Camera Comparison: Samsung Galaxy Camera vs Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5, Nokia 808 PureView
Over the years we've done our fair share of cameraphone comparisons, but the one we have for you today is unlike any other. That's because among the contestants we have a real, dedicated point-and-shoot camera – the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Camera, which will be competing against some of the most capable handsets currently on the market.
Now, we know what you're thinking: no phone can possibly perform better than a real camera, right? Well, don't draw any conclusions so fast. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is running against the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5, and the Nokia 808 PureView, which can all take excellent photos and videos under a broad range of conditions.
But before we dwell any further, we must inform you that in order to keep the challenge fair for all devices, we've set their resolutions to 8 megapixels for photos and 1080p for videos. All photographs have been taken in automatic mode, or with the least manual adjustments possible (read: an occasional tap to focus if a camera happens to struggle with close-ups). With that out of the way, let's begin with the first category in our camera comparison.
Get ready for a surprise, folks! Turns out that the Samsung Galaxy Camera does not perform that well when it comes to image details. In fact, the photos that were taken with it contain the least amount of detail when viewed at 100% zoom, contrary to what we were expecting to see. Sure, they aren't terrible, but even the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III fare somewhat better in this category. Both of them, however, are beaten by the iPhone 5 and its detail-rich images, although Apple's smartphone does not lead by much. The undisputed leader as far as details go is the Nokia 808 PureView, which captures incredibly detailed photos nearly free of that annoying digital noise.
1. Nokia 808 PureView
2. iPhone 5
3. Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II
4. Samsung Galaxy Camera
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1. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
Can't believe the S3 itself destroys the GCamera. I hope the SGS4 trumps the iPhone 5S/6.
Also hoping the BlackBerry 10 devices have iPhone-like cameras and that Windows Phone gains more apps because...
16. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
What's disappointing here is that the Galaxy camera has been beaten by cameras on phones. Not demeaning them, of course, but the Galaxy camera is a device that is solely meant to perform as a camera and it being not better than these phones is not much of improvement. I know it can do other things than it being a camera but that's not an excuse.
38. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5155; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
PA did a bit of holding the thumb on the scale however. Things like not including the multiple pre-programed scene modes that come stock with the G Camera, passing mention of the 21x optical zoom, limiting the image taken to 8 Mp. The positioning of the G Camera is as a compact P&S camera with 21x optical zoom and optical image stabilization for both photos and video that has Internet connectivity with the Android UI.
The 21x optical zoom comes into its own when you are trying to take a picture of something far away. Two photos that I was able to take courtesy of the 21x zoom immediately come to mind - one was of a sailboat on the S.F. Bay that I took from the waterfront of Sausalito. The sailboat was probably 1 mile away, but the 21x optical zoom brought the sailboat right into the frame to the point where numbers printed on the sail were readable. A second photo was during the recent Mavericks surfing competition. There was a U.S. Coast Guard cutter that was keeping water-borne onlookers from getting up close and interfering with the surfing competition. The Coast Guard cutter and company were again about 1 mile from where I was taking the picture. Trying to replicate both photos with an iP5 (or L920, for that matter) would not be possible. The digital zoom would not be up to the challenge.
I could have done way better with a dedicated telephoto lens on a FF DSLR and tripod, but not with the convenience of a compact camera that fit in my jacket pocket. I think there is a place for something like the G Camera, and hope that Sammy invests in developing it further.
43. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I understand and agree with the point you made...and that's an area where phones still have miles to cross.
But other than that, i still stand corrected. 8 megapixel or not the quality of a dedicated camera has to be different. Else, there's no point in owning one just for the sake that you can zoom something extremely close without noise and pixelation. I hope the Galaxy camera II does a better job with the image quality.
46. protozeloz (Posts: 5285; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
the issue with the image quality is more related with the dumbed down resolution, there is no point in testing a camera at a setting people are not going to use
63. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Like i said, minimized resolution or not, IT IS A DEDICATED camera. And it doesn't mean a smaller resolution will have more bad image quality. Better get that right first
124. Integer (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)
Why do they always put embarrassing cameras in android phones? If I left it at that, the first thing someone will reply with, is that this new phone will have a 13MP camera. As if microscopic pixels that are intended to collect light is somehow better than larger ones.
I understand people are dumb, and to most, more MP is better, but common, the engineers know that isn't true, why not leave it to them, and install a larger sensor with fewer pixels that's actually usable...
SGCam sensor is 31.81x smaller than a Full Frame.
They should reduce the MP count to 2MP to get the quality per pixel up.
125. Integer (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)
Zoom is not a measure of reach, but rather the wide to long ratio.
In summary, the 'reach' of the Galaxy Camera is 86mm which doesn't sound all that impressive until you factor in the crop ratio which gives it an equivelant reach of 483mm
To avoid confusion, every camera ever made can have 'equivelant reach' via croping. (MP obviously drops as you crop, but who cares how many MP the camera is if it's smugy ugly anyway when viewed 100%
22. MONUQ (Posts: 31; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)
Lol PA don't have courage to put more of better devices.....like Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z....
23. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
Xperia Z isn't available yet and the 920 quality is more or less the same as iPhone 5/S3 in normal situations. In low light and stability of pics/videos it trumps them though.
41. applesauce (banned) (Posts: 165; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
True, but in the concluding paragraphs, the GCam beats in low-light situations, something the 920 excels in above pretty much anything below DSLR-grade.
2. Lauticol (Posts: 104; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
Looking at the comparison of the 100% crops of all the devices, the Galaxy Camera sucks, Galaxy S3 (much older device) could beat him!
EDIT: Want a comparison with Nokia Lumia 920, 808 Pureview and the Galaxy Camera!
7. freebee269 (Posts: 486; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
11. Lauticol (Posts: 104; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
Thank you, but I'm looking a review with the 808 included. Also we don't know if the update Portico is in that Lumia (the camera gets improved with the update)
18. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
You do know that the 808 is a Symbian phone and not a Lumia don't you?
112. Lauticol (Posts: 104; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
When I said "in that Lumia" I was referring to the 920
30. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
The conclusion claims that this camera can beat any phone indoors or in low light but what PA failed to do is add the Lumia 920 which has by far the beat low light photo quality. The 808 pureview is by no means a replacement as Nokia has since allowed their senor to stay open longer to allow more light in, a feature not found in the 808 Pureview.
36. TheCynicalTechie (Posts: 53; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
It is adjustable actually. There is a shutter speed option, but without OIS it will look blurred and ugly.
115. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
I saw a shot of a 920 in a dark room. The flash is more focused than some other phones Ive seen. So that can be a negative or positive thing. The surrounding image looks darker compared to other phones. Maybe scenery when there is some light present? Like I mentioned here earlier even on the 808, the night is not too great because of glare and someone mentioned tweaking settings to help. If the 920 has this issue, that can be a problem.
44. applesauce (banned) (Posts: 165; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
GSM Arena and All About Symbian/All About Windows Phone have come to similar conclusions, and also had the foresight to include the Lumia 920:
The GCam has some positive attributes, but, IMHO, it's massively overpriced. I can get a Galaxy Player and a decent P&S for less money. The 808 PureView is still a tad overpriced, but for portability and overall quality, it would be the one to take my money if I knew I were going somewhere during the day and there might be some sudden photo opps. At least, until the next-gen Lumia comes out
3. umadd (banned) (Posts: 40; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)
GSMArena says galaxy camera > pureview but to each his own
39. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Actually GSMArena says PureView > Galaxy Camera:
"Anyway, the Nokia 808 PureView is the smartphone equivalent of a decades-old world record. A combination of genius, inspiration and hard work - and perhaps a bit of good luck - that's just impossible to match even if all the ingredients are there. We don't think anyone was surprised at the Nokia 808 PureView getting the better of another digicam. But we won't be surprised either if connected cameras do to cameraphones what Android did to Symbian."
4. dickwyn (Posts: 543; Member since: 07 May 2012)
i'll just wait for the Nokia EOS vs Galaxy Camera 2 comparison
66. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
and how have you come to this conclusion? explain as i know its bs
96. Anamela233 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
why waste time on explaining to a fanboy like you sir?
109. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
what kind of fanboy am i kid?
please try to think before answering lol
face it he cant explain his bs and you are just a cheerleader cheering him on
6. sats.mine2k4 (banned) (Posts: 208; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
I think the 2nd picture bunch clearly shows that Galaxy camera is better than the 41mp Pure view...
8. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
well shows how much you read as the 808 isnt 41mp just has a 41mp sensor. full res 34-38mp photo's are the highest it takes not 41mp
but ofcourse on this android oriented comment section this would happen
12. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
"The 808 loses to the GC" (indoors and low light situations) according to PA. To my eyes the 808 beats the GC hands-down. Sorry, but I think the conclusion is a joke.
25. tashreef (Posts: 475; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)
Can't you see 808 Pureview is a "Phone"
Where as GC is "Camera" only job is to take good pictures..... but still it lacks. behind 808 pureview.....
9. freebee269 (Posts: 486; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
in the conclusion it says "We must admit, however, that the Samsung Galaxy Camera trumps the competition when it comes to indoor and night photos. No other smartphone is capable of capturing a night scenery that would look even nearly as good, while the dedicated xenon flash does an excellent job at illuminating the scene even in near darkness."
i think the lumia 920 would beat it the galaxy camera in nighttime photo's, this review thinks the same thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?f
eature=player_embedded&v=R_3E9(skip to 3:40 in the video) so the "no other smartphone is capable" comment isnt accurate. carE8w
102. apocalypsebc (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)
The Lumia 920 would beat it in night time photos and in stable video recording. I dont know why the Lumia 920 wasn't in this comparison!
10. santaclaus (Posts: 52; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)
why would the author include SGS3 and Galaxy Note 2 in the same comparison? They have the same sensor and same image processing algorithm. should pick only either one of them and replace with Lumia 920
13. Diego! (Posts: 448; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
From this examples, I take that the best cameras come as following:
1. Galaxy Note II
2. Iphone 5 / Samsung Galaxy S III
4. Nokia Pureview 808
5. Galaxy Camera
14. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
please say your joking
note 2 as number one really? no one can say this seriously.
15. freebee269 (Posts: 486; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
iphone 5 better than the 808? lol clearly "you're holding it wrong".
26. tashreef (Posts: 475; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)
Looks like you own Note 2.....
BTW nice joke han........ i can't stop laughing .....
31. srgonu (Posts: 22; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)
I have note 2, it has much natural colors and photos are better than iphone5 (friends) in good light situations. But in low light iphone5 did a great job wrt photos and videos.
In the photos above we can see over saturation with iphone5 wrt to galaxy phones.
32. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
I can agree with this because you can choose what colors you want.You can choose if you want natural or enhanced. Idk wether its better or not. They all take great pictures. I dont really care because Im not taking pictures to frame on an entire wall. Its not like were comparing Apples to Grapes.
17. Vikranth (Posts: 6; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
a dedicated camera (samsung galaxy) couldnt stand near the quality of 808 pictures.. samsung always go on cheap products and so the quality...808 is the king here... tomorrow its Nokia EOS... waiting for it...
20. N-fanboy (Posts: 445; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)
Why am i not suprised? But angry coz there ain't no Lumia920 on the list it would have excelled in 3 categories at least - lowlight, vibration and videos.
21. nooraldeen (Posts: 48; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)
good review but i wish the lumia 920 was there to see how it does against the GCamera in the night
24. tundrismail (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Just for comparison sake, what would a standard DSC camera or a DSLR camera would look like for the same picture?
27. protozeloz (Posts: 5285; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
Could it be the fact that the resolution on the Galaxy Can, is responsible for the poor shots? Also what's the point of reducing the resolution and trying to dumb Down the camera capabilities? It has no practical use as I don't buy a smartphone/camera to reduce its resolution i think this test has no actual use in real life as I would use the device at its full potential, if the difference at full potential is too big then just shows us that Galaxy cam is quite expensive....
Second once some one of you guys did something I really loved, it was a camera comparison you didn't told us the order the devices where until the voting was done and then cranked the results witch amazed many of the readers.... I want that back, it was awesome and reduced the amount of bias people would show
Also a test against a regular cam would be amazing too
28. freebee269 (Posts: 486; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
i'm with you. a comparison poll with a bunch of similar shots for diff camera's allowing us to choose which we think is best without knowing which shot was with which camera would be the best way to do it to rule out being bias.
29. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Is it only me, or Nokia 808 was much better in both indoor and night shots than Galaxy Camera ? Despite PA claims ? Actually Galaxy Camera appears to be the worst in night shots...
35. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
I think you need to go back and look at the shots again. Pureview was clearly the worst by far. Look at all of the glare. Its even extremely visible in the sky like Rays of light.
37. TheCynicalTechie (Posts: 53; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
Yes, but it had the most detail with the least amount of noise. If the glare is too much, lower the exposure a bit.
45. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
Then that would also affect the quality of the rest of the picture... By a lot. Which is the whole point of taking a clear picture.
34. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
The Pureview pictures are clear, but the color is really bad compared to the others. I went and looked through all of the pictures. All of them look so grey, dull, and like if it was a rainy day while its sunny!
You can clearly see it on picture 6 vs. 10
Its a no brainer.
49. deadhead (Posts: 17; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Nokia's jpeg algorithm has been on the neutral side since the N8 came out.. the processing used in the 808 is from the same family, so naturally, the color reproduction is very neutral.. it geared toward an easier post process.
Now.. you can always bump up the saturation and set it to vivid colors, and then it becomes a different animal..if you like that sort of thing. All the other need vivid colors to hide the poor quality of the jpeg, the 808 can afford not to do that..
68. cripton805 (Posts: 897; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
Id really have to see samples. I cant say it would help if I havent seen it done. The change in settings also changes the rest of the picture, so I cant make a judgement on something I havent seen.
With the pictures provided, this is my opinion.
42. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
So here's my own ranking of 100% crops:
Details - church:
1. 808, iP5, SGS3, SGN2
Details - grass:
1. 808, iP5, SGS3, SGN2
Details - building:
3. SGS3, SGN2
2. SGS3, SGN2
1. 808, iP5
2. SGS3, SGN2, SGC
1. Nokia 808 PureView
2. Apple iPhone 5
3. Samsung Galaxy S III & Samsung Galaxy Note II
5. Samsung Galaxy Camera
Of course, this doesn not include videos, nor other unique functions of devices, like optical zoom or variable aperture in Galaxy Camera case, or lossless digital zoom in 808 case.
79. MC1123 (Posts: 1219; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
android fanboys cant accept the fact that their precious s3/note2 and even galaxy camera came on last place!!!
they are so pathetic!
89. Anamela233 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I guess that is why 99. 9% of people buy Samsung phones over the 808 lol