Samsung Epic 4G vs Apple iPhone 4 vs Motorola DROID X - the camera comparison

Introduction and Interface
UPDATE: You can now read our Samsung Galaxy S II vs LG Optimus 2X vs Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4 Camera Comparison!


Smartphones have been evolving steadily from their humble business oriented roots from a few years ago to the ultimate convergence device on the market which have been encroaching on playing fields generally held captive by specialized functioning products. One specific area that cell phones are constantly closing the gap on is the camera department – especially with smartphones which seem to encompass a host of functions. Cell phones are easily compact and now utilize some decent sensors internally which can make you consider about ditching that traditional point & shoot you've been putting away more often of late. This past summer, we've been treated to a host of new current generation smartphones that pack a wallop in the camera department due to their ability to shoot stunning images and videos that can be appreciated by those who took them. Naturally, there are individuals out there who really want a well rounded smartphone that can take not good, but great images! So we've taken the three best smartphones from this summer which we've seen take the best pictures and pit them against one another to see which one really can out gun the other. And to compare the images produced by these top-end smartphones, we've included shots from a 12.1-megapixel Panasonic Lumix FZ35 camera.


Nowbefore we get right into the gritty action, we need to compare thedifferent interfaces that each handset offers, because as you know, itplays a key role in truly providing that exact point & shootexperience.

Between the three handsets, the iPhone 4by far employs the most simplistic interface which doesn't add anylevel of personality to the experience of taking photos. There are onlythree icons lined up on the top edge which enable you to set the flash,turn on HDR photos, and switch to either the front or rear cameras. Оnthe right pane, you'll find the on-screen shutter key, icon to get intothe gallery app, and an on-screen switch to shoot videos or photos.That's about it! There's actually no scene modes, options, settings, oranything – nothing! Then again, the iPhone 4's overall straightforwardand simplistic attitude radiates in every aspect of the phone; cameraincluded. The thing with the iPhone 4 though is the fact that it hastouch to focus, meaning, you touch an area on the display and it'llautomatically focus on it – at the same time, adjusting the exposure tobest take the shot. Although the constant change of exposure can resultin good or bad images, you simply have to play around with touch focusto get a handle of getting the best shots.

The photo gallery onthe iPhone 4 has remained unchanged since the original's inception,which can be regarded as a good or bad thing, but luckily, it functionsas it should. However, it's almost hard to fathom that the iPhone 4 isincapable of even editing photos on the go without the need ofdownloading an app. You can only trim lengthy videos you've recorded,but that's pretty much the extent of its editing capabilities; sadly.However, there are some wonderfull image editing apps in the App Store,like Photogene for example, that pack a great amount of options to letyou enhance your images.

If you're looking for an eclectic mix of features to appeasethat inner amateur photographer inside of you, then the Samsung Epic 4G'svast options and modes will surely cater to your desires. The interfaceitself hosts a bevy of setting modes that easily blows away the onesoffered by the Motorola DROID X. At the same time, the presentationwith its listing view and associated icons will easily allow anyone totake images without feeling too overwhelmed. Without a doubt, thededicated two-level shutter key will aid those who want thattraditional point & shoot feel, but it's supplemented with touchfocus as well. Additionally, there are just some other novel featuressuch as blink detection packed with the Epic 4G. And for those who area bit more comfortable with the ins and outs of camera settings, theEpic 4G allows you to set the ISO, white balance, and exposure.

With its processing prowess, the gallery app onthe Epic 4G exudes all of the graphical eye candy that one would expectwith a handset packing a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. Not only does itemploy some 3D-like effects as your tilting the phone left or right,but it executes it so flawlessly to make you appreciate the addedeffects. Since it's an Android powered device, sharing media content issuch a joy since you'll have the ability to instantly share it with ahost of services – like SMS, Twitter, Picasa, Facebook, and email. Inaddition, there are a couple of editing options you can apply on aphoto – like rotating or cropping them. Sure it's nothing too fancy,but it's still more than appreciated over what the iPhone 4 has tooffer. Videos on the other hand don't get anyone love seeing you can'tedit them in any way directly on the smartphone.

Finally, we've got the mechanical bucket of DROIDness with the Motorola DROID X– which of course flaunts its specs on paper with its 8-megapixelcamera with dual-LED flash. Similar to the Epic 4G's interface, the onein use with the DROID X offers a decent mix of shooting modes – but notmore than the Epic 4G. Instead of being presented with a list view whenchoosing a specific mode, you'll have to swipe between the optionsbefore you simply stumble upon the one that's perhaps to your liking.Still, the whole process seems a bit laborious and prefer the easy tojump into presentation of the Epic. As a whole, the interface is prettymuch in line with most handsets out there, but it's clear from acursory look that it doesn't radiate the Epic's depth of features –while still standing above the simplistic nature of the iPhone 4.

Since the handset is bathed in Motorola's new skin, the gallery app alsotakes advantage of the peppy speeds of its 1GHz OMAP processor. Whenheld in portrait, both photos and videos are presented in a grid-likeview which makes it super easy to swiftly jump to specific shots.However, tilting it sideways to landscape, we see the interface showingoff its processing prowess as content is reeled with a 3D like effectto it. Yeah it's nice and all, but we really wish it were moreresponsive; meaning that it has a tendency to continue scrolling afterclicking on a specific image. Hands down, the DROID X owns the photoediting department with its insane amount of options which includethings like effects, resizing, cropping, brightness & contrast,color & saturation, and frames. It'll easily make editing on the gosuch a breeze on yourself. Not stopping there, there are even somelengthy editing tools at your disposal for videos – like resizing,removing audio, and extracting a frame. So if you really want to getproductive without the aid of a computer (or third-party software),you'll most likely find the DROID X to be more than satisfactory forachieving your needs. As for additional image-editing software forAndroid, the currently-available options are much less than what you'llfind for iOS, but there are some good offerings, like PicSay.

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless