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

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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Ease of use and speed

The phones have very snappy shot-to-shot times, if you turn the preview function off, with only the LG Optimus 2X being behind the pack in that respect. As for ease of use, that goes to the iPhone 4, where you don't have to fiddle with anything - just point and snap, takes a split second. We’d have called it a draw here, since the Nokia N8 has a dedicated two-stage shutter button, but we still appreciate more the utter simplicity of the iPhone 4’s camera operation for casual snaps. Besides, the camera interface on the Nokia N8 is a bit cumbersome, and the least touch-friendly of all.


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


Video

Besides sharpness, color or contrast, we have other characteristics to look for in videos, like frame rate and compression. 1080p video from the Samsung Galaxy S II came out bright, with good contrast, a lot of detail and fluid 30fps. The Apple iPhone 4 produces jolly, fluid 30fps videos, with bright, overly saturated colors and nice detail too. In night videos, though, it blows up highlights like illuminated signs or car bulbs a bit too much.

There's no doubt that the Nokia N8 has great sensor and lens, and it does produce natural-looking videos with good contrast and detail, but if you have to shoot sports or some other fast action, 25fps sometimes doesn't cut it.

We just appreciated the fluid 30fps that the Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4 capture with, adding continuous autofocus or touch-to-focus in the mix, too. Nokia's phone records pretty good stereo sound with the video, though, thanks to the nice noise-canceling mics. The LG Optimus 2X records in the .3GP format, compressing the files a bit too much, and skimming on quality. Moreover, its videos need quite a bit more contrast, similar to the stills taken with the phone.


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

Samsung Galaxy S II 1080p Sample Video 1:



LG Optimus 2X 1080p Sample Video 1:



Samsung Galaxy S II 720p Sample Video 2:



LG Optimus 2X 720p Sample Video 2:



Nokia N8 720p Sample Video 1:



Apple iPhone 4 720p Sample Video 1:



Samsung Galaxy S II 1080p Sample Video 3:



LG Optimus 2X 1080p Sample Video 3:



Samsung Galaxy S II 720p Sample Video 4:



LG Optimus 2X 720p Sample Video 4:



Nokia N8 720p Sample Video 2:



Apple iPhone 4 720p Sample Video 2:



Samsung Galaxy S II 1080p Sample Video 5:



LG Optimus 2X 1080p Sample Video 5:



Samsung Galaxy S II 720p Sample Video 6:



LG Optimus 2X 720p Sample Video 6:



Nokia N8 720p Sample Video 3 :



Apple iPhone 4 720p Sample Video 3:




Conclusion:

So, which phone should you take on vacation with you? It depends on the functionality you desire from your convergence device, and we wouldn't scoff at any of them, except maybe the LG Optimus 2X as the worst performer.

If you can't be bothered, but just want to point, shoot and obtain flashy colors, get the iPhone 4. However, if you want to be able to shoot fluid video with extraordinary amount of detail, plus excellent, but slightly off-color stills, take the 1080p-capable Samsung Galaxy S II.

Finally, if you are somewhat of a shutterbug, and your foremost demand is realism and well-lit indoor shots - the large sensor, 12MP resolution, and Xenon flash on the Nokia N8 undoubtedly have your best interest at heart.

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