Camera comparison: Sony Xperia Z vs Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920

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Ladies and gents, it is time for another camera comparison between the top smartphones in existence. And without a doubt, all eyes are on the Sony Xperia Z, which is equipped with the company's new Exmor RS camera sensor. With 13 million pixels and perks like HDR video mode, Sony's top-of-the-line handset should be a great performer, but will it manage to beat the fierce competition?

Well, it won't be an easy battle. Today we're comparing the Sony Xperia Z with the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, iPhone 5 and the Nokia Lumia 920, all of which have proven their photographic capabilities. We're also throwing a 12MP point-and-shoot camera as a reference - the Canon PowerShot SD780 IS, which is now a model several years old.

For the purposes of this testing, all smartphones are set to their maximum resolutions for both images and video. We have to let them show their best after all. Also, we have not altered their settings for any of the test scenes. All smartphones are shooting in automatic mode. Shall we begin?


With its 13MP camera, the Sony Xperia Z can capture photos at higher resolution than what the other competitors are capable of. However, despite that advantage, the details in its photos are smudged and a weird purple tint is present around edges. The Nokia Lumia 920 produces equally disappointing results as the details in its photos are too soft for our taste. The Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 produce noticeably sharper, more detailed images, but the iPhone 5 captures even better photos, although it leads only by a hair.

Yeah, some digital noise is indeed present in the iPhone 5's photos, which isn't surprising considering the far-from-ideal lighting conditions. As a matter of fact, it was pretty gloomy when we took our outdoor sample shots. But the noise level is tolerable, just as it is on the images taken with the Galaxy S III and Note II. The Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z suppress noise through software algorithms, but the downside to it are the aforementioned muddy details seen in their photos.

1. iPhone 5
2. Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2
3. Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z

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