A camera on a mobile phone used to be an apology only a few years ago. Sure, it was convenient when you quickly snap a few shots, but they weren’t good even for anything casual. Smartphones have generally changed that because the cameras that are built in to them today are miles better than $1000 digital cameras from 10 years ago.
The highest end smartphones carry the best cameras in general, so those are the ones we will compare with respect to their cameras. The phones in most demand today are:
- iPhone 5
- Samsung Galaxy SIII
- HTC One X
- Nokia Lumia 920
- Nokia PureView 808
The iSight camera that first shipped with iPhone 4S was generally considered to be the best for the business with respect to mobile phones. The camera with iPhone 5 is thinner and takes much better pictures than that. It has a good amount of features such as various modes for portraits, landscape, and sepia and so on.
It captures details very well, but it has a problem with low light. It doesn’t capture details as well and the automatic correction that it applies to dark photos gives a slightly artificial feeling. Even so, low light photos have very little noise unlike the HTC One X which gives better details but poor noise.
Samsung Galaxy SIII
When it comes to the camera, the Galaxy S III can be considered a jack of all trades. Its CMOS sensor is one of the best on paper. Both low light pictures and day light ones look very good and the details don’t get suppressed. Overall the phone is quite heavy and the lens protrudes a bit on the back.
Picture quality is on par with the iPhone 5. It has many more modes for you to choose from and special effects are also available. The camera is very handy unless you are a serious photographer and you won’t be disappointed with the results that it produces.
HTC One X
Of the 5 cameras being compared here, the HTC One X is the weakest. That is not to say that they are bad. In fact, when compared to cameras that came out just 18 months ago with smartphones, this one is excellent. The photos are just a bit washed out compared to other cameras.
It has better details than the iPhone 5 in low light conditions, but at the same time the noise that it generates is not ideal and may put you off. However, for casual snapshots the HTC One X doesn’t disappoint. HTC One Hülle
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia has been known for the prowess of its cameras that it bundles with its smartphones for many years now. The company proudly continues that tradition with the Lumia 920. The camera is a bit bulkier than the competition and at 8.7 Megapixels, not the highest resolution one. However, the details that it captures are wonderful. It matches the iPhone 5 in clarity and its low light capabilities are good too.
Nokia PureView 808
There is not much to say about the Purview 808, other than that it is hands down the BEST smartphone camera in the world. At 41 MP, its resolution is higher than any DSLR or Point and Shoot that you can find in the market. Everything from the details, features, low light performance, and tonal balance is better than many ‘Point & Shoot’ cameras.
In conclusion, unless you are very specific about the features you want from your smartphone camera, any of the above will suffice. Except for the PureView 808, which is in another league altogether, all of these smartphones are similar enough that you won’t notice a huge difference.
Robin is a keen follower of latest smartphones and cell phone batteries. He also does a lot of comparison studies on his blog posts to help his readers make the right buying choices.