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Camera comparison: Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III vs HTC One X vs Nokia Lumia 900

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Video:

Easily manhandling its competition, the iPhone 5 is undoubtedly the best smartphone out of the bunch for shooting high definition videos. Overall, its quality is filled with sharp details, smooth recording, natural colors, and a quick exposure adjustment. Meanwhile, it’s also outperforming its competition in low lighting situations as well – though, there’s a small amount of noise with it. Not too far from the iPhone 5’s pace, the Samsung Galaxy S III produces the second best results, but we do notice that its only weak spot is its ineffectiveness to reduce wind noise. Taking us by surprise, we actually favor the Nokia Lumia 900’s 720p video recording quality over the 1080p videos from the HTC One X. Specifically, HTC’s flagship is simply marred by its poor details, heavy amount of artifacting, and slow-as-molasses capture rate in low lighting situations.

Apple iPhone 5 Sample Video:



Samsung Galaxy S III Sample Video:



HTC One X Sample Video:



Nokia Lumia 900 Sample Video:




Apple iPhone 5 Night time Sample Video:



Samsung Galaxy S III Night time Sample Video:



HTC One X Night time Sample Video:



Nokia Lumia 900 Night time Sample Video:



Conclusion:

After the smoke has cleared and the dust settled, we have a unanimous winner amongst the group. Before this comparison, it was arguable as to which of the four devices would have the upper hand when it comes to taking photos, but as we’ve seen, Apple’s latest prodigy in the iPhone 5 has proven to us that it’s unmistakably the most well-rounded when it comes to shooting photos and videos. When it’s able to adapt to various shooting conditions, and still able to deliver shots filled with plenty of attractive elements, there’s no arguing that this is the device you’ll want to nab if you’re all about quality.

Looking at the two Android smartphones in our comparison, it’s safe to say that we’re also humbled by their results – though, they don’t have the same level of precision found on the iPhone 5. Nonetheless, we appreciate them for their extensive shooting modes and manual controls, which gives us the required control to snap the best shots according to the situation. At this point, it’s become obvious that the Nokia Lumia 900 has exceeded its time in the spotlight, seeing that it has been out performed by its highly esteemed rivals.
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posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:15 46

1. StreetNerd (Posts: 711; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


Again..... why not wait for the 920, thn do the comparison -_-"

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:41 20

22. -box- (Posts: 3826; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


It's the only thing the 5 can win before the 920's camera comes out to trounce everything in its path.

That said, what version of the 900 was being used? And did it have the camera software up to date (that is, with the "Camera Extras" Nokia update installed)? I noticed quite a significant difference after updating to Tango and having the software up to date. While it may not have changed the rankings, the 900 could have held its own better, presuming the test phone wasn't up to date.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:18 3

37. darkkjedii (Posts: 12019; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Excuses excuses excuses lol

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:37 5

52. -box- (Posts: 3826; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


No, just wanting a level playing field. As I said, the Lumia would still likely wind up in 4th, but not as easily.

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 00:37 9

129. amir1975 (Posts: 22; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)


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Another Biased Article about iPhone 5, there is no mention and either tests about situations which makes "Purple Halo" defect in iPhone 5's photos and make them really incomparable with rivals. sad to say that new iPhone is a faulty product.

But they have to sell their flawed phone to Naive customers, no way just exaggeration.

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 07:41 2

136. darkkjedii (Posts: 12019; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thank u

posted on 11 Oct 2012, 19:22 2

155. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


So lens flare(s) are bad and a flaw of my devices? Shooting with a dslr, point and shoot, and HTC Radar 4g I get it from time to time, though not a Jimmy Hendrix type purple haze. If that is the case, maybe I should file a class action against Nikon, Canon, and HTC with what you are saying?

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:52

178. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


There seems to be no discussion of why this Purple Haze may be more prominent on the iPhone 5. Some have argued the refractive properties of the Saffire protective glass may be the culprit. Others have mentioned a particular lens coating may be the issue. What about the distance between the optics and the protective lens? This is a very thin phone. Any shrowding from direct sunlight would be minimal with such a thin device because the lens group is not set as far back in the camera body. Note that some companies are selling little rubber rings to shrowd the lens unit (for over 20 dollars a pop!). I don't know if any or all of these elements are contributers, but the effect is well noted at this time.

Maybe this is just one downside to having an ultra thin phone?

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 20:19

160. KFear (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Man. That is a good camera on the iphone. Still happy with the S3's lens however

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 20:21

161. KFear (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


I'm an Android fan all the way...but your comment is terrible. At our sales location we haven't been able to duplicate the purple halo defect. We've been some customer's photos that might have it, but it's not so easy to tell as the light condition has to be just right. It REALLY hasn't been so much of an issue for the iphone. I think the pictures from the iphone in this article did look best, for the most part. you just have to look at the photos.
you are borderline trolling

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:53

179. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


Probably difficult to duplicate the effect inside a mall.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 10:09 12

69. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Let's get real here...920 is not out yet, so let's leave that out of the question.
I'm really not sure if John is comparing the cameras or the phones!
He got the top-notch from Apple, HTC,
Samsung but a mid-notch from Nokia. Why not
820? Everyone below has asked and i am
asking it too. Everyone knows Lumia 900 won't stand a chance among the other 3. I'm not
saying it's a bad camera-phone, but it's not the
best from Nokia, camera wise.
Again, an unfair comparison.
I guess he don't want to see iPhone fall...sorry
John, you made me say this.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 11:54 9

88. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Sorry, i meant 808...
John, try that for the love of mango, banana, cherry and coconut.

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 15:15 1

158. deathyyy (Posts: 101; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


How many people are going to go buy a new 808 right now though? The 900 is definitely Nokia's "flagship" device.

posted on 14 Oct 2012, 17:44 1

169. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Do you see any comparison for flagship devices here?? Or who's going to buy what?
PA is comparing the cameras here jackazz...read the article, or atleast read the headline before you place a comment on a comment.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 09:25

182. deathyyy (Posts: 101; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


Uh, yes I do, as each of these phones is each manufacturer's flagship device. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension skills.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 12:29 5

93. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


"this article also shows a lack of journalistic integrity to deliberately avoid investigating a known issue and ignoring it completely."
iphonearena.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 16:06 3

113. maier9900 (Posts: 272; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


oh man... !

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 04:28

187. maier9900 (Posts: 272; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


Every since the iphone 4s came out with a wonderful camera on its back, no other phone beats it to date (i don't care what u say). And now the iphone 5 came out with the same 8mp camera as the iphone 4s (if u didn't know) with the only change being on the outside on the back of the phone. They changed the outside glass on the back with some sapphire crystal kind of thing. But other than that is the same camera as in the iphone 4s and still nobody can compete with it. It's been over a year...

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:44 29

25. MeoCao (unregistered)


Do GS3, One X and 920 have "Purple Glare feature" like iPhone 5? I guess not so iPhone 5 wins as it has at least 1 more feature than the rest LOL.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:20 1

39. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


try to pic against the sun with your GS3, One X and 920 (later), i bet they get that glare too, tried with my canon camera, i got those glare too even though its not that purple.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:21 7

41. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


It is admited by Apple that there is such problem like a "Purple Haze".

"iPhone: Camera image effects"
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4436?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:26 2

46. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


yup, it clearly stated : Most small cameras, including those in EVERY generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources. and people just notice it in iPhone 5.., imagine that..

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:28 6

49. jroc74 (Posts: 5033; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


"tried with my canon camera, i got those glare too even though its not that purple."

And thats part of the point. Someone posted a site that compared the iPhone 4S to the 5, and anyone could clearly see the same thing....it was purple on the 4S, but it wasnt that purple on the 4S.

But....Night Shots in this article clearly show the purple issue on the iPhone 5 vs the other phones in the 2nd n 3rd row of shots. Didnt even need the sun. The other phones had the same result as my RAZR.....white or yellow halo, not purple.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:38 7

54. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


Glares are normal but a purplish one isn't.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:48 2

59. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Two different devices in the same conditions!

"Apple iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 (Camera Test)"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5i1Dnk2voU

Download link for original pictures and video examples you can find in the description.

As I have stated in my comment #19, I think that iPhone 5 shots relatively good pictures just "Purple Halo" effect ruin everything.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 10:07 4

67. jroc74 (Posts: 5033; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Looking at that YouTube clip, starting at the 2: 56 mark, shows the iPhone 5 with purple halo issue while the GS3 doesnt have it..

Same lighting and shooting conditions.

At some point....ppl will just have to accept that...it is what it is. I dont think the purple halo ruins everything....lol, but it can be seen in certain instances.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 10:13 1

71. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Check download link in the description, you will find original photos and videos, check photo with roof window, light through roof window is also "purpled" while Samsung Galaxy III photo doesn't have it.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 12:12 2

90. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


exactly. its pure apple fanboyism by PA.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:45 10

26. dr_fajardo12 (Posts: 107; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


when 920 comes out in november phonearena will make a camera comparision. the 900 is the nokia flagship right now, so need to be against it.

but still a little biased this comparision, where's the 808?, we need to see how well the iphone 5 is against the best cameraphone on the market
wheres sony's phones?, the note 2? etc..

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:03

170. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


I seriously wonder if they updated the 900's software to the latest version with camera improvements. It makes a world of difference. I'm not syaing it would trounce the iPhone 5, which has (aside from the Purple Haze issue) a very good camera for a smartphone (Nokia 808, Nokia N8, Nokia 920 aside).

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:23 1

43. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


because 920 is not there yet, go blame nokia... they announce a half baked phone but with no specific release date (or too long...), just like RIM always do. take a look at apple and samsung, they announce it when it ready to be released in few weeks.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 11:24 3

81. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


half baked phone? you in your own little world, the 820 and 920 are far from half baked so get your facts right

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:27

48. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


because 920 is not there yet, go blame nokia... they announce a half baked phone but with no specific release date (or too long...), just like RIM always do. take a look at apple and samsung, they announce it when it ready to be released in few weeks.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:43 2

57. joseph98 (Posts: 167; Member since: 03 Feb 2012)


I think nokia Lumia 920 will be the best wp8 but the bad news is it's exclusive for AT&T. How long at&t because I need one on my t mobile even no LTE still why only at&t.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:50 6

61. Connie.Linghus (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


You needn't worry my good man, neither the Galaxy SIII, HTC ONE X or Lumia 900 take purple pictures so, therefore, we clearly know who the actual loser is. Interesting, though, how PhoneArena took test shots wherein much of the picture subject matter was in the red, blue and "PURPLE" pallette family. Truely pathetic.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 10:03 2

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


Sony camera are the best. Which is in the ip5.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 11:25 3

82. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


well no, nokia are arguably the best in the mobile camera department i.e the 808

but there should have been a sony device included

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 11:51 2

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


If the ip5 had Carl Zeiss optics, 808 doesn't stand a chance.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 12:35 4

94. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


So you are saying, a better flash (Xenon vs LED) pixel oversampling, lossless zoom and proven results don't stand a chance against the ip5 with a sony sensor if it'd had CZ optics? Sony makes great sensors but the quality of pics of the SXS is not close to the n8, let alone the 808. So a phone with a sony sensor, sensor size way lesser than the 808 and put in with cz optics would have given better results than the 808 just because of a sony camera? LOL.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 17:29 3

120. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


please stop you obviously have no idea what your talking about, the 808 is the full package, its not just the fact it has a Carl Zeiss lens, like No_Nonesense said the 808 uses oversampling to get the best result, noiseless images. plus the lossless zoom so no pixelation is present when zooming in like with all digital zooming.

anyway the iphone 5 isnt even close to the 808 or n8. and sony have better camera phones out then the iphone too.

the iphone's camera uses so much post process i.e saturating sharpness etc to get a pic. nokia dont its natural color.

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:10

171. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


You need to read up on why the 808 has a spectacular camera.

1) Yes, precision optics developed WITH Carl Zeiss exclusively for Nokia that are 10x more precise than Zeiss' previously available products. This is new tech.
2) A Nokia-Toshiba PROPRIETARY sensor at 41MP, exclusively built for Nokia.
3) A dedicated scaling chip for the camera.
4) Proprietary algorithms which effectively create super pixels by oversampling the massive number of sensor pixels, each already the same size as those on the Iphone 5's sensor.
5) The largest XENON (with LED for video) flash on any smartphone, 2X more powerful than the N8's.
6) A camera UI offering a significant amount of flexibility and ease of use.

Carl Zeiss optics at the 808 level of precision would certainly improve the iPhone 5's results, but this alone would not make it competitive with the 808's other advantages.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 14:14

103. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)


well if the iphone 5 wins in camera.......doesnt that actually mean sony wins??

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 15:24 3

110. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


iPhone 5 use CMOS sensor from Sony but remember that camera consist from more parts than only a CMOS sensor also don't forget about software par. ;)

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 07:13

181. bondosho (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)


The S3 also has a Sony sensor.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 12:05 2

89. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


typical apple fanboyism by PA

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 10:09

138. Miley_3d (Posts: 16; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Me Too!

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 10:16

139. iphone4me (banned) (Posts: 35; Member since: 09 Sep 2012)


Yeah, Why not Wait when iPhone5s & 6 comes out PA.

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 13:47

142. byb786 (Posts: 6; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


APPLE BIASED

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 19:05

146. cncrim (Posts: 519; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


As today we speak about cam3ra on smartphone

1. Nokia 920
2. Iphone 5
3. Samsung 3
4. Galaxy note 2
5. Htc one x
........

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:26

172. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


1. Nokia 808
2. Nokia 920
3. Nokia N8
4. iPhone 5
5. iPhone 4S
6. SGSIII

...

IMHO.

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 12:35

156. AmitMajumder (Posts: 80; Member since: 21 May 2012)


iphone 5 always wins. why do they compare it? they should officially declare that iphone 5 is the most amazing smartphone they can think of(how bad is their thinking!!!) and say that every in comparison iphone will win. they didn't include the Nokia 808 pureview, cause it would have won and that won do justice to the $$$$....

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:16 12

2. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


I still don't understand why the 900 is compared to these 3. You could get the 920 (when it comes out) and then compare between the One X+, Note 2 or S3 and the iPhone 5. Also, while the 808 will offer the best results, I'd like to see some of its samples as well.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:20 7

3. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Because it's 900's camera is one of the few cameras from nokia that any other competitors could win against with. My n8 could beat any of these performers! -.-

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:23 4

8. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


And my 808. The cameras on the current Lumias are terrible.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:40 2

55. -box- (Posts: 3826; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


I wouldn't say terrible... they're better than the 3gs and 4, and better than most of the newest and nicest pantechs

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 09:49 4

60. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


Compared to the usual high standards as exhibited in the N82, N8, 808 that is.

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 18:31

159. epdm2be (Posts: 178; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


No they ARE terrible.
I can show pictures taken in the same conditions ( indoors low lighting) where even my EDoF Nokia 701 has better pictures than the Lumia 800 (which I used to have)

posted on 16 Oct 2012, 10:38

173. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


Actually, with latest software updates the 900 is a decent snapper. But it cannot compare with the 808, 920 or N8. It's now more on par with the iPhone 4S.

Frankly, the 808 has blown away all challengers and set a completely new expectation of what is possible in a smartphone. Sure, the 920, with OIS, is probably a better choise for low light stationary scenes and video, but it really can't compete across all likely use scenarioes with the 808.

Actually, I would love to see the PureView technology (I & II) combined in a camera only small body point and shoot. One with larger optics for better light gathering ability, but in an ultra compact format. Optics fixed because of PureView's lossless zoom approach. That would be very interesting. I do wonder how that might compare to Micro 4/3's and base DSLR's. I imagine such a device would further establish the PureView brand among photo enthusiasts.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 08:23 11

7. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Yeah, why not the 808? Why??
Want to see Nokia dead that badly?

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