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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 08 Dec 2012, 02:40

88. TMach (Posts: 457; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Where is the Xperia T in this test? As far as my experience and eyes can tell, I prefer pictures taken with the One X over those of the iP5. On a recent trip to the States, my pal and I compared shots taken with the iP5 and my Xperia T and there was no argument as to which took the better pics so much so that it is those taken with XT being circulated to friends. What do I know, as I can't claim to be an expert on thesethings but surely the test is what appeals in real life use. On a separate point, correct me if I am wrong but does Sony not make the sensors for the iP5?

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 04:18

93. belovedson (Posts: 988; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)

In the future can we get a comparison by the other authors from this forum. Also I think the picture comparison comes down to software. So can we use a better softwared app being used for the android phones. I have a feeling the comparisons would differentiate dramatically once a standardized app is being used over stock.

For example I can get much better shots on the automatic settings from the app camera zoom fx over stock at times

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 04:21

94. JanBanan (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)

Jesus! The whole test is sponsored by Verizon. No wonder the 920 didn´t score higher. Bye, bye iphonearena.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 05:45 1

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

omg.. again a BIASED DECISION. why phone arena guys dont wanna commit that iphone sucks.... hahahahaha they r always praising things of the past. take this example. guys GROW UP. leave these tests for phone users, they will comment themselves. !!!!! nyways i phone sucks

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 06:19 2

97. Thephonegeek (Posts: 118; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)

BIAS!BIAS!BIAS!BIAS Phonearena has proven itself again iphonearena and galaxyarena. The cameras of GS3 and Nexus 4 and Note 2 is sony made. There is no way that any other smartphone could defeat Xperia T

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 15:10

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

why not? it's a matter of optimalization, software and a couple of other things. Sony may produce a camera module, but what the rest do with it is a different story.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 17:25

114. romeo1 (Posts: 718; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)

also there is sony better than the rest ;)

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 08:25

100. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2115; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


posted on 08 Dec 2012, 11:15 1

103. supersammyfans (Posts: 26; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)

Sorry, to me is Samsung or nothing.

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 05:40 3

138. AplhaMale (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Dec 2012)

More like SamSuck

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 11:59 1

104. padimatt (unregistered)

Have had the 920 for 2 weeks. Love the photos. from previous apple ownership, seems that the iphone takes great outdoor photos but indoor it suffers. would love to see more indoor shots. has apple improved the indoor with the iphone 5?

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 16:25

111. nando2do (Posts: 53; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)

i think the difference is minimal so either one you pick unless you are a apple, android, wp fan you shouldnt be dissapointed if you get any other results than the one you love, i found this note to be subjective and not quite professional, so PhA conclude the iphone is the best, what if someone else think differently? is not objective and unless you really take the pictures to a lab, until then this will still be a fan note.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 16:28 3

112. gazmatic (Posts: 795; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

The saddest part of this article is that in other reviews on this same site, the lumia won but somehow on this particular review it lost. Talk about contradicting yourself. How could the iphone win? The iphone and nexus basically have the same camera yet no nexus in top three. No sony or moto? Why two samsung with the same cameras? If you dont want people to call you bias at least have some consistency. If the lumia lost here it should have lost everywhere else. If the iphone won here then it should have won everywhere else. I do not own either phone nor do I have apple, nokia or microsoft stock. Whether they succeed or fail wont matter to me but come on PA. Redo this but only with lumia, moto, sony, apple, htc and lg.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 17:28 2

115. romeo1 (Posts: 718; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)

of the bunch they've tested the lumia takes the crown in my opinion

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 18:10

118. bucky (Posts: 2580; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

Oh the tears.

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 19:57 2

122. TechCheque (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)

What can I say, the photos taken in Lumia 920 look FREAKING AMAZING. While the other phones have washed out cold colors with too much blue, Lumia produces warm photos. And just look at how it captures the colors of the flower or especially colors of the sky, while other phones show mostly white and way overexposed skies.

About the video recording, again, Lumia's colors outmatches all others, and seems like the image stabilization and High Ampliture Audio Capturing microphones (captures soundpressure level 140Db) mean nothing in your comparison. So it's ok to produce shaky video with distorted sound in your opinion? If the result is otherwise almost tie in your opinion, then Lumia 920 outmatches everybody with the other video features

In low light shoot, Lumia 920 DESTROYS its competitors, so I don't get why you say "we expected more". If the quality of other phones have surprised that does not mean their cameras are even near the quality of Lumia 920

See, it was not so difficult to pick the winner when you just focus a little bit more on the facts.

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 06:34

139. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

the lowlight photos looked great yea.. but the macro photos looked like neon play-dough and were by far the worst of the group yet it got automatic praise.

All the cameras are just fine other than the always sucky HTC. Its a matter of preference on saturation mostly.

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 19:59

123. raphz (Posts: 37; Member since: 22 Oct 2012)

are you kidding me?

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 20:54 5

124. potatosalad (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 May 2012)

why no nokia 808 pureview in the competition?

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 21:11 1

125. potatosalad (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 May 2012)

and why no Sony handset in the competition?

and who the hell gives me a thumbs down!

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 21:47 1

126. theo14461 (unregistered)

Wake up people! Samsung and Apple make the best phones to date, period!!

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 00:32

127. MC1123 (Posts: 1255; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

should have add 808 pureview and a sony phone in this comparison! coz apple use sony sensor for their iPhone...

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 14:53 4

134. ruffhowzin (Posts: 4; Member since: 10 Dec 2012)

There seems to be a bias towards the iPhone and Samsungs. After seeing the samples, I would say the Lumina 920 has the best camera overall.

3) The 920 has the best exposure/dynamic range, IMO. On the samples, we see all the cameras blow out the highlights on the clouds and the trees. You can see much more details in the clouds on the 920. You can always lighten up areas with photo editing, but you can't add detail lost from overexposure. The iPhone 5 comes in 2nd for me.

4) On the indoor shots, the 920 is first or second in giving the most pleasing shots, except for the portrait shot which turned out blue. I liked its white balance that removed the yellowish cast of the indoor lighting. It also gave the most even exposure and focus between the toys in the foreground and background in all the still shots.

5) I agree with the 920 having the most usable night shots. They may be a little too bright and blue, which can be easily fixed by darkening and color balancing. The other phones had darker night shots. If you tried to brighten these, you'd get a lot of noise.

7) The video on the 920 was of the best but was not even mentioned in the written review. I wish in the speed evaluation, there was actual tests for off-to-first-shot times, shot-to-shot times, and burst mode speed.

Also, The iPhone does not have as wide a focal length as the other phones, which is useful for group shots.

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 20:39

141. MC1123 (Posts: 1255; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

dont be surprise... PhoneArena is apple and samsung fanboy...

they didnt even include sony xperia TX on this and we all know that next to nokia, sony is best in camera phone technology..not apple not samsung!!! and BTW apple use sony's sensor!

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 05:38 1

137. AplhaMale (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Dec 2012)

much of a muchness. they all look the same to me

posted on 12 Dec 2012, 09:05 3

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

I'm sad to say, that this is the first article I've ever read on your page, that I think is rubbish.

e.g. In indoor section You say that IPhone5 and SIII are one of the best, and then You post indoor pictures, from which You can clearly see, that S III picture is completely blurred, and IPhone is right behind SIII, when it comes to blur.

In color reproduction, You criticise lumia for it's over saturation (probably rightfully), but You fail to mention, that other cameras (SIII and HTC ) let too much white into pictures. Lumia thanks to it oversaturation is the only one, where You can actually see some blue color in the sky. I agree that in this category Note II and IPhone are the best, but SIII looks much worse than Lumia (better to have to warm pictures, than white pulp)

I like Your articles for it's professionalism, but this time I think the article had predetermined winners, and You just tried to explain Your decisions, not determine the winners. If it's not the case, that means, that You chose wrong pictures to post, because they didn't show Your points to be true.

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 08:35

145. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2071; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Biased comparison -_- !

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 08:39 2

146. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2071; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Nokia Lumia 920 was supposed "blow the competition out of the water" only in low light conditions & HD video capture , & it did by a long way !!

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 11:40

147. cdgoin (Posts: 533; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)

Could he be more a Apple fan boy.. clearly in the first shot the 8X wins. In other shots, I see a issue with saturation on a few of them. But did he have it on auto or actually use the features of the camera..? I think not.. simply someone already had their mind made up before they wrote the article.

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 11:44 1

148. cdgoin (Posts: 533; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)

Also notice no low light shots.. because the Apple kind of sucks at it.. Where the 8X and Nokia 920 do a great job. What a crock of junk.

posted on 15 Dec 2012, 07:35

150. phonemirer (Posts: 111; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)

come on people, we all know that the best cameras are the 808, the lumia 920 and the galaxy camera maybe, and what about the purple tint on ip5 photos ?

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 00:44 1

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

Don't believe these opinionated PA fanboys. They are tech geeks. They don't believe in anything innovative if it doesn't have Apple's or Google's stamp of approval. They only hunger for more cores and more apps. Something so awesome, easy, and intuitive like FB integration on WP, they have no clue what it is or does. They have to have wallpapers, Gmail (for some unknown reason), they like that same ole grid view, they like the bloatware that they can't delete, they like that complication, popularity, yet all they do is txt, play games, and make phones calls and show off that their phone has the best camera when it Doesn't. What do I say. Hey if they feel good about it, be my guest. I say the photos on the Lumia are top notch and friends using iPhones agreed. At the end, do you have faith in clowns or reality.

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 16:24

152. TMach (Posts: 457; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Seriously, I think you need to take a close look in the mirror......you sound pretty much like those you describe although substitute WP for Apple or Android.

posted on 19 Dec 2012, 06:13 1

153. picassimo (Posts: 14; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)

This is a very poor comparison:

Appears that shots were taken only once. Regardless of steady (sharp) or shaky (blurry) shots, or with interference from other lights like oncoming cars. You base your comparison on the first try. iPhone 5 in the interior shot was a blurry mess, yet it came out on top. How do you judge a winner by a blurry picture?

Any mention about optical image stabilzation (OIS) on the Lumia 920 when taking the video? Any comments about the sound quality of the videos from various cameras, like the lack of lows on the iPhone 5 and SGS3, or the muddled Nexus 4?

Anyways, this whole comparsion is a joke. No consistency, just pure first attempt and then post it.

I'll leave it for PhoneArea or DPReview's Connect to real comparison than this amature try.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 17:39

154. illsar (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)

Where is a Optimus G???

posted on 23 Dec 2012, 07:13

155. SomikSharma (Posts: 7; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

this a good comparison but if also compared with samsung galaxy camera.

Check hybrid combination of Android and Digital camera from Samsung. Yeah! it's Samsung Galaxy Camera at,


posted on 30 Dec 2012, 04:51 1

156. prahladvarda (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Dec 2012)

my friend..when you write an article on a topic like this, you should be broad minded, and consider every device as a good one..having a single device(like how you've done in the above for iphone 5) as THE GOOD ONE in the mind, results in an article that openly shows that the narrow-mindedness of the writer..

i am not saying iphone is not a good performer..it does well in many aspects, but in the same way, lags behind in quite a number of aspects..for example, u cant change the capture resolution, and video resolution is set to 1080p..u have 1gb left on the phone, but want to take a half an hour video on ur phone and high clarity is not the most essential at that time but the full video is important, but video on iphone turns out to be only 14 minutes' one while the galaxies, lumias, optimuses, nexuses can keep it going and going..

i just read some posts in here calling u "fu**ing apple fanboy"...u write review so nicely but with no material or truth in it..people get fed up of this..i just want that not to happen..so i am giving u an advice:all that costs more may not be good, all that is cheap may not be bad..be more open minded..

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 10:08

167. terabyteRouser (Posts: 457; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

relax bro, just look at the pictures

posted on 15 Jan 2013, 11:10

159. Shino (banned) (Posts: 196; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Uhhh, where is the Pureview 808? Did you, PA, review again 920 performance after the software fix for the camera? I do not see Sony Xperia T as well.

posted on 21 Jan 2013, 05:31

160. d.scythe (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)

what the hell???
no 808 pureview?
what kind of contest was this !!!
screw you phonearena...
you should have make the comparison more precise...

posted on 21 Jan 2013, 23:50

161. lolo8144 (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)

Saturation of WP8X+Nexus 4= iPhone5?

posted on 22 Jan 2013, 06:49

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

@tmach. You read the article and you know where they stand. Why do I say what I do, because I did my own comparison! The out come was not the same as they described. But whatever. I don't frequent this site as I use too. Journalism has become a mere opinion rather than real world research.

posted on 22 Jan 2013, 08:10

163. prahladvarda (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Dec 2012)

Cost of iPhone 5 = sum of costs of all others..:-P

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 09:54

165. padimatt (unregistered)

nokia 920 owner here. my low-light photos/indoor photos are better, my brother's iphone 4s are better outside....just my opinion...really, if you are that obsessed with a camera, buy a real one...still believe a phone is for "snapshots"...it still does NOT replace a camera....UNTIL they can get a decent zoom on one.

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 10:07

166. terabyteRouser (Posts: 457; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

From what I saw:

1. iPhone 5
2. Galaxy Note 2
3. Galaxy S3
4. HTC 8X
5. Nokia Lumia 920
6. Droid DNA
7. Nexus 4

iPhone5 & Lumia seemed to perform some extra warming and saturation of photos. The Lumia was little more heavy handed in this regard. According the benchmark, sometimes the photo looked better because it wasn't actually what was there, due to increased saturation of color.

The DNA seemed to lack sharpness. It also seemed to lack sufficient vibrancy in photos. Colors appeared a little more dull.

The 8X did a good job at temperature reproduction but sometimes failed in color balance and lighting.

The Galaxy series performed excellent in almost all test scenarios. I am pretty impressed.

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