Blind cameraphone comparison 2

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.


Which shoots the best pictures?

Device #1
29.26%
Device #2
36.9%
Device #3
16.1%
Device #4
17.73%

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.


Which has the best detail?

Device #1
26.53%
Device #2
34.69%
Device #3
26.17%
Device #4
12.61%

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.

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75 Comments

1. shizam unregistered

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

2. Abe unregistered

PHONEarena.com ...

3. Appoid

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

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

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.

61. fatexo

Posts: 221; Member since: May 21, 2010

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

73. lba1616

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

I think he is a great photographer personally!

4. BenCjamin

Posts: 80; Member since: May 13, 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!

5. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

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

17. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

iphone 4 is set to over saturate and over sharpen

6. JS15278

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

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

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.

14. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!

53. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

8. 2143 unregistered

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

9. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

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

10. Rahil unregistered

The first one is so totally over-saturated.

11. Rahil unregistered

Order of preference is 2-4-1-3

12. DLang1234 unregistered

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

47. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 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.

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!!

15. jcoberg10

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 30, 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

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.

18. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

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

20. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 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...

19. ztedac

Posts: 69; Member since: May 17, 2010

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

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.

23. duder unregistered

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

37. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

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

57. jack214 unregistered

Guess u guys need 'em

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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