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Blind cameraphone comparison 2

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Blind cameraphone comparison 2
Picking out the best smartphone camera out there is a task you, our readers, have proven great at. Last time we gave you three smartphones and a digital camera in a blind comparison, but the gap between those different types of devices was too large. That's why this time we've decided to bring only smartphones. The rules remain the same, though – we won't give you the names of the devices until the very moment when the results get published. This time, the blind test includes four high-end smartphones, each from one of the four major US carriers. That's the biggest clue we can give you about the handsets, solving the rest of the puzzle is up to your perceptive eye and questioning mind.

While this method leaves some of the best cameraphones out of the equation (think, Nokia N8), it gives an approximation of what you can expect from current top notch carrier offers and their camera performance. In this test, we've also separately taken images with a point-and-shoot digital camera for reference.

The photos represent some common scenes – landscapes, a shot with direct sunlight in the way and a portrait. We've separated the pictures in two categories and we'd ask you for your votes about the overall quality of stills downsized to a common web format first. Don't hesitate to vote and share the reasons for picking a particular device in the comments below – color balance, proper exposure and dynamic range should all matter here.

Canon PowerShot A590

Canon PowerShot A590





Canon PowerShot A590

Canon PowerShot A590





Canon PowerShot A590

Canon PowerShot A590





Canon PowerShot A590

Canon PowerShot A590





Phonearena polls
sort by
Which shoots the best pictures?
Device #1 29.26% (467 votes) (467 votes)
Device #2 36.9% (589 votes) (589 votes)
Device #3 16.1% (257 votes) (257 votes)
Device #4 17.73% (283 votes) (283 votes)

1596 votes

The second set of images represents 100% crops. This allows us to focus on the details and look for noise or any other artifacts that might corrupt the image when looked up close. A 100% crop also gives a better idea about how sharp/soft the image looks. Finally, we should mention that if there has been any difference in image resolutions between phones, we've equalized that by scaling them all to match the largest resolution involved.

100% crops
100% crops
100% crops

100% crops

Phonearena polls
sort by
Which has the best detail?
Device #1 26.53% (364 votes) (364 votes)
Device #2 34.69% (476 votes) (476 votes)
Device #3 26.17% (359 votes) (359 votes)
Device #4 12.61% (173 votes) (173 votes)

1372 votes

Both polls expire on Thursday, August 11th, but you shouldn't wait for the last minute to submit your votes. As always, the comments section is the place where you should feel free to elaborate on your decision, share opinions, runner-ups and suggestions – those are always welcome.

  • Options

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:02 3

1. shizam (unregistered)

You can tell that many of you are not photographers, rather phone geeks.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:05 3

2. Abe (unregistered)

PHONEarena.com ...

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:08 3

3. Appoid (Posts: 13; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)

Lol indeed, which is why we are on a "phone" website.

posted on 09 Aug 2011, 07:13

39. medalaster01 (unregistered)

Dude we can easily tell the first one is an iPhone 4 look at that awesome pics,and then follows the droids2,3&4.

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 03:05 3

61. fatexo (Posts: 221; Member since: 21 May 2010)

can tell easily how much people like ur iPhone 4 over droids by looking at the number of thumbs down to ur comment

posted on 13 Aug 2011, 03:08

73. lba1616 (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Aug 2011)

I think he is a great photographer personally!

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:13 2

4. BenCjamin (Posts: 80; Member since: 13 May 2011)

I think what he meant is people are not voting based on best picture but best on which they think is their favorite phone. Phone 1 has terrible color saturation every picture taken with it looks yellow and yet it is getting a ton of votes!

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:22 14

5. district11 (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)

Phone number 1 is horrible... I think it is iPhone 4 :)

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 12:26 2

17. NeXoS (Posts: 292; Member since: 03 May 2011)

iphone 4 is set to over saturate and over sharpen

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:25 7

6. JS15278 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

chiken again as i read and understand N8 is not included again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 09 Aug 2011, 03:24 2

30. Lucky Lion (unregistered)

It would be unfair with other phones to have comparison with N8 Camera

Would you like to watch the match between 400Kg Boxer with 150Kg one?!? I guess Not.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 11:25 6

14. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

Guys I am trying to be funny. "Why so serious?" lol This is the same exact comparison as before. They better not have an iPhone 4 again because then this would be pointless. We already know the iPhone 4 was the second best (or the first loser) in total performance from the last comparison. I hope they have 4 new phones they are comparing, not one or some of the SAME phones from the last comparison! Why are they not considering the Nokia N8? Well from how this article reads they are implying that the Nokia N8 is not in the mix! The N8 needs to be included!

posted on 10 Aug 2011, 18:23

53. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

probably because your not going to find it on a major retailer in the US.. they pointed that out. Its one phone per US carrier.

im going to guess what they are.. iphone4, sensation,droidX2,Evo3d.

Dont know why people voted for #2 on the first photo set. It had the least accurate colors of the group, regardless of how well the photo looked. That girl's shirt is a dead give away.. ya dont even need to blow up the pix.. lol.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:47

8. 2143 (unregistered)

IMHO In order of performance of the devices are 2 > 1 > 4 > 3

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:48 3

9. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

2 and 4 is a tie. 2 is more clear but 4's colors are just right.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:50 1

10. Rahil (unregistered)

The first one is so totally over-saturated.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 10:56 1

11. Rahil (unregistered)

Order of preference is 2-4-1-3

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 11:13

12. DLang1234 (unregistered)

#4 is iPhone 4.. the rest are 8MP cameras, reason that they crop to about the same, but #4 crops smaller.

posted on 09 Aug 2011, 21:12 2

47. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)

Actually, you are thinking of it backwards. The higher MP cameras would crop "smaller" (closer in on the subject). Lower MP cameras would crop to show more of the subject. I am a photographer, I do this for a living so I know. I have tested this with my 7D (18MP) against other (lower res) cameras and using photoshop to do the 100% crop. The reason that #4 appears to crop "smaller" is that it has a wider angle lens which makes the subject appear further away even if shot from the same distance as the other cameras.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 11:16

13. DLang1234 (unregistered)

Also a problem that I see here.. these guys aren't photographers.. so this could be part of the problem, but it looks like it didn't have the same focus across the shots.

I love the thought behind this..

You also need some action shots.. just someone walking in front of the camera would do. See how fast the shutters and stuff are, as well as how fast the focus locks!!

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 12:16

15. jcoberg10 (Posts: 112; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)

I didn't like the colors on 1 either. I thought 4 had accurate colors to what you would normally expect, however it didn't match up with the cannon, so does that mean the cannon is wrong or is 4 wrong? 2 > 3 > 4 > 1

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 12:22

16. Vladislav (unregistered)

It's interesting that if you look at the crops you can clearly see that number 1 is pulling in far more detail than all of the other smartphones and, strangely, even pulling in more than the canon. There's definitely more noise in the photos. Personally, I would choose a more detailed photo with more noise over a less detailed one with less noise. But, to each his/her own.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 12:29 2

18. NeXoS (Posts: 292; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Why are all the photos cropped differently? Is it because each phone has a different FOV?

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 13:08 2

20. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)

Different native focal lengths in the lenses on the devices means a different apparant size to the same features in photo to photo. It would not be fair to crop the photos so the images match size: the camera with the longer focal length would be penalized as clarity would suffer as the image is blown up to match sizes...

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 12:31 2

19. ztedac (Posts: 69; Member since: 17 May 2010)

this is more fair, the camera is the standard on the side and won't take away votes like the last time


posted on 08 Aug 2011, 13:55

21. jack214 (unregistered)

I can't believe most people are voting for Camera #2 on that first set of pictures. It's obvious that Camera #1 is far superior. On the 2nd set of pictures I picked Camera #2 for the first one, Camera #3 for the 2nd, and Camera #1 for the 3rd... So ultimately voted for Camera #3 because I thought of the first two pictures it took the cake while Camera #1 definitely won in the 3rd group of crops. Overall, my vote's for Camera #1.

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 15:06 1

23. duder (unregistered)

Do u know how we know u need glasses....

posted on 09 Aug 2011, 06:08 2

37. district11 (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)

jack214 if you are blind, please dont vote...

posted on 10 Aug 2011, 23:16

57. jack214 (unregistered)

Guess u guys need 'em

posted on 08 Aug 2011, 14:42 2

22. ABC_123 (unregistered)

1. Apple iPhone 4
2. Samsung Galaxy S II
3. Sony Xperia Arc
4. HTC Sensation

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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