GSM Cameraphone Comparison Q2 2007

Since mobile phones cameras are currently receiving unprecedented attention and for many people they represent the main feature of the whole product, we compared the most sophisticated up-market models of the top manufacturers at the end of last year. Our article was widely read and it helped a lot of people compare the cameras of the phones they were choosing from and make their conclusions. Seven months have passed since the said article came out and the cameras, being maybe the most interesting feature of mobile phones, have experienced an evolution and there are already 5-megapixel cameras, whose specifications promise that they are better than their earlier competitors. Unfortunately, however, only two of the tested phones boast that resolution (Nokia N95 and LG KG920). The other manufacturers have not yet launched worthy competitors (as far as resolution is concerned) and therefore we are testing the best cameraphones (Samsung D900, Sony Ericsson K800, Nokia N93i). Although it saw an heir with the launch of К810, the hardware of the cameras of the two phones is absolutely the same and the new model does not come with improved resolution, but even with lower quality in our tests. There is also the D900, which shared the first place in our previous test with K800, while N93i will try to make up for the shameful performance of N93.

Tested phones (in alphabetical order of the models):

The different models have different competitive advantages, but which one is going to perform the best, taking everything into account?!

* Are the new 5-megapixel phones going to defeat the well-known and widely-used 3-megapixel shooters?

* Or maybe the classic models will prove that the technologies are not yet enough advanced and it is the quality, rather than the quantity, that matters?

* Is the best cameraphone going to be competitive to a real camera?

You’ll able to find the answers to the above questions after you have seen the results of the tests. We shall add to those comments and evaluations for all phones in each different category, thus expressing our personal and SUBJECTIVE opinion. You could use our opinion as a reference, although you do not have to be influenced by it in any way. It’s up to you to choose what you like.

We have taken almost 50 pictures (48 scenes, with 6 cameras = 288! pictures) altogether, targeting identical objects at one and the same time and from the same position, but using different cameras. The pictures have been taken under the following conditions / categories:

  1. in the open in broad daylight;
  2. at night;
  3. picture taken indoors with different degree of lighting and different distance from the objects;
  4. we have also tested some comparative charts.
  5. and close-up macro photos.

We have used the phones’ automatic settings; for the nighttime pictures and the macro photos we have selected the respective mode. We have re-taken a certain picture only in case we felt that the person behind the camera, rather than the camera, brought about a fault. If any of the pictures are not well exposed or focused, this means that this is what the respective phone’s camera is capable of doing. With nighttime pictures we attempted at taking the pictures with our hand, which explains why some of those are blurred.

In each category we have put a 100% crop image(s), which shows the cameras' performance difference. It helps you compare easily the performance, seeing the same object, reproduced by different devices. As 5-megapixel (and 6-megapixel) cameras take photo of the same object, but in bigger resolution, in our 100% crops you will see less of the object, but with more resolution. This is rather unfair, but that's the market - one offers 5-megapixel phone, the other doesn't. The stronger in the competition survives ...

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