It’s pretty much certain that one of the key things people will look at is the camera when choosing their next smartphone; very few people will carry a dedicated camera on a day to day basis so you need to ensure your next smartphone features the best camera possible.
To help you with your choice, we are hosting yet another mega shootout, this time featuring four flagship devices from four major brands, all of which feature 8 megapixel cameras. We have put the Nokia Lumia 900 up against the Apple iPhone 4S, HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy SIII to see which is best at shooting day-to-day photos.
Notice that we have highlighted day-to-day. That is because we shot these photos in Oxford Street, London, last night in conditions that you might encounter when trying to snap a quick photo. Let us begin! (Click on a photo in the gallery to bring up the pop-up!)
The image order is: Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia Lumia 900, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3
First of all I must explain that I am not a professional photographer and so my opinions are my own and I do not know the terminology about white balance, aperture, iso and the rest so have tried to explain in layman’s terms how I have deduced each image.
Flagship Shootout 1
In this shot the iPhone appears to have taken the better image with clarity on the trees and the buildings with the Nokia taking last place. The picture is too dark to make out much of the surrounding area and the HTC has that pink hue effect in the sky that we have come to expect from their camera.
Flagship Shootout 2
The clarity and colours in both the Apple and Nokia are very similar to the naked eye, which is what most people will look for in camera images. HTC has again runaway with the pink-look. We are all aware that Thornton’s are Chocolatiers and so the shop colours are in chocolate and not pink, the pink hue follows up on the window and its accessories. The Samsung appears to have taken in too much light, as everything is too bright.
Flagship Shootout 3
Apple’s iPhone again does well with the clear lines of the building and flag and the definition in the lamppost. The Nokia has again darkened the image too much. I am aware it is to do with the amount of light that the camera lets in but I am not a camera buff so can’t really explain it, but it has happened to me several times before. I know one of you out there can put it into a better explanation and we look forward to your views in the comment. HTC’s pink follows so there is not much I can say about that and finally Samsung’s Galaxy S III. I should say here that I would have expected much better from a Flagship device from Samsung.
Flagship Shootout 4
The iPhone and Samsung’s GS III image are more comparable in this range of images. I am rather tired of the darks in the Nokia and the Pinks in the HTC. I wonder if they are something that can be fixed by newer software.
Flagship Shootout 5
Quite a poor show from our pink HTC which seems to have absorbed all the pink from somewhere and place into this shot. I am torn between the Samsung and Apple so would give them a tie here. The Nokia appears to have had a little trouble dealing with this low light image.
Flagship Shootout 6
Flagship Shootout 7
The Nokia wins this round. It has captured the closest look of the flag around the scaffolding and the building. The Samsung images does look like this photo was taken in the morning rather than by the encroaching evening light.
Flagship Shootout 8
The Nokia wins this round. The details of the awning and the building stand out much more as does the underground sign and the area surrounding it.
Flagship Shootout 9
A Nokia win again. The colours are warm in the image and we can see the details to the end of the road without it all becoming a blur. On the iPhone, as we look into the distance, objects such as the trees further down and the building begin to merge and it is quite hard to distinguish between items in the distance. HTC pink again, sigh… The Samsung has produced a better quality image here though again there is no substance to the sky.
I would probably make this a tie with the iPhone and the Nokia, though I would definitely say that in low-light or the sun in position, the Nokia struggles with forming an image. As the vast majority of people are like myself, point and shoot characters, this could become annoying when you want to take that memorable, fun or odd picture whenever or wherever. But on a clear, bright day, the Nokia produces.
The Pinks of the HTC needs to be seen to. It is something we have seen before in our Dubai shootout earlier this year. It is rather remiss of HTC for us to have to encounter this again, but this time in a flagship device as the HTC One X claims to be.
The Samsung Galaxy S III appears to have tried hard to be a smartphone that is everything to everyone and then to fall down on some of the main facilities that appeal to users, in this instance the Camera. It is the Offiicial Olympic phone and I would guess with the stadium lighting and the games held in daylight – it will produce good images but it is slightly lacking when the image has a featureless white sky. We look forward to an improvement in software that may combat this problem.
The iPhone appears to be the the overall winner but it also has issued with low light and often ‘flashes’ things out of the picture. Using touch to focus brings you the dark images that you get with the Nokia when the light is not right. I am not a camera expert so hopefully someone can explain what it is that goes wrong.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our massive shootout and we look forward to your views in the comments below.