What is the best camera phone today?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by rossi46, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Appreciate any knowleadge information and input.

    Which is the best of the new phones?

    - HTC One
    - IPhone 5
    - Sony Xperia Z
    - HTC Butterfly
    - Samsung Galaxy S3
    - Nokia 808.

    So HTC One with 4 MP, based on the theory of reducing pixel count to increase pixel size for light gathering ability, at the expense of quality or ability to zoom in good light.
    In actual fact, how big do you have to print before the 4 megapixel become a limitation? If viewing on the computer screen, is 4 megapixel a limitation?

    Thanks guys.
  2. yourguitarhero

    yourguitarhero Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    The Nokia Lumia 920 would be worth a look. Has optical image stabilisation in it.
  3. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Try this comparison: Camera comparison: HTC One vs Nokia Lumia 920 vs Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III vs Sony Xperia Z vs Google Nexus 4

    Optics wise Lumia 920 and One both have a f/2 lens. Lumia's got the Carl Zeiss design, though that doesn't mean much as the CZ name is plastered on pretty much every Sony point & shoot and look at their performance. iPhone 5 has a f/2.4 lens, and is an Apple design. There isn't a whole lot of technical specifications posted for Samsung, Sony, and I didn't Google very hard.

    The Ultrapixel sensor is the most interesting. I think HTC's got the concept right. For a small sensor device, higher megapixels will only make matters worse as they increase. Though I'm not sure if 4 MP is the sweet spot. HTC seems to think so. I would say HTC One has the best camera for a modern usable smartphone at the moment. How much do you like Android?

    The PureView sensor is interesting. The implementation in the 808 is what I think Nokia intended it to be but it also makes the phone that much bulkier. It's still a tech demo, 1st generation implementation. It's clear that 920 refines it a bit but in a more consumer-centric design. I wouldn't buy into the hype just yet though, Nokia got caught for faking their promo shots. This is after Nokia issued an apology for faking the video promo shots. How much do you like Windows Phone 8?

    Nothing special about most of the other sensors on smartphones. Apple sources a Sony part, which is prone to flare, just like every other camera using Sony sensors. But it's not really a problem, the tech blogs blew it out of proportions when someone discovered it.

    Buying a smartphone for camera isn't what I would recommend. Buy a smartphone for the platform... The software, media and overall ecoystem. All of the cameras are pretty comparable.

    Last note on optical image stabilization. With a roughly 35mm equivalent angle of view, it's not really all that important. Video is another matter though. Having it is nice. But I wouldn't let that feature be a "make or break" decision.

    Print size wise, I use this chart and has proven to be quite accurate. Please note that most people don't print at 300 dpi.
  4. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Thanks for the detailed explanations David. I would be looking at either Android or Apple platform.
    I agree that we should not be looking at only camera when purchasing smartphone,...but this one is for my wife.
    So it will be considered as her main camera, that is why I put higher weightage on camera quality in this case.

    I am quite keen in HTC One, but in some reviews, I read that HTC One "suffers" in good light when zoomed at 100%, due to lower pixel count, when zoomed in it is not so sharp.
    I am not sure if it really makes sense to zoom in 100% as a judging criteria.

    But my main question is, how large do you print before the 4MP becomes a limitation.

    I know HTC One would be brilliant in low lighting conditions, but what about other image quality criteria? such as clarity, sharpness, color reproduction accuracy (or how pleasing)..etc etc...
  5. jglover

    jglover Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Naperville, IL
    Phones have cameras??? :)
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    300 dpi, or magazine quality you can get up to 6x8". Lesser quality print you can get up to 20x30".

    My post has a link showing print sizes at 300 dpi. Here is something from Kodak explaining it also, obviously printing at a quality more accessible to consumer labs: Megapixel
  7. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    One of the things I can't stand about stock android in pretty much all its forms is that the jpeg compression is way too high. Rooted builds have gone around the default jpeg compression. Even with my Jelly bean 4.2.2 on a Galaxy Nexus, a 5mp image turns into a 1.2mb file with lots of jpeg artifacts. I don't know if any of the newer custom builds for other manufacturers have addressed this.
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    To me a phone should make and receive calls. You kids and your do-all gadgets!:rolleyes:

    Actually, I think smartphones are great but I am just too hard on cell phones to justify getting one. That and I hate trying to use the tiny screens. I love my iPad but it is huge in comparison.

    Now when it comes down to a camera in a phone. I think they are good for some things and certainly great if it is the only camera you have when something happens BUT I would never try using one for anything halfway serious, photography wise.
  9. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    Samsung Galaxy Camera + Skype? :biggrin:
  10. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    It is done to facilitate transfers between devices easier.
  11. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I think early on it was also just to keep storage down too. It also makes the shot to shot snappier in ICS/Jellybean camera. I just wish there were more options available, even RAW.
  12. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Can I get a camera with a phone in it?:cool:
  13. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Galaxy camera comes close, but that more of a standard P&S.
  14. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't know which is best, but I am glad that I get my phone through my employer with no choice in the matter. I'd hate to be flipping phones like I do cameras and lenses. :biggrin:
  16. DaveG

    DaveG Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 5, 2014
    My Nokia Lumia 1020 is remarkably good. 41MP (crop to zoom), optical image stabilization, xenon flash, shoots RAW+JPG, full manual mode. Works awesome as a phone too! Don'y miss my iPhone one bit.

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 16, 2013
    Real Name:
  18. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    I thought I'd update this thread with my results from a new phone purchase. I bought the Oppo F1 (which I know is not widely known) which is a related company to OnePlus (I understand the directors are friends and that they share facilities).

    I can't claim that its the "best" camera in a phone, but as it cost AU$260 (fully unlocked, no bloatware, outright purchase) its among the best value for money if not THE best value for money.

    The phone allows write in RAW (using Adobe DNG) and the results so far have been quite acceptable. Particularly if you happen to use Snapseed to develop the RAW in phone and then do something with it.

    I've (of course) done some blogging about it these last few weeks. In good light it compares well enough to my GF-1 with a Panasonic 14-45mm lens.

    in my view ...: modern Phones as cameras


    Oppo F1 pixel peep:

    Panasonic pixel peep

    Some of my Flickr Results with the Oppo-F1 tag
    Search: oppo-f1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    and a blog post (which will of course lead you to more) on the cameras low light ability using the expert mode
    in my view ...: Oppo F1 night shot with "Expert Mode"
    • Like Like x 1
  19. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    I've owned several Nokias, and the Nexus 6 (horrible camera!) and have access to new iPhones. My current phone is the Note5.

    Best camera I've ever used in a phone is the Nokia Lumia 1520. 19MP camera with optical image stabilization, also the ability to shoot DNG files. Really easy to manually set shutter speed and ISO, and seriously produced amazing images. I could rely on the stabilization and take the shutter speed down pretty far and get images with barely any noise and it never produced smearing. Still miss that phone.
    • Like Like x 1