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Camera comparison: iPhone 5 vs Nexus 4 vs 8X vs DROID DNA vs Lumia 920 vs Note II vs Galaxy S III

0. phoneArena 07 Dec 2012, 10:30 posted on

Phone cameras are constantly getting better and better. True, they do so at a relatively slow pace, but they are moving forward, despite the limitations imposed by the thin profiles of today's phones. Those who have been with us for longer know that we like doing such ...

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

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:56 7

8. valapsp (Posts: 474; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


I think the main competition is between the Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and the Galaxy note 2 (Galaxy S3 is pretty much the same as galaxy note 2)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:57 16

9. jubbing (Posts: 150; Member since: 20 Aug 2008)


I think there's def something wrong with the outcome of the Lumia 920 in the video department. Other comparison sites show the Lumia 920 is better than the lot, though I can agree with the warm tones on the other tests.

iPhone 5 is still clearly the overall winner, but there's no 'perfect' camera phone. Buy a DSLR if you want that.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:09 14

14. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Well I know the Note 2 camera is pretty awesome though I am not sure about the Lumia 920 not doing just as well considering the tech behind it. Pretty much every review I have seen puts its camera really above everyone else even the iPhone 5.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:15 2

19. mydi.maus (unregistered)


none of them are naughty or nice,all pics came out just perfect slightly from a little angle came blurry on some point..but still,..great phones.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:17 17

20. gb1011 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


Typically iphonearena.com (y)

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 00:36 2

81. brucewayne (Posts: 29; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


every sentence reveals their bias towards iphone.even the ones who dont hate iphone will start hating them cos of PA's favorism..too much sugar is bad..

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:17 7

21. gazmatic (Posts: 603; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


htc sucks... my god!!!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:24 10

23. Aphorism (Posts: 5; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


The strange thing is, that in the comparison between the 920 and i5, you write concerning the 2 cameras, there is no doubt, the winner is the Nokia Lumia. And here we change our opinion due to... what?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:56 7

29. gazmatic (Posts: 603; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


best question asked since.... but... wateva... let the apple fans take the win... their phone to them is jesus and it is blasphemy to put any other phone above it

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 14:51

52. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Due to falling for the Nokia hype

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:44 4

25. gazmatic (Posts: 603; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


soo... it is iphone, galaxy, lumia, nexus then htc?

ok..

i can deal with that...

heads will start imploding now...

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:52 6

27. Credo (Posts: 693; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Try switching the lumia with the iphone ;)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:55 1

28. _Bone_ (Posts: 2124; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Nokia should release a proper W8 PureView cameraphone.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:58 6

30. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Interesting how there are no low light to no light samples. and i love how the purpleview ip5 camera vins. im starting to think all these websites are biast... :(

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 12:00 4

31. pfroo40 (Posts: 28; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


It looks as if Nokia spent so much time engineering the hardware on the pureview camera that they didn't pay enough attention to the software. All the issues with the quality of photos for the 920, like soft details, over saturation etc, can be resolved via software updates. If they want to put the effort into it, that is.

Personally I'd rather go for the better hardware and wait for software updates.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 22:00

76. lolol (Posts: 64; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


Same here :) They sure will update, they wouldnt want their flagship's cam to be like this..

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 12:33 5

32. The_Innovation (Posts: 554; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


The iPhone took it.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 12:41 8

34. LionStone (Posts: 447; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


"we came to the conclusion that the iPhone 5 is the leader of the pack in this respect."

I stopped reading after that sentence. Clearly in the first set of photos of the sign: No vehicles beyond this point, look at the bark on the tree right above the sign...ip is darker and not much detail, whereas the DNA you can see DETAIL in the bark. These guys doing these comparisons need their eyes checked.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 12:58 1

36. Ostoreh (Posts: 6; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


where is the xperia T ???

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:11 2

37. RapidCat (Posts: 351; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


samsung and iphone have fine image
nokia 920 the sharpnes is way over, i don't like it, and alot of noise.
HTC the worse of all camera phone.
and panasonic not a phone
just saying.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:16 2

59. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


I refer you to my comment below #58. Nothing (except maybe the 808) comes even close to the camera on the Lumia 920

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:21

39. myownchoice (Posts: 22; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)


What about panorama?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:22 7

41. javorr (Posts: 14; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


What is this phone arena? Two Samsung phones with identical cameras and no Sony in the comparison.
This site is going down.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 22:05

77. lolol (Posts: 64; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


ikr, that was really dumb :/ they never include sony :/

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:43 6

45. omar98 (Posts: 30; Member since: 28 Aug 2011)


-cough- 808 pureview and lumia 920 are the best - cough-

but hey no surprise Ray has written it the apple fan boy and where is sony for gods sake

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 14:13

48. starandmountain (Posts: 50; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Can someone explain me why the video of the galaxy note 2 (have to say i didn't watched the other ones) are a little bit shocky? i really want to buy this phone, but why is it so shocky? and is it possible to get 60 fps on the note 2 like on the galaxy s3 showed in an article a little while ago? The pictures of the note 2 are beautiful! Thank you!:D

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 14:17 6

49. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Sorry Ray, but I call your personal favortism to the iphone in question for these tests. I'm sitting here looking at a lot of these shots and the iphone's shots didnt look much if at all different than the nexus4s shots for a majority yet you praise the living dailights out of your iphone and completely ignore the N4 over and over again.

Also, on the macro shot, the Nokia should have gotten last place, not top 3. focused or not, it had horrible over-saturation. there was nearly no detail in the flower because of it. And again, the N4 while producing a solid shot got completely ignored.

Hmm constant praise for the pure apple experience while completely ignoring the pure google experience while they both had very consistent shots. The N4's camera isnt magical or perfect, but it sure as hell didnt do so bad that it should be ignored. You didnt even mention it in your conclusion at all. Forgot that it was in your round up?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 15:03

54. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


remixfa, you forgot that the iphone is like that dude in Twilight - both sparkle....

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:26 1

63. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I didnt want to make that reference since the N4's back actually sparkles. lol

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 18:05

117. bucky (Posts: 1387; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


I had the nexus and it's great but it doesn't have a camera that even remotely competes with the sga3 or iPhone.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 14:44 4

50. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


So much for that through the roof overhyped tank aka Nokia 920.
Gimmick!!
What else is left on that innovation showcase to set it apart from others?
Super sensitive screen? Cheap Xperia Sola, check (can be operated with gloves too )
Wireless charging? Galaxy S3, check.
Oh I know what sets it apart - the massive bulk and weight

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:28

64. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


its still a good camera. Looking at the pix there is little difference other than saturation and noise between the cameras... well, except for the HTC's.

Its just more saturated than even Samsung likes, which can push the boundaries of "pretty vs crazy saturation".

A software update can fix that though, hopefully it rolls out shortly.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 14:47 1

51. TheCynicalTechie (Posts: 70; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Nokia needs to fix the settings of the software with an update. Or better yet, give us access to the settings.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 15:45

55. ChafedBanana (Posts: 359; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Now for a front camera comparison.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:06 2

57. cncrim (Posts: 499; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Hey PA, can you do the test on all these device in low light? Most camera and sensor doing pretty good in bright light but how about low light.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:24

62. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


click through the "review index" :)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:11 1

58. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


Here is a much better comparison. Be sure to expand the photos to enjoy the full noise experience of the note 2:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenokiagallery/8250215015/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenokiagallery/8250214113/in/photostream/

lol... and this is supposedly the best that android has to offer

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:37 3

69. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


What is wrong with you?
The review clearly stated that galaxies were bad at low light, and that Nokia won that one.

Awesome. Knock your self out with that fact!
I prefer using my camera at DAYLIGHT. Imagine that!
And in daylight, androids are BETTER than your overhyped "PureView".
You have the above article as a proof.

And you dare to go lol? Pathetic!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:21 3

60. Sarajevo (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)


This is ridiculuos. Even Nokia N8 has better camera than others presented here (except Lumia 920). PA you really don't like Nokia, do you? :-)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:27 1

67. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Ridiculous? That coming from ridiculously biased and ignorant Nokia fanboy .
There was a big "blind" (us readers were judges!)photo comparison on this site, featuring bunch of 8mpx androids, iPhone and the Nokia N8.. N8 ended up at the bottom easily

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 02:27 3

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


you still has some serious problem with your eyes. Should I pay for your visit at med's center?

if you like oversaturated colors, take iphone.
If you prefer natural colors, buy N8.
You're obviously one of those who prefer when someone pimps up their reality so they can live in peace.
What's more, when your garbage from cupertino showed the tendency to produce oversaturated phots, it was ok. because it was THE iphone and pictures LOOKED more colorful and vivid, even though unrealistic.
When 920 produces a little bit oversaturated, it's the worst camera of all time.
Give me a break man.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 04:49 1

95. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


You just made no sense whatsoever.
Anyway, I was wrong.. that test was done on GSMArena, not here..the 808 was there too and it did spectacularly, the N8 miserably..

http://www.gsmarena.com/pureview_blind_test-review-773p3.php

Case closed.
Get over it

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 15:04

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


but you're a typical Nokia hater what you've proved so many times so far... so you'd better crawl under the same rock you got out and spare us your opinions.
keep playing with your sony.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 17:15 1

113. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I could be the greatest Nokia hater but that won't change the fact that I operate with FACTS and that I presented you with the actual public opinion based comparison that couldn't have been more fair, and less biased.

And only the utterly idiotic, sad Nokia fanboy like you are, will deny it and deal with it in the way you just did.
You guys make me sick.

Oh and I have a galaxy s3.. had a Sony before and am a Sony fan, but that didn't stopped me from keeping my eyes open and realizing what the best phone is.
Now you go crawl back under your rock and go play with that toy that you call smartphone.

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 00:41

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


hush!! boy
fish and idiots have no voice
these are not facts
you've never owned any of above, neither N8 nor 808 or 920 so your opinion is not a fact only your statement.
take it and tuck it deep into your...you know what.

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 09:15

130. Sarajevo (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)


Photo comparison on this site? That is it - "on this site"! There are different stories on other sites. And there is only one champion in photography - Nokia. It does not matter is it N8, PW 808 or Lumia 920...

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 16:30 3

65. samthesam (Posts: 3; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Umm..... Where is the one X? Maybe they didn't want to have something beat the iPhone?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:40

70. nwright94 (unregistered)


8x is practically the one x with windows phone 8. Comparable results between the two.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 10:44

102. amansingal14 (Posts: 286; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


And the Sony Xperia T?
Lumia 920 losing in video dept.?
Apple again winning while the PA people in their comparison of Lumia 920 vs iPhone 5, S3 and even 8x claimed that the lumia performed better. Why contradict your own statement, eh PA?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:36

68. makgadget96t (Posts: 7; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)


I'm very disappointed with this article being that it seems to be wit ten by somebody who went into the comparison "knowing" what the out come would be. Through all of my video and photophile experience the order would have been more like the Nokia 920 my a mile for two main reasons: very low light performance and image stabilization which conveniently wasn't addressed at all. The iPhone 5 next then the others kind of lumped together after that. It's interesting that the tendency for the Nokia 920 to have slightly saturated shots (this is preferred by most people) is the very same thing that helped the original iPhones make a name for themselves.
. Anyhow I have a Note 2, had a Nitro, and the wife has a Nokia 920, family have iPhones. We all rely on our camera phones more than the stand alone cameras. The Nokia has impressed every person that has seen and used it.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 18:07

71. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 849; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


Awesome, another comparison where we can see how underwhelming the 920 really is. Lets see if Nokia is paying attention. Maybe its a good thing that Damian left. The guy could do anything with Symbian and made the 2 best camera phones in the world that still to this day
can't be beaten. That kinda says something about the difficulty of achieving great results with this WP platform. Maybe I'm wrong. Hopefully I am. Nokia can make the best camera out there. The question is wtf happened with the 920 here and why couldn't they give us an N8 like camera once again?

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 02:22

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


Wait a little bit. It camera technology is their ace up in the sleeve they won't give it up. The problem is probably their agreement with micros**t.
They showed they can do outstanding camera (n82, n8, 808 recently with a monstrosity 41 mpx module and loosless zoom. Now, the focused on low light capabilities. I believe that when they release the 3rd wave of Lumias the will mix these features into one, great device. Anyway, even now photo quality of Lumia, either daylight or, especially, lowlight, are marvelous and enough for most of us.
I must say that since I have bought N8 almost 2 years ago, I stopped carrying stand alone camera. Even when I downloaded pictures on my computer or tv screen, they were more than plausible (not each one of them because, unfortunatelly, I'm used to taking photos on the move;) ).
The truth is that Nokia is by far the only company which has so humongous experience in camera department, sony lost something, and they put a lot of effort to show something new and push the boundaries. N8 capabilities and the first really good 720p footage with a steady framerate and amazingly good sound recording. After it they released the PureView technology which shows a different approach to the mobile photography (avoiding huge sensors which, if you don't want your phone looks like the newest samsung camera, is the way to go). Lately, we've been pleasured by 920 which shoots terrible good photos at night (and it was always a huge drawback of any cameraphone).
The rest is just pumping up cpus and gpus, adding some silly imagesense which don't work and suffer from oversampling, oversharpness, etc.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 19:12

73. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


A nice personal opinion in form of an article. Don't take it as a FACT because opinions aren't facts :)

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 19:30

74. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)


phone arena says the reviewers dont get paid to write reviews but they never mentioned if they get a bonus or not!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 20:33 4

75. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


iphonearena didnt selected lumia 808 because of the fear that iphone will loose

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 23:24

79. theyseemetrollintheyhatin (Posts: 10; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)


it is safe to say they all do a good enough job in case a high end camera is not near by. i can tell you one thing all these cameras suck at --zoomed in pictures----

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 01:21 1

82. Appleyy520 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


i suppose xiao mi m2 is the best smartphone. i have ordered one from IBUYGOU.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 02:03 2

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


Lumia's video is the best. Period. The funny thing is that in Lumia's review they marveled at its camera, especially video and said it blew out of the water every other phone on the market. Yet, in a comparison like this one it fared worse than the rest.
What the hell????
I must agree that Nokia put a focus on low light capabilities and when daylight photos are really good, but not outstanding (it goes to 808) the videos are amazingly steady, crisp and clean (thanks to ios).

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 02:42 1

89. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3009; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Ughh...dude, seriously... It's OIS not ios. That's Apple...

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 15:03

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


my mistake...wrong letter)

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