Camera Comparison: Samsung Galaxy Camera vs Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5, Nokia 808 PureView

Over the years we've done our fair share of cameraphone comparisons, but the one we have for you today is unlike any other. That's because among the contestants we have a real, dedicated point-and-shoot camera – the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Camera, which will be competing against some of the most capable handsets currently on the market.

Now, we know what you're thinking: no phone can possibly perform better than a real camera, right? Well, don't draw any conclusions so fast. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is running against the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5, and the Nokia 808 PureView, which can all take excellent photos and videos under a broad range of conditions.

But before we dwell any further, we must inform you that in order to keep the challenge fair for all devices, we've set their resolutions to 8 megapixels for photos and 1080p for videos. All photographs have been taken in automatic mode, or with the least manual adjustments possible (read: an occasional tap to focus if a camera happens to struggle with close-ups). With that out of the way, let's begin with the first category in our camera comparison.


Get ready for a surprise, folks! Turns out that the Samsung Galaxy Camera does not perform that well when it comes to image details. In fact, the photos that were taken with it contain the least amount of detail when viewed at 100% zoom, contrary to what we were expecting to see. Sure, they aren't terrible, but even the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III fare somewhat better in this category. Both of them, however, are beaten by the iPhone 5 and its detail-rich images, although Apple's smartphone does not lead by much. The undisputed leader as far as details go is the Nokia 808 PureView, which captures incredibly detailed photos nearly free of that annoying digital noise.

1. Nokia 808 PureView
2. iPhone 5
3. Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II
4. Samsung Galaxy Camera



126. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

The 808 pureview is awsome

123. BitterTruth unregistered

Dont try to challenge Nokia when it comes to camera! Only the Sony has the ability to challenge Nokia. Nokia is the clear winner for now! I personally like Samsung phones regarding their updates and especially battery life but the camera looks a bit fail.

122. phone_user

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 07, 2013

i will have to agree with the majority here in the call that the 808 takes better pictures but the issue with nokia's approach was a little wrong. most casual users want vivid punchy colors instead of fine detail and wide dynamic range. while the 808 can be set to do it, it doesn't by default. the 808 shoots pretty much how a seasoned photographer would want. grayish as most people here are calling it. the greyish soft color actually has more information in it for post work then punchy color with blown out highs and black of the lows. a great example would be the gopros pro-tune recording mode. the 808 isnt a phone i would use everyday because of its OS (i loved symbian in the days it was on top) so i only use mine on vacation. its the camera phone you want when it comes to using navigation when internet is expensive over seas (best offline maping period) and when you want to know that you always get the shot you want (it hasnt missed a photo op yet). i will say i had high hopes for the galaxy camera, it would have been my 808 replacement.

119. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 110; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

Bring damn PureView Phase 1 camera to windows phone and I will switch do this platform damn it!

117. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Last month i had a chance to compare my 808 with friend's iPhone 4S. We tried indoor low-light shots without flash. Both phones were attached to tripod with special tripod mount. I told my friend to use any settings he wants on his iPhone, so he tried it once without HDR and once with HDR. We found out that HDR shot was better, with less noise. On Nokia 808 i used manual settings and lowered ISO value to 50. These are 100% crops (808 was used in 8MP mode): As you can see, the difference is HUGE! Then i tried auto settings shot on my 808 and the difference was still huge, but shot was a bit noisier because of higher ISO 500.

118. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Of course, iPhone 5 takes better shots than iPhone 4S, but i didn't have it to use for comparision. Anyway, i don't think the results would be much different.

107. JosDes

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

I wouldn't buy a galaxy camera as it just provides minor improvements over phones such as the note II or galaxy sIII + it also costs quite a bit of money

105. JosDes

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

I wouldn't buy a galaxy camera for such few improvements over a good phone like a note II and the price tag is also quite high

90. Anamela233

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I'm able to tell how well Samsung is doing by counting the number of Samsung haters. They're all so mad at Samsung like Samsung stole their lunch money lol. iphone 4s has been really good to me but I can't wait for the GS4 to come out.

93. Guarulhos

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY !!! P.S: Nokia 808 PureView PRO (_____ABYSS_____) All The Other Phones With Integrated Camera !!!

88. Anamela233

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You can sense the desperation in the air when fanboys are working overtime to meaninglessly defend their product. 808 preview is nothing but a smartphone with a overly hyped camera. That's why I didn't spend my money on it just like the rest of the world didn't either.

84. Guarulhos

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 19, 2012


75. Guarulhos

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

Nokia 808 PureView PRO (_____ABYSS_____) All The Other Phones With Integrated Camera !!!

71. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

if rank 1 = 2 point , rank 2 = 1 point, so the total point for each device: - Nokia 808: 2+1+1+1+2+2+1 = 10 - iphone 5: 1+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 7 - Samsung Galaxy S III: 2+1+1+2+1+1 = 8 - SG Camera: 2+2+2+1+1+2 = 10 - Samsung Galaxy Note 2: 1+1+2+1+1 = 6 so Nokia 808 and SG Camera are tie @rank 1 if we exclude Feature and Easy to Use part, then the winner is Nokia 808 Top 3 are: Nokia 808, SG Camera, Samsung Galaxy S III

74. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

YOU ARE DREAMING!!! nokia 808 is sure number 1 but lol at samsung galaxy camera and s3 on runner up and you didnt include iPhone! dont kid your self droidy! stop being immature hater! samsung camera and its camera phone are PATHETIC!!! iPhone's sensor is good coz it uses sony's sensor!! so its not Apple its sony's!!!! stop being a hater and face reality!!! SAMSUNG SUCKS ON DESIGNS, BUILD QUALITY and CAMERA!!!!

100. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

The processor is not Nokias... "rolls eyes with sarcasm" So its not Nokia.

59. d.scythe

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

i think 808 clearly the winner here... even at night pics... it shows more details than others... plus it doesn't produce much noise than others... for all android fanboy, sorry, but the galaxies SUCKS... even for it's camera... *i'm not an 808 owner by the way... i'm using iphone 4s and i'm quite pleased with it pics... but i'm amazed by what 808 can do... still wait for lumia + pureview + OIS in one phone...

70. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

It sucks compared? You gotta be kidding. They all excell in different areas. You make it seem like its a huuuuuuuge difference. Like if it was a no contest. They all take great pictures.

72. d.scythe

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

if compared to 808, i think it is... the galaxies show to much noise even in daylight (when zoomed)... CMIIW, but i really think so...

77. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

lol stop being an android fanboy! everybody can see that galaxy phones and samsung camera products (handy cam and camera phone and other with camera) SUCKS BIGTIME!!!! so dont hate iPhone that it got the 2nd spot if you hate apple... coz honestly its not apple's own sensor, its sony! so if they put on xperia s/t or the new xperia z there, it will sure come in second place! come to your real sense and stop being a fanboy! watch the real thing! s3 might be a powerful android phone but in terms in camera department, it just sucks!

87. d.scythe

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

whoa... take it easy dude... i don't hate the galaxies, but just sayin the fact i saw that their cams are not good enough... maybe that because the cheap thing or what i don't know... but the galaxy camera i think really sucks cause it suppose to be made for camera right? how come it get beaten by phone cams... the only plus the gal cam is that it has optical zoom...

99. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I don't hate Apple or any company. You need to slap yourself into reality brother. Do yourself a favor.

56. fahqman

Posts: 38; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

920 looked bad too

54. fahqman

Posts: 38; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

808 Purview just got embarrassed by 8 mp smartphone cameras. I guess the 41 mp sensor with full resolution of 34~38 mp on a 1/1.2" sensor is really meaningless when the colors are this bad. I love my note 2 but the iphone's picture quality seems to be the best. I feel like phonearena just got exposed, too for choosing the 808 Purview for best innovation in 2012. All of these phones were out in 2012. 1. iphone 5 2. SGC 3. SGN2 4. SGS3 5. 808 PURVIEW

55. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

shows you no nothing everyone on here who aren biased have said the 808 clearly won, and the galaxy camera gave a poor performance. you just jump in and blindly follow instead of actually looking at the photo's as for the colours, its called natural i.e. no post processing. the samsung lot and iphone all add post processing to gloss up the photo's. if you want over saturated colours on the 808 just use vivid and increase saturation so go educate yourself before running your mouth please

57. fahqman

Posts: 38; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

OH, I'M SORRY PURVIEW POLICE!! BUT WHY ARE YOU SO MAD AND SO HATEFUL?? "everyone on here who aren't biased have said the 808 clearly won," Do you mean you and your other eight laptops and nokia smartphones?? LOL!! You should really get rid of the sunglasses on your avatar and maybe then you'll see better lol. 808's picture quality is like watching dark scenes on a s**tty lcd panel. Go enjoy your gray 'natural' pics lol. Hey, you gotta new message on your laptop #4.

86. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

go educate yourself! 808 pureview CAN shot 3MP, 5MP and 8MP pictures!!!

92. Anamela233

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

even at those low res, 808 pictures still look unnaturally washed up with gray tint.

108. MistyFog

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

Not just PhoneArea. Try DPReview. And many other review sites. The 808 has been stacked against high-end DSLRs, micro four thirds, high end point and shoots, and other smartphones. Go through all the reviews before you embarrass yourself further. For those who actually know something about photography, white balance and saturation are something that can be fixed in post-processing. You can easily see that the 808's photos are generally left untouched which may initially look inferior to the uninitiated but the other phone's images have been heavily processed and the noise level can be quite bad especially under poor lighting condition.

53. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

I don't understand why they rarely include the Lumia 920 on these camera comparisons. Its known to have an excellent camera, yet is not included while both the Note 2 and S3 are on the list (I assume they have comparable camera modules). Wtf? Im sure one perk the Lukia has is the camera, so I'd think people would like to know how it fares. They could have included the One X+/DNA as well. Always Apple/Samsung.

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