• Our Nexus 5/LG G2/iPhone 5s/Lumia 1020/HTC One/GS4/Sony Z1/BB Z30 camera shootout

    Misc Thoughts:

    Thereís also how ready a phone is and how quickly it handles. The best way I like to think of it is if a UFO suddenly appeared in front of you and an alien popped up for a second and then disappeared what device would best capture the situation?

    How fast can your phone bring up the camera application? The Sony and Nokia have camera buttons on the side which works really well. WIth the G2 the volume down button on the back doubles as a camera button which you can press and hold to launch. The iPhone has a quick gesture, press power and then swipe up from the bottom right of the screen. The Z30ís is press the power button and then press and hold the on screen camera button - itís a little slower.

    The rest of the phones also have shortcuts to quickly launch their cameras on their lockscreens.

    How quickly will it focus? How quickly does it refocus and is it able to keep up if you or your subject is moving? Here a phone with a small sensor is actually at an advantage because smaller sensors have larger depths of field so they donít have to be as accurate when they focus.

    I find that the HTC One has extremely fast focusing. Ditto for the iPhone 5s. At the other end of the spectrum is the Lumia 1020 which is much slower than all the other phones here.

    How long does it take before the phone is ready to shoot another picture? All of the phones here can shoot multiple frames per second. All of them except the Lumia 1020 which actually takes a couple of seconds before itís ready to shoot again.

    Is it smart enough to know which settings to use or do you need to constantly readjust settings to get the best possible picture?

    In the end itís hard to pick a winner. While the HTC One did quite poorly (I was expecting it to) - itís very fast focusing and performance makes it a very capable camera. Sometimes image quality takes a second seat to just getting the shot.

    You could say the same thing about the Sony Z1 though for different reasons. While it didnít do too bad in the tests sometimes it does really poorly. You see, Sony gave the Z1 very aggressive image processing. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it will completely destroy a shot. From my experience image quality is hit and miss but most of the time itís able to get the shot.

    I wasnít that crazy about the Z30 mostly because I wasnít a fan of the camera software. To shoot you tap anywhere on the screen, to focus on something you have to drag the focus box around. I guess it might be a case of me not being used to it. The focus is also a little slower than Iím used to.

    I really like how the G2ís down volume button can be used to launch the camera. It focuses quickly and the stabilization comes in handy at times. I was usually happy with the G2ís camera performance

    Iím not a fan of the Nexus 5ís camera software. I get the feeling that itís different for the sake of being different and not because itís more functional. Like the G2 I was usually happy with the Nexus 5ís camera performance.

    The GS4ís camera software is a good balance. Itís also a pretty good performer as long as thereís enough light. It also has one of the best HDR modes out there.

    In terms of resolution the Nokia Lumia 1020 doesnít disappoint. The problem with it is that its focusing and shot-to-shot speeds are a lot slower than all the other phones here. Sometimes speed matters. Still, if you manage to catch your shot the 1020 doesnít usually disappoint.


    So in the end Iím a little disappointed because there isnít too much to say. None of the phones here did really badly. While each of them has room for improvement none of them are truly awful - well, the HTC One can be awful outdoors and the Z1 sometimes over-processed pictures but then again, both of them have their strong points too.

    Itís sort of like comparing RF performance. These days, every phone that comes across my desk is at least okay in this department.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Nexus 5/LG G2/iPhone 5s/Lumia 1020/HTC One/GS4/Sony Z1/BB Z30 camera shootout started by howard View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. realjet's Avatar
      realjet -
      How does the HTC Rezound compare with these cameras? I currently have a Rezound and it seems to take good pictures (better than my Droid X or iphone 4) that I used to have.