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Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy S III vs the fierce competition

0. phoneArena 31 May 2012, 09:47 posted on

How about a quick camera comparison, eh?! The phones that we've chosen to include in this sweet little competition (besides the S III) are the Galaxy S II, iPhone 4S, Galaxy Note, Xperia S and Galaxy Nexus. Additionally, we're also throwing in samples made with the Canon PowerShot SD780 IS for reference. Alright, let's get going!...

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 11:27 1

31. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


what a s**t%^ conclusion...is it supposed to be a test or a joke?

posted on 31 May 2012, 11:37

32. kamil (Posts: 115; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)


I see 4 Galaxys in there, so why not replace the nexus with Nokia Lumia 800 and the Note with Htc One X, then I can some action.

posted on 31 May 2012, 12:50 1

36. ffaarrooqq (Posts: 64; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Where is NOKIA 808 in comparision?

posted on 31 May 2012, 12:52

38. sithman (banned) (Posts: 299; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I think they're going more by the top phones instead of the top cameras. The 808 should've been in this comparison.

posted on 31 May 2012, 15:05 2

47. taz89 (Posts: 2009; Member since: 03 May 2011)


i think its a forgone conclusion that the 808 has the best camera on a phone

posted on 31 May 2012, 12:50 4

37. sithman (banned) (Posts: 299; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I'm an iPhone guy, but the Experia s won this battle followed by the iPhone then the galaxy nexus. Just my thoughts...

posted on 31 May 2012, 13:14

40. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the comparison was good. the only thing i take issue with is the first set of pictures. You gave the i4s the edge, but when compared with the cannon as a comparison, they were the darkest and least realistic of the bunch more often than not. I also think the experia looked the closest to the cannon with the tree stump picture and brick wall picture, though the difference was minor.

posted on 31 May 2012, 13:40 1

43. Tajeshwar (Posts: 8; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


where is the camera king...?

posted on 31 May 2012, 14:59

46. taz89 (Posts: 2009; Member since: 03 May 2011)


wouldnt capturing the natural colours mean its a better phone...

posted on 31 May 2012, 15:09 2

48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i think the Xperia S actually did the best for me in many of the shots. o:

posted on 31 May 2012, 16:10 2

51. alycheema (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


dear Ray S... you really are smitten to apple... an android phone can ace 9 tests out of 10 but you just cannot say that it's better than iPhone... that's nothing but true love... iPhone4S is one fantastic feat of engineering... but let's face it has been trumped lately in more than one department...

I suggest you either learn to come to some hard but fair conclusions... or just excluded iphones from your next reviews to make them a bit less biased...

posted on 31 May 2012, 16:50 3

52. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


The i4s has been trumped by very few phones in regards to its camera. Looking at the pictures, clearly the xperia has the best, followed closely by the i4s. There is no issue of bias when the physical proof is for all to see to make their own conclusion.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 07:12

72. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the i4s held its own, but i dont think it was the best in any category. It wasnt the worst, but it wasnt the best. The details were good, but the colors were wrong when you compared them to the Cannon camera base shots.
It was a back n forth between the Xperia and the SGS3 depending on the shot taken, IMO.

Ray only had the iphone win the first category (though i disagree since the colors were pretty off on some of the shots).

posted on 31 May 2012, 17:02 4

53. jdot104 (Posts: 45; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


There are FOUR Samsung devices but no One X? Come on PhoneArena...

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 01:41

66. Mitchel (Posts: 228; Member since: 25 May 2012)


You have a point there.. But in reality, all phones have excellent cameras, except maybe the G-Nex.. So it would go all down to camera features, and that's where SGS III trumps all of them.. (excellent video recording, burst shot, best shot, taking images while taking videos, face recognition, etc..)

posted on 31 May 2012, 17:25

54. strikercho (banned) (Posts: 156; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Huchhm, phonearena, hello? Why didn't you put in this company the Nokia N8? If not undisputed king in video anymore, in picture quality this is still the best cameraphone. And with the arrival of 808 Pureview all this company will fade away. :)

posted on 31 May 2012, 18:37 2

57. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


Here's the answers to your questions regarding the 2 Nokias that aren't here (808 and N8). PhoneArena doesn't have an 808 to do a comparison test with, but lets be honest, is there any way it wouldn't be in first place? And seriously with the N8 yes it has an amazing camera, even more spectacular is how it rolls over the competition with its age being what it is, but honestly, who in their right mind would go and buy an N8 over any of the depicted phones here? I don't know about you, but having the best camera will never sell me on buying a smartphone. If you're that serious about a your pictures, you probably shouldn't be looking at phones to be your primary device.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 04:50

70. Leo_MC (Posts: 478; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


I would if I would need a good camera with a phone attached to it.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 08:39 1

74. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


if you want a great camera first, and a phone second, I suggest you buy an actual camera and a flip phone. It would be cheaper and higher quality.

Nokia's cell cameras are amazing. Unfortunately, people dont want a camera first, phone second.. at least not in large enough quantities to matter.
The N8 is irrelevant and the pureview isnt out... but it will still be irrelevant for the bit mentioned above. Once they make a WP7/8 version of pureview, that might change but symbian is DOA.

Its time to face reality. They are testing devices that SELL.

posted on 31 May 2012, 19:39 2

58. Mannequinsdenial (Posts: 15; Member since: 02 May 2012)


wow. All this really tells me is that Phonearena really needs to improve their picture viewer.

posted on 31 May 2012, 19:44

59. romeo1 (Posts: 178; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


The xperia s wins in most of the pictures and i think it would win all of them with the right settings cause the auto mode doesn't work as good as it should (in my opinion)
maybe they will fix that with ics?

and the xperia s shoots better pictures than the n8 just try them both and look at the results(on the pc ofcourse)

posted on 31 May 2012, 20:13 2

60. aoikemono27 (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Your video capture contest fails to mention that the galaxy s iii audio capture sounds like complete ass now. It is the worst sounding of the crop by far, much worse than the galaxy s ii and definitely leagues behind the iphone 4s. If the audio capture was taken into account besides purely the camera, it would be dead last. Why do all these reviews fail to mention the terrible digital low bitrate compressed robotic garble that the galaxy s iii passes for audio, and instead just praises the video to the high heavens? It's the youtube generation, and most of the viral videos are from iphones, because their audio don't sound like complete ass and its taken for granted. Then you coax them into getting something way better and faster and can do more things, but something that fails at the most basic of necessities: good audio capture. The iPhone can at least do the most basic things right. Why the hell do tech reviewers and phone manufacturers continue to ignore something so inherently vital? My theory is either they are deaf, watching the video from their phones (great methodology), or using the tinny speakers coming from their ultra-slim ultrabooks, which aren't much better than phone speakers.

Samsung, FIX YOUR DAMN AUDIO CAPTURE. I've owned a Samsung Wave, Samsung Vibrant, Samsung Infuse, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Focus Flash, and want a Samsung Galaxy S III. But all those phones mentioned that YOU have made are light years ahead in audio capture to the garbage on your new "flagship" phone.

I don't care about S Voice or gesture controls or fancy capture pictures while filming. I want basic crap to work. FIX YOUR DAMN AUDIO CAPTURE.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 01:04

65. andydroid (Posts: 14; Member since: 01 Jun 2012)


agree, this is an awesome phone but I want it to record music videos and im having second thoughts :/

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 01:00 2

64. andydroid (Posts: 14; Member since: 01 Jun 2012)


I think you guys should consider audio quality of videos when doing this comparision, this time its clear that the SIII has very bad audio, but im still buying it.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 03:39 1

68. darklover (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Jun 2012)


Galaxy s3 is the best mobile phone on the earth. No other mobile can even come near to it

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 03:40 1

69. darklover (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Jun 2012)


Galaxy s3 is the best mobile phone on the earth. No other mobile can even come near to it :). Love you S3

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 06:40 2

71. potatosalad (Posts: 34; Member since: 07 May 2012)


an all-Android camera battle. what a lame competition.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 13:05 2

77. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


against the iphone you dumbass

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 08:11 1

73. jeraldjamescapao (Posts: 23; Member since: 17 May 2012)


The photos taken by Galaxy S3 is more "NATURAL" than others.
I noticed on iPhone4S shots, it's more saturated, and looks unnatural.

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 13:04 1

76. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


The Iphone has darker contrast compared to other phone, thats all I freaking see

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 21:01

78. mercorp (Posts: 967; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


Why no n8 and pureview?

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 21:04 2

79. PattyPat (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 May 2012)


Any of those pictures looks VERY sharp and impressive to me.

Time to start fixing some of the MAJOR other missing features on phones instead:

How about a 100% bug-free OS instead?

How about coming out with a new phone that doesn't use a very old version of Gingerbread from 2010?

How about 2x or 3x battery life, instead?

How about a "0 glare screen" in all lighting conditions?

How about devices that do NOT cost $700 each?

How about a device that isn't destroyed just from 1 drop on the floor, from even 1 foot in the air?

How about a solar charging panel on the back?

How about a true, full 4.7" screen... instead of totally wasting the extra screen space with on-screen buttons?

How about if the user can decide if he wants your custom GUI... or the stock Android GUI?

How about something as simple as a smudge-proof back... and a finger-proof glass front?

How about somethings as simple as a case that is NOT slippery as wet ice, and slips right out of your hand?

How about a screen that is resessed 1mm in, so that even if you lay your phone facedown... the screen never touches the dirty/scratchy surface?

Gee, even a basic, average user can come up with a long list of ideas far better than any manufacturer can think of.

posted on 03 Jun 2012, 06:41

83. NeB89 (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


I'm really looking forward in buying a new phone, and even though the image quality on videos of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is really good, I really don't seem to like the sound quality... Even if you watch some other videos on youtube, you notice the mic of the samsung works really bad... This is why I really dislike that the HTC one X isn't up in this comparison, since these are the two phones from which I would choose at this point!
Question is, shouldn't I wait for the next iPhone to drop?

posted on 05 Jun 2012, 07:28

85. c.hack (Posts: 491; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


The SG3 is such a big ugly phone. It feels as cheap as the plastic its made of. Why is it that 9 months after the iPhone 4s came out, Samsung still can't match the camera? They just keep putting out more and more plastic dual core droids. The only thing that changes is they keep getting bigger and uglier. I really wanted the SGII if only it had come out Verizon, but not this lummox of a phone.

posted on 13 Jun 2012, 17:35

99. letgomyeggroll (Posts: 137; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


You probably want to do some research before you talk. IPhone has always follow and never lead the way. Look up each product histroy by history with being a Big IPhone fan,.

posted on 06 Jun 2012, 17:28 2

88. HamidZ123 (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


i love s3 camera

posted on 09 Jun 2012, 01:27 2

90. jaydee (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)


I have owned/used various phones made by Samsung, Nokia, Apple and from experience can say that in good light conditions all can produce good quality images.
However, it is in darker light conditions and inside where one start to see differences and then you need super camera like in Nokia N8. If you really wanted to do proper camera test, take the new Nokia 808 Pureview as a benchmark and I believe none of those phone you reviewed would have a chance.

posted on 10 Jun 2012, 01:42

92. Hurricaneoleg (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Should have compared them in low light w/wo flash, all these cameras are crappy, except for the iphone's, I have a Blackberry, I'm doomed!

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 10:01

95. AgrazAlvaro (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


I have to agree with Ray. Some of you say he's biased, but seriously, you can't pick a clear winner here, and it really comes down to what you expect from a camera and your tastes in photography.

The better cameras were the ones of the Galaxy SIII, the iPhone 4S and the Xperia S.

The SGSIII and the XS take more natural colors. The iPhone takes more unrealistic saturated colors, but they look more dramatic. Which one makes a better photo? A more natural approach, or a more spectacular effect? It really depends. If you want to feel like an artist, creating majestic, mood shots, then really the more dramatic approach is the best. But if you want to feel like you're doccumenting reality, then the natural approach is better.

As of the details, Ray says the SGSIII is below the 4S and the XS. But I couldn't see that many differences in the details. In some shots, like the wall, the SIII did show a certain lack of details. But in more general shots, landscape shots, it pretty much had the same amount of detail as any. So now it depends of the kind of shot and how you take it. You can't just announce a clear winner there.

Let's talk about the video recording. The SIII is the absolute best in this regard. But just because of this you can't say it has the better camera. For one thing, the 4S is not to far behind. And yes, the XS is not as good as those two for outdoor video, but just because the video is not that great doesn't mean it's not good, because it is, and video is just half of it, cause you have to remember the amazing photos the handset produce. So what is more important? Which makes a better camera? Video recording or image capturing? It is very subjective, it depends on the occasion and what the final user wants and expects. So, here again you just can't declare a clear winner.

Now, low light conditions. When the lights are up, all the handsets take almost equally good shots. When you turn off the lights, the SGSIII manages the better results. So, that would make it the better camera! Why, of course not! Having a flash is good, and these three handsets posess it. Having a better flash than the opponent is excellent, and here the SIII wins. But just because of a flash a camera won't be the best, and I think that's something we all understand.

Macro shots. All of them, the SIII, the XS and the 4S take stunning macro shots. I see a little more detail here in the SIII and the 4S compared to the XS, but that's just my eye. The truth is all three of these handsets produce amazing macro shots, and really, one can't tell which one of these macros looks better, not easily to lightly at least. So, what was Ray suppose to do? Pick one at random and say "this macro is the best even though it looks as pretty as the other two? Seriously. Once again, you just can't pick a clear winner, because the three perform admirably and the final results depend very much on the conditions you take the picture and what the final user expects.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 10:09

96. AgrazAlvaro (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


Some would argue that the best camera is the one with more settings. By this logic, the SIII would have the best camera. But this is still incredibly subjective because having all these options is nice, but they are no good if the camera is bad. Besides, the iPhone 4S lacks many options out of the box, but that clearly doesn't wash away the fact they it has one amazing camera. So in the end, once again there's no clear winner. It is very subjective.

By specs, you can't say which one is better either. 12 megapixels doesn't mean better photos, and the quality of the sensor depends very much of the quality of the manufacturer. Not all 8 megapixel sensors are created the same. And the specs of each camera won't work the same way in different scenarios. So, specs are important, but the final results are even more important, and that's what we are shown here. NO CLREAR WINNER.

In the end, just as Ray says, the best camera is the one you decide to like more. Philosophy? Maybe, but seriously, these cameras lack key features the others posses, and vice versa. You just can't say one is better just because of one feature, because all the others will tell a different story. All of them are great cameras. And which one is he best will always depend of the final user.

posted on 11 Jun 2012, 10:14

97. AgrazAlvaro (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


By the way, I really would have liked to see the HTC One X in this comparisson. Its camera is one of the best on a mobile phone out there, and some of its most amazing features, like the ability to shot photos and video at the same time, where there before they appeared in the SGSIII. Instead of the Galaxy Nexus, possibly the least appropriate camera here, Phone Arena could have included the One X.

A comparisson with the Nokia N8 would have been nice too, but since the handset is no longer top news, I could see why it's not included here. But that doesn't mean the Lumia 900 would be out of place, really...

posted on 13 Jun 2012, 17:32

98. letgomyeggroll (Posts: 137; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


Im starting to think this web site is a big fan of IPhone or some what. I have owned IPhone and Androids, including Samsungs. Samsungs by far takes the best pic vs any camera phones out there. I have see and exeperience the IPhone cameras and they all suck!!!! Sorry APPLE lovers, apple technology is still behind all the other smart phone out there. Including voice command, 3D cameras, HD, and etc. All their technology is BASED on other smart phones, but modified and renamed. Like Retina and PPI, really!!! Its HD!!!! And yeah they want to sue others for copy rights. But I have to give APPLE hands up for having the best marketting department, without them they are jus another device like Sony with BETA. The bottom line there is nothing a Android phone cant do that Iphone can, except for being track at all times, paying for more support and apps.

posted on 13 Jun 2012, 17:37 1

100. letgomyeggroll (Posts: 137; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


All the people that talk smack about Android phones, are the one that never even try an Android Phone. Let Go of the IPhone and u will see the factssss!!1

posted on 15 Jun 2012, 23:17

101. LodeStar (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


geezus christ a barrage of samsung versus the world articles!! ugh.. i duwana read it cuz i know whose writing these sh*T

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 10:58

103. sesherif (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)


i got the xperia s and galaxy s3 there is no way you tell me this phone beat it in term of still photo. i will no wounder if i find a comparison between nokia 808 pureview and s3 and u make the s3 looks better every reviewer trying to make any samsung product looks the best in the market and i think this is the way samsung used to market there products. rather than making adds i make you believe that any phone are worthless compare to this phone that's why you will find all samsung product are the best in any mobile review web sites but in reality it's not always true.

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