Samsung Galaxy S II vs LG Optimus 2X vs Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4: Camera comparison

Daylight shots
UPDATE: You can now read our iPhone 4S vs Droid Bionic vs Galaxy S II vs Amaze 4G Camera ComparisonThe smartphone universe became ripe again for camera comparisons, especially with the introduction of handsets, capable of recording Full HD 1080p video. That is why we took a few of the most popular high-end smartphones that are on the shelves, and staged a shootout.

We got the
Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus 2X, the Nokia N8, and the Apple iPhone 4. Two of those are capable of Full HD 1080p video recording, so we are only pitting them against each other in that department. In all fairness, these are still cell phone cameras, so, with maybe the exception of the big sensor on the Nokia N8, we didn't expect wonders from the snaps.

We've reached the stage, however, where you can leave your point-and-shoot at home for casual photos with a piece of mind, and just use your high-end smartphone, which you are lugging around anyway. So let's try to determine which of these cameras does what well. All phones were on Auto settings, no HDR was used, we only switched on the Macro mode for close-ups, where we had it.


Each of the phones captures plenty of detail in the frame, and it's hard to pick, since none of the cameras missed any major bit. At first look, the Samsung Galaxy S II has the upper hand, producing sharp photos with distinctive details out of the box.

The Nokia N8, however, captures the same extensive amount of detail, but since it bets on unaltered looks by default, the image appears slightly softer than on the Samsung Galaxy S II. The iPhone 4 also showed very good, almost equal results, and, alternatively, the LG Optimus 2X captures plenty of detail, but the lack of contrast makes the picture appear washed out.

1. Samsung Galaxy S II and Nokia N8
2. Apple iPhone 4
3. LG Optimus 2X

Color reproduction

Colors from the Nokia N8 came out being the most natural-looking. We have more saturation from the Samsung Galaxy S II, which makes its photos more appealing at first look, but unfortunately, looking at it closer, it becomes clear they are slightly colder than in reality. The ones with the LG Optimus 2X are both quite cold, and on the bland, undersaturated side.  Finally, the iPhone 4 flips to the other side, producing contrasty, jolly, highly saturated images, which can be good and bad, depending on the situation.

We'd pick here the Nokia N8 for its natural looks, and the Samsung Galaxy S II, whose pictures, while slightly colder than reality, are a close enough shot.

1. Nokia N8
2. Samsung Galaxy S II and Apple iPhone 4
3. LG Optimus 2X

Exposure and dynamic range

Nokia N8 gets it right most of the time when there is a bright distraction in the frame, or a lot of sky. It also doesn't over- or underexpose, and you can clearly see the close gradients in the cloud and sky coloring. The Samsung Galaxy S II also does pretty well with exposure measurements and dynamic range.

The iPhone 4 sometimes overexposes bright objects, depending on where you focus at, so you have to be careful which spot to touch on the screen if there is such area in the frame. The LG Optimus 2X performs decently, with no drastic misexposed spots. We didn't turn on the HDR function on the iPhone 4, in order to keep the playing field leveled.

1. Nokia N8
2. Samsung Galaxy S II
3. LG Optimus 2X
4. Apple iPhone 4

Recommended Stories

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