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Blind camera comparison: Vote for the unidentified cameraphone you like best!

0. phoneArena 04 Oct 2013, 09:14 posted on

Smartphone cameras are getting better and better every year, companies are leapfrogging themselves all the time, the industry is progressing at a breathtaking pace... With so much going on, and with the next big thing always lurking right around the corner, it's easy to lose track of exactly how all the players rank when it comes to camera performance...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 09:49

26. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

I said its between 2 and 5 earlier, now as I look at 1 more....its in the running too.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 09:50 3

27. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

i think
phone 6 is htc one
phone 2 is z1
phone 5 is lumia 1020

1020 wins

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:03 9

30. Deaconclgi (Posts: 405; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Ray, NONE of those phones that you mentioned have ever been the leader in smartphone camera performance at any point in time as there has been a particular smartphone camera that has performed much better than those cameras. You seem to always neglect the facts and paint a picture in a bubble that you have created as your own idea of what devices should be considered.

Also, please tell us why the 1020 is not a typical smartphone when it is smaller and lighter than some other smartphones, even smaller and lighter than it's predecessor, the Lumia 920. Was the 920 not a typical smartphone?

Are you saying it is not because it has a 41MP camera? If so, that is your own opinion, we could say the same about the phones with 13MP cameras. OMG!!! 13MP cameras, those are not typical smartphones!!! What...when the competition gets 41MP and are lighter and thinner than their predecessors...say, a new xperia with 41MP and a slight camera hump, a GS with 41MP and a slight hump, still lighter and thinner than their mainstream predecessors, are those devices not going to be typical smartphones?

Remember the Nokia N8 and its 12MP camera, people used many excuses to say it was not a typical smartphone with such a high MP count at the time....now these new phones that you mentioned, have higher MPs and are bigger than the N8 but they are considered as typical smartphones.

Just because you don't agree with the facts, it still appears to be of poor taste to leave out the facts. You don't even acknowledge the truth that Nokia has always controlled the smartphone camera market. Trying to label it as hardcore is not the truth. They have simply been the leaders in the smartphone camera arena and have consistently had better smartphone cameras in their devices for years.

This article isn't about OSes but about camera performance and as such, if you are going to write the article, at least be fair and honest to your readers.

I am NOT asking you to include those superior smartphone cameras in the comparison, I understand if you do not have a Nokia 808 and that the N8 is too old to be considered current, all I am asking is that you are honest and that you do not omit the facts.

For example, how can the GS4 take over the top spot from the iPhone 5 when the iPhone 5 never FACTUALLY had the top spot in CAMERA PERFORMANCE. You said that is what the comparison is about. Camera performance on smartphones. How can you omit the facts time and time again? So then the LG G2 blew the 808 and 1020 our of the water? So if the G2 has the top spot in your opinion and is being challenged by the Z1, you have concluded that the G2 takes better photos than the 1020 but wait....not necessarily so as you discount the 1020 from that ranking as it isn't a typical smartphone in your eyes and therefore...that allows you to rank those other smartphones as being the leader, the top in camera.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:46 2

46. underbc (Posts: 22; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)

Your comment is so long that I didn't even tried to read ..

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 11:21

52. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

It's TL:DR

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 11:44 3

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

I skimmed through it. He has a point.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 03:55 1

87. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)

Deacon, you know here at PhoneArena they live in an alternate universe where Nokia Camera's always appear to have the worst camera! Anyway its true that here even if its a CAMERA COMPARISON they always bring the OS in as an advantage towards the weaker android cameraphones! Thats why they call the 1020 a "non typical smartphone"

Funny thing is no one mention the achievement Nokia did by putting such a huge sensor in such a small and light package! Also its hilarious how they say the Z1 is firms and solid while the 920 was considered bulky and heavy while both almost the same weight.

So don't be surprised if the 1020 is not even is this comparison or if it came 2nd because in PhoneArena's world the impossible is possible!

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 03:29

123. Tomfromsouth (Posts: 76; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)

Yawn, i can't be arsed to read this either. Looks a like a lot of winging. I think its a great test. Good job ray.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:07 1

32. Jobayer (Posts: 167; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)

There should be a reference photo so that the taken photo can be compared to reality.for ex the 6 photos gives use 6 kinds of lighting but how do we know which one is more accurate to real lighting ?

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:10 3

34. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I had the same thinking. we need a camera as a pilot for these shots

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:10 1

35. Jobayer (Posts: 167; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)

as in reproducing what's actually there .

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:08 2

33. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Hopefully PA learns about their past mistakes, good to see they got rid of the EXIF. now for the real deal, I hope we see a camera (as a pilot picture) and they mix the shots orders so that in every test all phones are arranged at random, making it hard for people to identify a phone in a certain shot and pic the same on all the votes without a care (AKA poll trolling)

now seriously guys!!! stop trying to guess!!! you remove the fun of it!!

good to see companies improved from last years tests!!!! phone 5 and 2 are looking nice... but hey I wont die if after being an "android fan boy" I picked the Lumia and IPhone instead! both are known for their excellent cameras!

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 14:23

98. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Exactly my thought! Though I'd never buy neither an iphone nor a Nokia (at least as long as it has WP...), I know they have very good cameras. I think there might be a surprise, though... I wouldn't be surprised if one of the two was the Sony Z1! ;)

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:13

37. chuah1997 (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Sep 2013)

._. am guessing is that Phone 5 Xperia Z1???? ._. well...someone had the same though?? (just guess not serious)

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 14:24

99. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Me! ;)

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:20 1

39. a_tumiwa (Posts: 373; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

i hope one of them is 808
and btw, why no macro shoot?

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:28

41. Remmy (Posts: 128; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

I kinda like the Phone 4 since it has the balance between details and color especially in the 3rd picture. :) I think it's the Z1 since it looks similar to the cropped images from other websites.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:30

42. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Hey Guys can you help us tip the subcategories we should see in the real deal?

I think some should be:

-Light Replication
-Color reproduction

what else I'm missing? lets ensure many thinks get tested

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:48 3

47. Deaconclgi (Posts: 405; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


A camera could produce images with low noise, accurate light and color reproduction and still lack detail.

Here is an example of that:


The Z1 photo has less noise than the 1020 photo but it lacks the detail that you can see in the ducks feathers on the 1020.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 11:04

51. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Great! Thanks :D i want pha to make some sub categories and based on witch phone scored the sub categories we could have a winer

We know they will do


posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:28

63. Deaconclgi (Posts: 405; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

You're welcome.

Sub categories would make for a great comparison. I may use some of your ideas the next time a do a comparison...if you don't mind. :)

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:41

65. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I don't mind, some devices have accurate color reproduction and great notice reduction but lack detail and struggle with the light around them. Making them great a certain conditions and bad at others (or great to someone's perspective and bad to someone else's)

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:54 1

49. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

Picture 3 really ruined it for camera 1. If it wasn't for that I'd pick it first.
Overall Camera 5 produced the best photos. Camera 2 is a close 2nd.
Camera 6 is by far the worst of the group.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:59

50. Lauticol (Posts: 338; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)

Pretty much sure the Phone 6 is the HTC One because of the Mpx. But I know it's a lot more capable (I have the phone), in the last scene the phone didn't even focus!

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 11:25

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

Are the z1 and 1020 sample images full res or oversampled? Because oversampled images are what separates those two devices from the rest.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 11:34 1

54. irfanil (Posts: 31; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Wow... Phone 5 is really winning by a huge margin!

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:08 2

56. Assa7inKing (Posts: 26; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)

I Think these phones are as follows

PHONE 5 : 1020

Well this is just my OPINION.....

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:16

57. moorjani (Posts: 14; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)

Phone 2 is HTC ONE

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 12:31 1

95. almostdone (Posts: 231; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

More like phone 6.

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 04:31

124. timaustin2000 (Posts: 39; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

You're having a giraffe, mate. If it's in there, it's phone 6. Upscale 5mp to 13 mp and you get a messy blur of pixels - exactly what phone 6 is showing. There's no way in hell that you'll get that level of detail on a crop from an HTC One. No way.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:36 2

58. JEverettnow (Posts: 228; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)

I'd go with phone 5, but it had pretty horrible low light performance. My money is on it being the Galaxy S4 or Nokia Lumia 1020. When I used the 1020 I wasn't as impressed with its camera performance as I thought I would be. My old 7.2mp cybershot took better photos than it.

Phone 6 had potential, but it looked like the operator didn't know how to use it. I would say it is the HTC one.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:40

59. matck (Posts: 9; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)

For when the results?

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:48

60. sergiobr (Posts: 708; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)

Phone 2 first and Phone 5 second, the rest ... the rest.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:15 1

62. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

I think phone 5 is the best. The second series of pictures is a bit unfair. Some of the shots show the sun shining through the leaves of the tree. In others, the sun is more covered behind the trees. As a result, some shots show more glare that affects the overall picture. The test should have been done with all cameras facing the same amount of glare.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:35 1

64. Diazene (Posts: 129; Member since: 01 May 2013)

well, I think you should make 3 polls (for first, second and third)

#5 is the overall best
#2 is really close, and better in some cases
#1 comes third, it's pictures are great
#4 comes next
#3 and #6 aren't really that good (compared to the others, they're great by themselves), but I'd say, #3 is a bit better

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:55

67. cgraham8 (Posts: 9; Member since: 03 Oct 2013)

I love when they do these tests but each phone should be mounted to a tripod for the photo. You can clearly tell in some photos they were not. #6 suffered from this the most so clearly no OIS on that camera. Also really poor color reproduction. I would estimate either Moto X or HTC One as those are the easily the worst cameras on a flagship phone. And before I get flamed for that I have owned and used virtually any phone they could have used for this test other than a Note 3. #5 was the best with #2 coming in second and #1 in third. I'm not going to guess which phone goes where but based on my experience I would place one of these in the top spots Lumia 1020, LG G2, iPhone 5S

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 14:09

71. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)

How often do you mount your phone to a tripod?

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 13:56 2

68. decent4u (Posts: 75; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

There should be a separate voting poll for every scene#
I think this would be better than that-----------------------------^

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 14:08 3

69. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)

If you double click to zoom you can see what's going on easier.

Scene 1, 2 or 4
#1 over exposed, slightly soft
#2- color cast, but very sharp- sharpest.
#3- Lots of noise. NR is smearing things
#4- color cast, probably 2nd sharpest.
#5- better WB, but lots of sharpening halos.
#6- A mess.You should be ashamed.

Scene 2- 2 then 4
#1- Brick texture is a mess. NR overkill and sky is overexposed.
#2- overexposed sky. retains brick detail and wires.
#3- sky exposed right, but NR hell all over.
#4- little heavy on the NR, sky okay.
#5- Way over sharpened. sky over exposed.
#6- you should be ashamed.

Scene 3 4 and 5 are the clear winners, with 4 a bit better.
#1- Blurry, color seems off. heavy NR
#2- heavy noise, okay color.
#3- underexposed, lots of noise
#4- nice sharpness, good color. Some noise, and NR smear
#5- color cast, good detail, but noisy
#6- go home already.

So 4 was at least the runner up at all times. I thought 5 was the best until I zoomed in and saw all the oversharpening.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 14:18 1

72. kassi (Posts: 109; Member since: 25 May 2013)

phone 2 is the iphone because of the smallest field of view

phone 5 is the 1020 because of the highest resolution

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 17:16

75. JunitoNH (Posts: 1782; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

iPhone 5 = iPhone 5S

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 17:38 1

77. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2183; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

I'm not sure how anyone voted #2 best. 4 & 5 were so much better.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 18:44

78. Genersis (Posts: 218; Member since: 29 May 2013)

I voted 4. 2 Came a close second.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 18:45

79. Cod3rror (Posts: 129; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)

Phonearena, I really like you guys but your image viewer tool SUCKS! Just post normal thumbnails with links to original images.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 19:42 1

82. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

Phone arena has "ZERO" credibility when it comes to unbiased camera-phone shoot-outs, which is why I won't be participating in this bogus comparison. Even before the resilts are published, I can almost guarantee that the above images have been selectively chosen to produce the following rank:

1. iphone 5c
2. galaxy s4
3. LG G2
4 Nokia ???
5. Sony Z1
6 HTC one

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 09:44

90. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 987; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Not a chance in hell is 5 the Z1

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 00:54

85. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)

This test needs many more varying scenarios to be deemed an accurate overall camera comparison

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 09:30 1

88. abhishek0061 (Posts: 11; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)

which phone is phone 5 plz ell me plz

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 09:41 1

89. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 987; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Who in the world voted for Phone 3 & 6???? Lol, anyway, voted Phone 5, it is by far the winner!

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 10:53

93. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

i seriously cant tell the difference between these images it can be that i dont have 20/20 vision

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 11:06 1

94. damokles (unregistered)

Scene 1: 5 2 4 1 6 3
Scene 2: 5 2 4 1 3 6
Scene 3: 5 4 1 2 3 6

5, 2 & 4 were pretty good *_*

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 13:48

97. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Why...why would you scale to 13 MP?

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 18:46 2

106. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

To give the galaxy s4/Note a clear advantage whilst handicapping the iphone, Lumia, and Z1.

Each phone's optimal settings should be used as per the manufacturers recommendations:

Lumia 1020 - 5 megapixels - "Nokia Pureview mode"
Sony Z1 - 8 megapixels - "Superior auto mode
iphone - 8 megapixels - native full resolution

Of course this is PA

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 19:14 1

107. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Exactly my point. Scaling to that resolution gives the Samsung and LG contenders the advantage.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 17:21 1

103. DAddYE (Posts: 48; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)

Owning a Z1 and played last week with the 1020 at the microsoft store:

Phone2 => Z1 (generally good, proper color reproduction, not super good in low light)
Phone5 => 1020 (overall the best but with bumpy colors)

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 04:37

125. timaustin2000 (Posts: 39; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

Agree - think you're spot on. The detail reproduction on the z1 is superb but it can over-expose. If left on auto or 20mp, low light suffers. Pop it on 4:3 8mp manual and it flies in dark environments, it really does.

But it can't beat a 1020. If you want an Android snapper, though, it's the one to get.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 17:55

104. AppleGod (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)

I like this.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 18:15

105. sicofante (Posts: 8; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)

Phone 4 is the most balanced. The best indoors and best color outdoors. Maybe not so fine detail, but good enough and not noisy at all.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 22:47 1

109. hhhxxx (Posts: 3; Member since: 21 Sep 2013)

1=S4, 2=iPhone, 3=LG, 4=Z1, 5=Nokia, 6=HTC
I like 5 the best.

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 17:51

119. hhhxxx (Posts: 3; Member since: 21 Sep 2013)

On second thought, given S4's narrower field of view, 3 should be S4 and 1 LG.

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