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Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920 and Galaxy S III

0. phoneArena 12 Apr 2013, 09:14 posted on

Since the Samsung Galaxy S4 finally landed at our office several weeks ago, we've been having quite a lot of fun with it. First we gave it a full-blown review treatment and then we compared it to some of the smartphones it will be going toe to toe against. Yet we haven't taken an in-depth look at its camera capabilities, so that's what we'll be doing right now...

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

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 15:12 2

74. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

Yes, the defaults set for 6500K doesn't always look pretty. Penny, you know too much for your own good about photography! It's just too bad the same can't be said for the reviewers ;o)

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 17:19 3

79. Penny (Posts: 1648; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

Thanks, I appreciate the confirmation about the color temperature. I enjoy photography and am an amateur, but I do have a couple of great cameras that I've gotten some great shots with. Heck, I've even gotten great shots with my HTC Trophy.

With photography, as long as the equipment has the components that can allow you to take a great shot, it is all about how the photographer uses the equipment. The Lumia 920 empirically has some great components, and should be capable of taking much better pictures if you understand its tendencies.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:19 5

26. preet27in (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


posted on 16 Apr 2013, 16:06

162. KazEmpire (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)

i smell troll

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:24 5

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

well there all looking alrite, id say on most theres hardly any drastically noticable difference between them

as mentioned before the HTC one seems to be defective or have some problem that isnt normal, the s4 is a clear improvement on the s3 which is welcome. not as saturated but does seem too light compared to the others on the house pic. no im not attacking its camera before the fanboys attack. just saying what i see

as for a clear winner, cant see one.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:31 1

58. magnanimus (Posts: 542; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)

i thumbed you up on this one

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 05:39

152. ph00ny (Posts: 1235; Member since: 26 May 2011)

That's what people said about HOX camera reviews... defective

It looks like HTC is having a lot of awful lot of defective cameras on their phones reviewed by tech writers

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:25 2

30. Feanor (Posts: 710; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)

Right, so the conclusion for the HTC One; they fitted a camera which is so difficult to produce that has led to massive and dangerous for the company delays, that is rather bad marketing argument (many people won't go for 4MPx irrespectively of the Ultrapixel thingy) and ultimately that it produces the worst results among other flagships.... Bugger, this is quite a bad R&D decision...

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:37 3

33. amats69 (Posts: 1436; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

PA those are the old HTC One shots..i think they have a new upgrade for camera and it really have a big improvment on picture quality.pls include it on your next comparison

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:41 5

34. amats69 (Posts: 1436; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

for me Im 100 percent sure that HTC is doing the right move on Ultrapixels. maybe they just not perfected it with HTC One but i know they are doing it right on putting big sensors on camera of their phones..lets just wait and see....goodluck HTC!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 10:50 4

38. voxmarc (Posts: 332; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

and just keeps getting better and better......

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:01 12

40. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 704; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)

oo plastic haterzzz where r u now.............. come c this

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:06 8

43. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

I would say that the Lumia 920 is the winner, what do they mean by "distorts reality in the opposite way as it has its saturation dial turned way too high. That might work well in particular scenes, but others simply look unnatural."

This is just WRONG! In conclusion, the Lumia 920 is the winner!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:14 4

46. voxmarc (Posts: 332; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

feel free...

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:09 2

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

Its a shame that the HTC ONE has such a bad camera, everything looks grey, I'm gonna have to buy the S4 sadly.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 13:22 2

68. Gatorsrule52 (Posts: 85; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)

you should not buy a phone because of a camera comparison on single website, not even considering the opinions and camera shots of other sites. I think this comparison is a flawed...

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 08:22 1

110. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)

wouldn't really say it's flawed, but I do notice that the night shot, the One actually produces more details than the XZ. Just see the hotel logo above the neon "hotel" light. and the silver car, as well as the white car with decals on the doors.

I think HTC went the right way with "Ultrapixel" but as of now, it's still raw and needs more software refinement. I really think that the hardware is already good, just need better processing software.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:10

45. XperiaUser (unregistered)

so which one is better S3 or Z ????

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 22:37

163. X55526622233 (Posts: 17; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)

I have a xperia z, xperia ion, gs3, and Htc one X+.
honestly z is alot better that GS3

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:35 5

50. Whateverman (Posts: 3262; Member since: 17 May 2009)

The GS4 just dethroned the iPhone as best camera, but I have to wonder how long that will last. Once all the others start adding 13MP as well, will they see these kinds of improvements also? Huh...

Anywho, I would have to say...
1. GS4
2. iPhone 5
3. Lumia 920

I'm a little disappointed in the photos taken by the HTC One, but still had some great shots for a 4 UP camera.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:28 1

53. lubba (Posts: 1313; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)

PA, please don't add Nokia L920 to your tests anymore. Your just feeding your trolls that's all. Professionalism is more important than site fans.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:28 2

54. yero789 (unregistered)

Phonearena you are so unfair to Nokia,I mean their photos are good,really,I don't think that they're oversaturated,and at least I can say for sure that they're way better than HTC One!I know I will get many dislikes,but that's my opinion!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:30 5

56. magnanimus (Posts: 542; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)

did you check the images? they were really oversaturated

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:29 5

55. magnanimus (Posts: 542; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)

As this is a perfectly bias-free test, some Samsung haters will still disagree.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:31 1

57. rsiders (Posts: 913; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

I just want to know if these pictures are all shot on auto. Because you can get far better picture quality on some of the underperforming cameras when you tweak the settings. If the settings were tweaked on each phone to get each camera's best photo quality, then this is an accurate test. If not, I'm sure the results would differ from what we're seeing here. Just saying.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:42 5

61. barondebxl (Posts: 131; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)

Damn the S4 is really good. Wow.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:50 6

63. GuitarPlayer (Posts: 36; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

Ahhhhh another stupid camera comparison!!!!!!!!!! Lumia 920 get 3 in low light photo???!?!?! AHhahahahaha I have one S3 and one Lumia 920 and the diference in low light is HUGE! Lumia is much, much better! S3 is a monster smartphone , no need to lie that he takes good photos in low light. PA you need to make your homework!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:53 1

65. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)

Dont get mad, and wait for S4 release. U can buy it

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:52 6

64. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)

The winner is: Samsung Galaxy S4

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 13:17 9

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

Once again PhoneArena managed to get the worst shots on the 920! while every other fair websites praised it! and wtf with the night shots???

Here's a couple of quotes from other sites!


"The 920’s camera certainly performs well in low light conditions, a feature heavily focused on at its unveiling. In that respect, it outdoes every other smartphone in the market."


"The Nokia Lumia 920 sports a very capable camera. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, it can capture clear images at low shutter speeds that would elude any other phone on the market. This makes it an ace at low-light photography of stationary objects, and partially addresses the Achilles heel of every phone camera on the market except Nokia’s own 808: poor low light performance. OIS also helps with borderline shutter speeds that non-stabilized phones routinely use anyway. While they simply hope for the best, the 920 stands an excellent chance of delivering a sharp image."


"With or without Night mode enabled, the Nokia Lumia 920 has a clear advantage. It produced bright, crisp (-ish) photos with relatively little noise. Enabling Night mode lowers the shutter speed, which results in more motion blur in the worst case scenario. This makes Night mode better suited for static scenes with little or no movement, while automatic mode will do better in more dynamic scenes."

What's funny is that most websites actually compare it against THE BEST CAMERAPHONE the 808 PureView! why not you PhoneArena? you ashamed it would trash your precious iPhone and Galaxies?

But just wait till Nokia World for Nokia's next cameraphone beast!

BTW well done sammie for beating one year old phones in the 920 and iPhone5!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 15:20 8

75. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)

Angry Nokia fan detected -_-

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 13:18

67. Gatorsrule52 (Posts: 85; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)

i dont really understand this at all. why is it that in the previous comparison, the One was so superior to the other cameras in low light, Indoors, and night shots, and now its mediocre?

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 15:25 1

76. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)

Yea, s4 is much better. get over it

posted on 18 Apr 2013, 15:43

170. Gatorsrule52 (Posts: 85; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)

But... they are all the same phones except the S4. How did the One's camera performance fall below the camera performance in the phones it surpassed previously?

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 13:59 2

72. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)

jezzus im a lumia fan and i HAVE TO ACCEPT that the htc one owns the nigh video recordings EVERYWHERE i have never seen a night video so clear and natural as the htc one does, night pictures are dominated by the lumia 920 there is no contest PA stop begin so biased with samsung, they take the most close to real pictures and videos but thats about it, and the iphone? seriously? that allways zoomed in crap with yellowish colors? cmon guys this site im sure is the most hated for doing camera comparisons

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 18:54 2

80. BorisAndrei (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)

They should've added Nokia 808 also as their reference camera for smartphones. Yes its OS is so-so and outdated compared to other OSes but we can't deny its imaging prowess that also competes with some high-end digital camera. My point is to see how other manufacturers fare and how much thay have gone through to improve the camera of its smartphones. Maybe in the next SEVERAL years, the cameras of their flagship phones can come close to what the Nokia 808 offers that it's almost irrelevant to compare in terms of sheer image quality.

Just suggesting guys.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 19:02 1

81. tasior (Posts: 265; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

Am I the only one who sees this? The only picture with the guy. His face at S4 is pale as a zombie. How can You give highest ratings to the camera that makes people look like zombies? People will always criticise Your tests if You show pictures with obvious drawbacks and write that they're marvellous..

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 19:21

83. iNotSheap (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

OMG, PA you really need to learn how to use GH2!!!
I can't believe some photos actually came out better on phone than on 18.3 mp beast. Shame on u!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 19:36 1

85. pyradark (Posts: 857; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)

SO the Rankings are
1. S4
2. IPH5
3. XZ
4. S3
5. L920
6. H One

Very Good Comparison, all top 3 are sony sensor!!! thank god im going to get Xperia Z!!
thanks for this review

posted on 05 May 2013, 09:52

187. Velda (Posts: 16; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)

Top 4...

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 19:56 2

87. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

It is amazing how many Samsung haters there are. It seems like the jealousy is turning into rage. Interesting. Haha

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 06:23 1

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

mate why do you bother, samsung fanboys like you are the worst

no ones jealous of a device, i bet if they wanted it most on here could go and buy it difference is like all devices people should be allowed to say what they feel especially when people like you praise to the point of been a tragic little fanboy

whats behind your account, if your over 15 its pretty tragic

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 14:54 1

118. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Hey don't take out your butt hurt rage on me. It is not my fault that Samsung products cover the most bases and are usually superior to the brand that you champion. Blame Samsung. Oh wait! You already are!

You should blame Nokia or HTC for sucking so much in reality.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 16:23

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

lmao your such a idiot, seriously would love to see the little muppet behind your account. bet your not much in person

and samsung to you are god, so no point arguing with a delusional person like you. samsung products cover most bases yes superior.........no not in reality only in your tiny mind. there low to mid range phones are nothing to shout about. they shine in areas on there flagship phones and ofcourse the phablet market they pretty much own.

why you bringing nokia and HTC into it.....my comment didnt mention them ohh right because your sad little mind has made you think your part of samsung and you must defend the mothership

HTC on is an excellent phone and people are choosing it over the s4, like wise people will choose the s4 over the one its choice your dumbass nothing is the definitive best

your the only one who sucks, nokia dont suck android fans even say there excellent, HTC dont suck they just lack the marketing that apple has and that samsung learnt from and used too

your so easy to predict, now run along to your samsung land where you feel valid

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 21:58

128. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Lol you are hilarious! It amazes me how low your IQ is. Anyways, they are pretty up there in budget and mid range models too. Not just flagship phones.

I just give props where they are due. The Acer S7 ultra book is way better than any Samsung ultra book. The lumia 920 and HTC One is nowhere near the GS4 though and that is how I'll call it. Sorry if you don't like it. Haha

posted on 14 Apr 2013, 09:02 1

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

please kid your a proven samsung fanboy and HTC hater, you troll there articles like a sad act desperate for attention

and you question my IQ yet you comment nothing to counter what ive said. an idiot like you needs a life. your not so mouthy without your backup ive noticed. need someone to hold your hand? yes im taking the piss out of you as your such a little muppet you deserve it

again whatever excuse of a person is behind your account needs help and a life. least we can all laugh at your bs

posted on 23 May 2013, 19:43 1

195. yorcharturo (Posts: 9; Member since: 23 May 2013)

I remember when was Nokia the one that win this camera tests it was all the hate towards Nokia

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 20:05 7

88. -anonymous- (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)

This comparison is BS and clealy biased!! They must have done something with the Nokia 920 & HTC One because both look to be underperformed. Especially with the HTC One.
Check out this link with photos taken by HTC One and tell me either you don't have the brain to take photo or this is just a fake review.



posted on 12 Apr 2013, 20:39 1

90. -anonymous- (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)

(triple W).flickr.com/photos/94607533@N04/8615048993/light​box​/

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 20:14 4

89. lubba (Posts: 1313; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)

Nokia L920 over saturated? Not according to many of the other well known tech sites.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 20:51 1

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

Most people use postcard sized photos, so colour accuracy becomes more important than the level of detail. The galaxy s4 produces pictures that are over-exposed in bright conditions. Similarly, colour reproduction indoors is very poor - whites come out pink and greens look more olive.

Say what you like, the Lumia 920 takes the best pictures overall.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 21:37

93. phil2n (Posts: 487; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

Did they update the phone to Portico? .. i mean the Lumia?

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 00:29

96. shreyas.s666 (Posts: 80; Member since: 24 Aug 2012)

these are paid reviewes ..iphone 5 dont even have that heavy flash light..lol pa should really change there name to samsungarena or iphonearena..i personnaly compared l920 and iphone5 pics from my frnd phone..which he has both.damn pa.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 00:34

97. shreyas.s666 (Posts: 80; Member since: 24 Aug 2012)

ht tps://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=B7991C5F81890D​12!2519&authkey=!ALtLJrLd0x9Nink

this photo was taken through my l920 after portico update 2.0

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 04:26 1

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

loool! "Lame-ia" XD

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 06:24 1

104. slannmage (Posts: 148; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

Such a shame the mics still suck on the GS4, still wont be able to record concerts then I guess :\

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 06:27 1

105. slannmage (Posts: 148; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

The 920 quality sucks, I've owned one (sold it because Windows Phone is s**t) and the pictures were really bad, the only thing I liked about it was the video and sound quality. The actual pictures though for daylight photos were really bad, Nokia do so much processing of the image, it makes it look much worse. I have an 808 and even though pictures look much better in daylight compared to the 920, the pictures still have some of the same blurry effects, the 920 though just over saturates everything.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 06:36

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

ok bored of these bs comment about any phone (mainly windows phones on here from trolls and bots)

first off the 920 pictures in daylight are to par with other flagships, your talking out your ass. nokia are known for using little to no post processing. they have the more natural colours. samsung/apple use alot of post processing to get more vibrant colours

''I have an 808 and even though pictures look much better in daylight compared to the 920, the pictures still have some of the same blurry effects''

well first off idiot the 808 would be better in daylight then the 920, its better then all current flagships so whats your point there? plus i doubt you had any of the phones you claim. theres no blurry effect your again spewing bs

so what else you got kid

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 06:50

108. slannmage (Posts: 148; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

You can have your opinion, I've had an 920 and have an 808 now until the GS4 comes out and then I'll sell my 808, so I'll have my own opinion thanx.

I found both phones to be rather over rated, the 808 is very slow thanx to either symbian or the poor specs that cannot handle a sensor of the size. On top of that the 808 is horrible for night shots and if you use any exposure you'll get amp glow issues, which I see in the HTC One night shots on this site actually.

The 920 image quality was just horrible, everything looked like a blurry cartoon, like I said it was only good for video and the sound quality, which I found it to be better than the 808.

I've used both Symbian and Windows Phone 8 obviously and never again, they both felt like dead platforms you couldn't do anything on because of a lack of apps. Windows Phone was way more stable, yet it lacked the customization of Symbian, so it felt even worse in a way because I couldn't do a lot of simple things you can do on Symbian.

Android is currently the best, it may not be a stunner, however it by far has the best functionality. People say it's a poor performer, I've not had any problems with Android since the GS2 came out.

I also don't see how you find it hard to believe that someone on a tech site hasn't owned more than one phone? I swap my phones a few times every year thanx, it's not hard to sell one phone and buy a new one. I sold the 920 and lost no money cause the 808 was cheap, I'll sell the 808 and get the GS4 and most likely when the next big phone comes out I'll sell the GS4 and get that.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 07:05 1

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

ok more bs thats been disproven by so many reviews and tech sites yet amazingly you say the opposite lmao

ok first the 808, belle fp2 is as smooth as android so your comment is crap. just because its symbian you think the slow comment can go under the radar but its based on bs. even on a single core belle fp2 is a smooth as android and ios. night shots arent horrible. just change the iso and turn flash off for many situations helps. play with the setting why dont you

the 920 was on par with all other flagships so you must be saying all flagship are horrible right. there was even an update that improved the camera so how is it you somehow hate both nokia phones and incredibly the 2 camera phones giants were in your words ''horrible''

as for os, thats preference. wp8 doesnt feel dead. your talking more bs. symbian is dead but still has all the functionality of android on less specs. this shows android too power hungry for what it gives.

''Android is currently the best, it may not be a stunner, however it by far has the best functionality''

no its not, it may be the best for you but its not the best. all os's have there pros and cons just choose what you prefer. as for best fuctionality all os's cover the basics and have there advantages so again falls flat.

''I also don't see how you find it hard to believe that someone on a tech site hasn't owned more than one phone? I swap my phones a few times every year thanx''

what are you on about, who are you talking about. just falling on rehash of old comments arent you. ive owned many phones, not all listed on here i only listed the ones i had for more then a year.

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