comparing were set to their standard camera mode during the shootout – no scenes modes were used, nor manual tweaks, nor exposure controls. In other words, we decided to let each camera decide for itself what the optimum settings in each scene were. 

In addition, all images have been scaled down from their original size to a resolution of about 2.8 megapixels (width of 1920 pixels at an aspect ratio of 4:3), including the reference photos taken with a Panasonic Lumix GH2 and its kit lens. Seems low? Well, it's actually not. A photo of such size is large enough to fill any of today's high-definition displays and offers sufficient resolution to produce quality 6" by 4" printed photographs. Besides, those photos from last weekend's party that you were tagged in on Facebook are much smaller in size, yet nobody seems to be complaining. 


Outdoor photos

We're now giving you our first set of photo samples – four outdoor scenes captured with six different high-end smartphones and a reference shot for each scene taken with the aforementioned camera. Judging by what you see below, which phone's photos do you like the most?


Phonearena polls
sort by
Which phone's outdoor photos do you like the most?
5.22%
27 votes
(27 votes) Phone #1
4.06%
21 votes
(21 votes) Phone #2
6.38%
33 votes
(33 votes) Phone #3
46.23%
239 votes
(239 votes) Phone #4
27.85%
144 votes
(144 votes) Phone #5
10.25%
53 votes
(53 votes) Phone #6

517 votes



Indoor photos

Now it's time to up the ante as we're moving the action indoors. In here the smartphones we're comparing will have an even harder time taking a good-looking photo as the light that's available just can't beat the brightness output of good ol' Mr Sun. A total of three scenes were captured in our studio – one using a strong light source, another with the lights dimmed down to a medium setting, and the last frame was taken with the lights set to "low". Which phone's indoor photos do you like the most?


Phonearena polls
sort by
Which phone's indoor photos do you like the most?
4.49%
21 votes
(21 votes) Phone #1
14.96%
70 votes
(70 votes) Phone #2
4.27%
20 votes
(20 votes) Phone #3
44.02%
206 votes
(206 votes) Phone #4
16.24%
76 votes
(76 votes) Phone #5
16.03%
75 votes
(75 votes) Phone #6

468 votes



Video quality comparison

And lastly we're going to demonstrate how good these six mysterious smartphones are at capturing video. As any other high-end device out there, these handsets are capable of capturing 1080 video at 30 frames per second. Which one does that best, however, is up to you to decide. We've stitched together a set of 15-second video samples taken with the phones we're comparing so check them out and then cast your vote below! Note that the audio from the videos has been removed – we're focusing solely on video quality after all.


Phonearena polls
sort by
Video quality: which phone you think is best?
9.44%
34 votes
(34 votes) Phone #1
3.33%
12 votes
(12 votes) Phone #2
4.44%
16 votes
(16 votes) Phone #3
56.94%
205 votes
(205 votes) Phone #4
16.94%
61 votes
(61 votes) Phone #5
8.89%
32 votes
(32 votes) Phone #6

360 votes


The true identity of each smartphone used in the comparison will be revealed in a few days. Now vote for your favorite, in case you haven't done so already, and don't hesitate to join the discussion down in the comments!

194 Comments
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posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:05 8

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


Camera quality is so subjective here... I don't know which should I vote here :(

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:15 37

4. joesseth (Posts: 61; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


Do you need help? or brand?

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:45 27

24. wendygarett (unregistered)


Uh ok, #4 attract me overall, but not bad for the #2 indoor...

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:55 1

32. Aeires (unregistered)


I voted that way as well, colors and lighting seemed to be more natural in those examples.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:58 7

33. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


For some Nokia fans, I think they will vote for #6 because the toyish color is easily recognized as the beautuful "free Instagram feature" of Lumia 920

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 09:01 1

34. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1163; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


lol. and i thought iphone was the colorful one.
i voted random #'s

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 10:06

57. MrJerry (Posts: 403; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


then PA has to censor them as well lol

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 10:59 3

75. yero789 (unregistered)


It will be so funny if phonearena announces the names of the phones and the 6th one won't be Nokia :D :D :D I voted for 3 different phones.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 11:01 13

76. MrJerry (Posts: 403; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


You should have not said that...
they are coming...lol

BTW dear PA.

Can't we compare pics side by side???
Isn't it obvious that will make it so much easier for us to compare?

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 21:36

146. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


here side by side but 2 phones only

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4_vs_htc_one-review-913.php

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 08:08 8

160. alila2 (Posts: 157; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


1st #4
2nd #5
3rd #6
#1 #2 and #3 I care less. Hopefully i didn't vote for the iphone .

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 13:33 1

164. samsunggalaxylover (Posts: 37; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


I think #4 is the galaxy s4 or s3.

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 11:06 4

162. cloud_atlas1991 (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


DAMN!
#4 blew me away!!!

This is a good trick, PA!

posted on 28 Mar 2013, 19:05 1

179. Tonick (Posts: 3; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Specifically registered on this site for this test.

Clearly:
Phone# 1: Apple iPhone 5 (min sharpen; detail - not bad)
Phone# 2: Sony Xperia Z (max blure; max saturation; noise)
Phone# 3: HTC One (very big sharpen; subtle details - not exist)
Phone# 4: Samsung Galaxy S4 (middle sharpen; very big details; correct exposure)
Phone# 5: Nokia Lumia 920 (super saturation :-))

P.S. Sorry for my English..

posted on 01 Apr 2013, 11:15

191. Tonick (Posts: 3; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Sorry I lost 1 phone somewhere..
Phone# 1: Samsung Galaxy S3
Phone# 2: Sony Xperia Z
Phone# 3: HTC One
Phone# 4: Apple iPhone 5
Phone# 5: Samsung Galaxy S4
Phone# 6: Nokia Lumia 920

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 09:18 4

40. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)


phone #5 is Samsung Galaxy S4 and its the best here!

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 13:03 7

113. Trex95 (Posts: 938; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


Phone 5 it's an iphone 5 or Xperia z due to better colors, phone 6 lumia 920 or BBz10, phone 4 it's an S4.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 16:34

135. -Shadow- (Posts: 95; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


phone 4 is iphone 5 as you can see that the low light photo is the same as the iphone 5 (the 17th)photo in the last comparison whith HTC one and others.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 17:33

138. babyk (Posts: 313; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Look at the stabalization in the video, phone number 4 more likely to be Iphone 5

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 18:15

140. -Shadow- (Posts: 95; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


Thats what i said

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 00:27

150. mathburn (Posts: 9; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


i think Phone 5 won't be Xperia Z.
i just guess that Phone 2 might be Xperia Z because it's loss most of detail just like Sony phone performed.sorry for my bad English anyway.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 13:22

120. Guoilyt (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


I think Phone 4 is an iPhone and 5 being an S4 or Xperia Z

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 10:13 1

58. LonghornTech (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


It's not really blind because if you've followed the major cell phone offerings it's easy to tell which is which.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 10:22 2

62. LonghornTech (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


I feel like people are only judging the outdoor pictures by the last photo. Phone 1 does the best job reproducing the image on all but the last photo where it overexposes. Phone 4 does the second best and the rest have odd color tendencies.

This blink comparison should really not group a bunch of photos in to one category. I'd make sense to just go photo by photo because there is not one camera that does the best on each photo.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 10:51 1

70. MrJerry (Posts: 403; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


So clear for me that two are exceptional...
it's like

A >> B >>>>>>>>>>>>>> rest CDEF

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 12:02 3

101. amansingal14 (Posts: 309; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


Results already -
1. iPhone 5
2. S4
3. HTC 1
4. Nexus 4
5. Xperia Z
6. Nokia 920

Regardless of which phone is originally what, PA can just change the names and reveal differently as they are usually convicted of being bias...
However, I do bet that either Lumia or HTC is #4, and I really like #4 and #6.
Voting in all categories for #4...

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 12:59

111. shikroi (Posts: 187; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


I think theat number 4 is samsung.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 12:48 1

108. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


O so the L920 beats all cameras?

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 01:49 1

154. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


My Guess

-HTC One
-Galaxy S4
-Xperia Z
-iPhone 5
-Lumia 920

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 08:08 4

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


In come the people starting a war in 3..2..1..

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