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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


Well, we can't say there weren't any surprises in this camera comparison. Honestly, we expected more from Nokia's Lumia 920, which was supposed to blast the competition out of the water. Instead, the 920 seemed to perform so-so in most cases, managing to convincingly outdo the others only when it comes to night shots.

Other than that, the usual suspects took the top spots. We once again saw Apple's and Samsung's offerings trade or even share the first places throughout most categories. We also didn't find big change in the way the iPhone 5, Galaxy Note II and S III achieve theirs awesome photos. While the iPhone 5 remains true to the approach of its predecessors, presenting us to sharp and vivid, if slightly unnatural images, the Galaxies stick to somewhat more natural looking, though not necessarily better overall results, all things considered.

Another conclusion we can make is that while HTC has almost gotten the hang of it with its cameras and they usually deliver satisfying results, they often feature some kind of color disbalance, making them look a bit weird when viewed next to the photos from other handsets. The manufacturer will certainly have to get rid of that if it wants its products to be truly competitive in terms of camera capabilities.

That's pretty much it, shutterbugs. Apple and Samsung have once again claimed the top spots in our camera comparison, though we do have the feeling that the others are slowly closing the distance. Let's hope that we'll see some other players join the grandmaster league of cameraphones in 2013!

  • Options

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:42 30

1. ama3654 (Posts: 295; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

well done Galaxies, top notch devices all round!

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 12:50 22

35. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Why do the seen results differ from the written ones? Oh, wait, Ray wrote it.

I am pleased with the effort and thoroughness, but there seems to be some strange skewing.

Also, no 808 PureView, Sony Xperia, etc?

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:22 10

42. abdullah (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

sony is the best bro

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 09:33 6

131. abhishek48 (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)

Good Joke,

People Please read
but Look at the indoor Shot.

HTC droid Dna is the only phone which has most details and you can actually see time in the clock in center, which you cant see on any other phone's photos, Outside photos are grt on all phones.

I have Droid DNA and it takes better sharper pics than even my Nikon L310 which is an advanced point and shoot with 21x zoom.

With best screen, best cpu and gpu and BEST Camera too DROID DNA owns all phones

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 05:25 2

143. trixxx05 (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Dec 2012)

Biased answer ;)

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 07:34 1

144. abhishek48 (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)

really , DNA has highest benchmark fluid performance best camera, PIcs are sharpest, to compare camera they need to keep all phones on same tripod as comparison is useless, do not and I am sure image sense chip with f 2.0 will come on top

posted on 15 Jan 2013, 08:05 2

158. badini007 (Posts: 18; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)

I totally agree with you Abhishek...
When I combined all above images and compared them Droid DNA image was having more details than others and here is the link for the combine image >4shared.com/photo/WQyRMs04/Camera_All.html

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 15:00 5

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

Butthurt about Nokia much?

The only true PureView, 808, would have absolutely embarrassed the bunch in this test, but it really isn't a relevant phone in other categories.
It can't be considered a high end smartphone, not by a long shot.

As for Sony, I agree they should've put it in the comparison but I doubt it would do more than average.
The upcoming Sony Exmor RS sensor is what we should be interested in seeing..I think it will be the camera to beat it 2013

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 17:27 17

66. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3913; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

PA, as i read through, i've noticed that no one has been actually satisfied with the comparisons. On top of that, Ray's name has been abused (whether biased or not, that's completely up to him. And i won't judge him on the matter, not saying that he is or he is not biased). And these things keeps on continuing...
My suggestion is to keep one separate professional especially meant for a particular subject throughout the site. For example, Ray can review phones, Michael can review apps, John can take care of the articles...
Ray, don't take this personal, it can be you or someone else reviewing new phones and the features inside it, that's great. But when it comes to a particular subject like this one, Camera, i want to read a real pro review it. See, Ray can't be reviewing phones and at the same time compare the cameras as well, that's not right.
Different individual reviewing a phone, when it goes against other phones compared by another individual results in confusing conclusion! Which is not good. What i'm giving is just a suggestion...i just don't like having to read the crowd go wild because of the confusing conclusion.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 03:01 1

90. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Good point, or, alternately, have each staff member put their comments in and a score, and go from there. So if we see "writer 4" giving "device C" 9 points while the other writers give it a 6, we can see any perceptional.differences.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 04:09 2

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

Or at least have each category have its own score. say there is 4 phones in the round up, have each category worth 4 points. 4 points to first, 3 points to second, ect. add up each category at the end for each phone and the winner is decided numerically. It still is biased by opinion like it always will be, but at least then its a clear cut winner at the end... none of this "well, this camera really did great in all the shots.. .but were gonna go ahead and throw it to the iphone for the win... because its an iphone"

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 22:28

119. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

That's an option, too. Car magazines have been doing it like that for decades. Biggest point of contention would be how points are scored/weighted

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 14:23 2

106. apocalypsebc (Posts: 148; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)

I agree! They should get results from professional photographers opinion. And from well known Photographers with high tec cameras.

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 19:44

135. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Well you have to note that Ray just put together the article. He didn't take (all) of the pictures. Check out the videos. "Hey guys Joooohn V..."
Just something to note.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 03:11 3

91. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Yes, the 808 would have put the others to shame for most of the contests (to the point that it could have been the baseline instead of the P&S), but calling it the "only true PureView" is silly. It is Nokia's name, they can apply it to what they want, just as apple will put "retina" and "I" on darn near anything they can, or Samsung naming everything but their non-smartphones Galaxy, even though initially that was reserved for their best smartphone, etc.

And no, I am not "butthurt"; the iPhail uses Sony optics which are right up there with Nokia in terms of smartphone camera quality (though Nokia excels on the software and pushing-envelope front) but the sudden juxtaposition of rankings and results from prior tests and reviews is mildly alarming, to whit, the Lumia bests the iPhail4Stretch on everything except still detail capture, which is likely resolvable with a software update. Mix these results with those in the Lumia 920 vs iPhail4Stretch and the ranking order should be switched.

That said, I am disappointed that HTC did so relatively poorly. For a while they had among the best smartphone cameras you could get outside of a Nokia N8.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 14:27 3

107. apocalypsebc (Posts: 148; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)

I agree as well. Did you see how the Lumia 920 wasn't even mention in the video test and by looking at the video it out shined the rest. Its great being able to go to other websites and get true infomation all around. Video/Camera!

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 17:41 4

116. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)

That's the OIS at work. I used it at a football game the other day. The guy in front of me used a galaxy at the same time. He was blown away by the results. I do hope that the software fix for the still shots gets here soon though. I would like to see the 920 find its way to the top of the list. All in all, these phones all have pretty good cameras.

posted on 13 Dec 2012, 11:48

149. cdgoin (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)

I Noticed the "Cropped" shots of the comparison, do NOT match the actual shots in the slideshow above. NO one there would adjust the pictures to make thier point..? Nah..

BTW zoom the actual photos and the iPhone is weaker than the Droids or Windows phones.

posted on 12 Feb 2013, 03:04

164. Sp12er (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)

Pureview is on a whole different dimension.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 13:52 11

47. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 164; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

the Iphone leads this battle not the galaxies this is obvious

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 15:47 12

56. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Features comparison:

1. Note 2
2. S3
3. Lumia 920
4. Nexus 4
5. DNA
6. 8X
7. iStretch or iPhone 5

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 00:19 5

80. CellieCell (Posts: 124; Member since: 14 Apr 2010)


did anyone else laugh when they saw john V's face? LOL sorry not trying to be rude. good smile.

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 01:46 5

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

1.S3 & Note 2
2.Lumia 920
3.iPhone 5 & Nexus 4
5.DNA & 8X
But for me is best 8 Megapixel Just Samsung Galaxy S3

posted on 03 Jan 2013, 11:50

157. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

nope iphone 5 has better cam than s3

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 21:39 4

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

lol... features yes..but camera

1. 808 PV
2. Lumia 920
3. N8
4. Xperia TX
5. iPhone 5

posted on 11 Dec 2012, 08:23 1

140. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 164; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

you forgot to put the camera of Nokia3310 before the IPHONE 5

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:46 20

2. xperiaboy (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)

no sony devices ? :(

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:46 2

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

These devices are a mere comparison of flagship phones that has usually, 8 megapixel sensors.

here's the real ranking of camera on smartphones to day by phone arena itself.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 10:18

101. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

It isnt just megapixels, otherwise a Titan 2 would win against anything short of an 808 PureView

posted on 10 Dec 2012, 04:07

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

hey, i think you're lost. I was not saying that it's a comparison in terms of pixel. I was just stating the fact that all the phones in this comparison are around 8MP modules.

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