Test: Best Camera Phone Right Now

Pictures in the dark has always been mobile camera’s main weakness, but it’s finally something that is about to change. It appears clearly when we test the market’s leading camera mobiles.

The camera is returning one of the features that most interest in a special cell phone. It is an area that mobile manufacturers are betting furiously on and it has never been marked as clearly as this moment. I would say that most of the phones in this comparative test had outperforms all resistance in the corresponding test we did with the hottest camera phones for only a few months ago. On the paper stand out because two of the phones. Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom has despite the name not so much in common with Samsung’s flagship S4 but looks more like a camera than a phone. A dirty lens à la Professional compact camera stands out, but so has the device also impressive specifications. 10 x optical zoom, 16 megapixels and good night vision. Nokia’s Lumia 1020 is not like any mobile phone, or camera, for that matter, with its 41 megapixel aiming to achieve similar results as Samsung’s awkward lens, but through software instead of bulky hardware.

HTC One with ultrapixlar for better performance in low light, complete with Sony’s latest Xperia Z1 and Iphone 5S schedule, so we can expect superior image quality and a smooth and uncertain fight when we compare features and drill down on the images.

To give some background on how we conduct the test so we have set up different motives that we’re shooting with different cameras so that the conditions will be the same for all. Different cameras have different settings and features, so we use the available settings and designs programs to simply see which settings give the best image. It can be auto mode in a phone and the night mode in another. Then there is the respective camera’s best picture that we compare with the others ‘ best. Then then conclude by assessing how interfaces look and how easy and fast it is to take a picture, it’s also important when choosing camera phone. The first image we’ll look at is probably the most exciting and vital to many, but we are starting to check on the use, how the various camera phones is to take pictures with and what features each provides.

Setup and operation

It is not the first time it happens, but this time when we are looking at the phones ‘ specifications, manufacturers seem to have lost a total of discretion when it comes to how many megapixels you need. Fortunately, there is an explanation. Nokia is worst with its 41 megapixel sensor, but if you thought that the megapixelrejset slowed down so I can at least console yourself with all the megapixels in use today have another use. Lumia 1020 Megapixels are used not primarily to create huge pictures of everything you take, but in order to use all collected pixels to do less but better images. HTC and their so called ultrapixlar has a similar concept. In Sony Xperia Z1 is just over 20 megapixel on the paper, but in practice the images rarely so big. Select, for example, in auto mode the camera settings with what Sony calls “optimized settings” lost the opportunity to select megapixelantal as well as the ability to take HDR pictures or use scene modes including Night, sports, Documentary and other scene selection. Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is another that is distinguished by its optical zoom that is superior to the other, but on the other hand, the device becomes much more clunky than the others we test here.

When we check out what setting options to the various units have is as usual the Iphone the most fastidious. HDR, which is a technology for better color gamut, along with photo light the only actual settings can be done in the camera app. It is true that even a series of color filters to add to the images, but it’s more about distorting à la Instagram.

When we tested the precursors to Sony Xperia Z1 has the manufacturer had marvelous interface for the camera with a combination of many opportunities while the camera view is not mired with icons and the like. With the Z1 takes a further step and it is now even better. The basic idea is still there, but those who want to play with more settings can do it, and now there are also apps built into the camera app to be able to add more features in addition to those Sony themselves fixed. Today it houses a few apps, but one must assume that more will come. In auto mode, select Xperia Z1 scene mode itself, such as document, backlight or landscape.

The camera in Nokia Lumia 1020 is special and there is nothing else like it in any other phone. The Nokia made is, in effect, mimicking the function that sits in a cumbersome lens, but accomplished it with software. It is advanced technology that lies behind and the risk is so clearly to the g r the photographing difficult for anyone not versed in any technology. However, the successful Nokia avoid. In 1020 the Nokia app Lumia is Pro Cam the photo automatically when you press the camera button, and it makes the app great. It is possible to shoot in auto mode, and those who want to play around with the settings, which performance of Lumia 1020 really invites, can do it directly in the camera view. Somewhat confusing, though, is Nokia’s choice to split the photo features for several apps. Nokia Smart Cam offers some features not available in Nokia Pro Cam and vice versa. Then there are also Windows system’s own kameraapp without any extras, so would the best from all three of these lenses are baked together to form one.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, both in its revelation that the menus much in common with a compact camera. Zoom handle easily with the focus ring on the back and it happens to me on the phone mannerisms, use the volume buttons on the side instead, but they run just that particular volume and nothing else. There are many different finished scene modes and in expert mode you have full control over ISO, shutter speed, exposure and so on. However, when the settings are divided into several stages with rings you pull in on the screen and it can get a little too many steps for it to be completely transparent.

HTC One has an almost Iphone-wise the minimalist menu system in the camera, but starts well press revealed multiple options. This particular type of deep menu system where the camera mode in its first mode not showing so many features are problematic because even when you want to make a small change in the settings is forced to push up the entire menu list. Better would have been to hide the unusual settings deeper and do other more available for the fastest possible handling.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z1

In daylight

Settings and features in all its glory, but it’s the photos, that is the result of settings and available features that we are most interested in taking pictures in natural light on an average day, one can argue that virtually all mobiles do without problems, but as soon as we begin to examine the pictures we notice major class difference. This is unusually clear now and due to the great advances mobile cameras made the last six months.

There is much to consider in test images taken in daylight. Clarity and detail are things we look at, but also, for example, colour rendition. When it comes to sharpness and detail is that two of the units that stand out because it is so clearly Samsung and Nokia. Is the detail in the sense that you want real zoom turns out fast Samsung’s optical zoom superior to everything else. I take the same picture with all the cameras and with Nokia and Samsung also an additional image with full zoom. It clearly shows what you will receive if you choose to carry with you a little bulkier device. In the picture from S4 Zoom you can see clearly the little her little summerhouse close by the beach while in the detail of the picture from the HTC One, that can handle this the worst, just a gray-green mush. You cannot even distinguish some houses.

It’s not always you need to use zoom, so we ignore it for a moment .When the comparison looking at colors and sharpness when all images have the same slicers are the Lumia 1020 which is the clear winner. If you thought that all wireless cameras take about as good images when conditions are easy to prove it that they thought wrong. All the properties of the image from Lumia 1020 is more lively than in competitors ‘ pictures. HTC One is hopeless. IPhone 5S is really the only one of the phones is not a pronounced camera phone and it performs much better than the HTC One, even if it does not have the same level of detail as the image from Sony’s Xperia Z1. IPhone and Sony cell phone has a tough fight, for the Iphone succeeds better with color reproduction when Z1 sometimes shows a little watered down colors. Samsung’s S4 Zoom was superior when it was zoomed, but most are not ashamed of themselves when zoomed out, either. Just a bit clearer image than the Sony Z1 gives simply the second place after Nokia.

In the fight to get the best out of the HTC One we tried even HDR mode. It served only a miserable and totally useless image, which means that there can be different than the bottom rating for it.

Winner: Lumia 1020

Sample images (cropped from original to clearer view details).Grades have been based on more images than those shown here.

Other features

Let us stand in between with a more general category before going on with image comparisons. For the first category with image preview and overview of features and how the phone works shows maybe some question mark up. Because the question is about these camera phones are so good that you can leave all the “real” cameras at home. And the supplementary question is so clearly that if now mobile cameras are so good, how much do I have to sacrifice in other areas? Therefore, we check all other features that these devices offer in addition to the photography. A mobile camera that is lousy that mobile is not the mobile camera you will really get use to and take with you on a daily basis.

The iPhone is probably many who know and the new 5S we test this fold not by Apple from the chosen path taken. It is a refined model without a revolution. We recognize Apple’s attention to detail in manufacture and design, and we recognize the app store where you don’t miss much. IOS 7 which is the new operating system version 5S come with is an improvement compared to the past.

Sony’s Xperia Z1 is a little in the same way as the Iphone a model emerged and shows how Sony model-to-model refined and improved. Neither one can complain about materials or design, and despite the fact that the phone, even if it doesn’t look so, can swim without being harmed by it. The operating system is Android and therefore, Sony and other manufacturers who use the system to tailor the experience and allow apps add value to a greater extent than Apple allows in their devices.

We continue to the HTC One which also run Android have they more clearly than Sony added extras. It’s all about the Blinkfeed that when you see it on someone else’s phone feels right is meaningless. It retrieves information from news sources and social services you are connected to. You simply have to see it with your personal content to see how good it is. It is a convenient way to stay up to date on what you actually care about. HTC One has been out for a few months now and is not as steaming fresh as Z1 and Iphone 5S, but with aluminum in the shell have the aged this short time with dignity. It is worth pointing out that the HTC One, like all the other phones, when we tested has been updated to the latest available software.

With the three phone completed, all stylishly designed with glass and metal, we go into the two odd birds in the context. Nokia has been good at creating their own profile. Most of it is different if you compare content and outside with the competitors we already dealt with. Apputbudet is not as large as its competitors, but it is growing and has reached a critical limit, even if the new apps still tend to first launched for Iphone. Nokia has also worked hard to create unique apps only available for their own lumias. There is an appealing idea of Windows Phone where the boxes that covers the home screen can refer not only to the apps but also give you direct access to your closest contacts, updated content from online services and more tailored content. Often, however, requires a few clicks to get to the full information and that way is probably the Android widgets more efficiently to always have the information available in the start screen.

About Nokia and Windows Phone had as goal to stand out from the crowd have Samsung S4 Zoom clearly succeeded with that, for better or worse. For you to be willing to use something that looks like a camera even as a phone is required so clear that the pictures are very much better than anything else that looks and actually work as a phone. The image quality we determine in the other assessment categories, but we can say that S4 Zoom with its smaller screen and its odd format is far from the ultimate when it’s phone calls, Web browsing, messaging, and sms you concentrate on.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z1

In the dark

Already in the beginning of this text, we were looking at that there has been a generational shift. Traditionally, most cell phone cameras have been useless in the dark, but now something happened. The subject is difficult for a mobile camera. Sergels Torg in Stockholm a dark evening bidding on dark but also on a variety of light sources that complicates the whole thing. If we start with the two phones that have so far been the main so it turns out that Lumia 1020 with their software magic beats Samsung’s physical optics. It is not enough that the blue statue in the middle of the image that we focused on is much sharper and clearer image from Lumia 1020. Even in the rest of the image is better at Lumia 1020 produce the whole spectrum of colors from dark to light than what Samsung S4 Zoom is. Lumia 1020 has thanks to its sensor at 41 megapixel option to serve two pictures. One is at 38 megapixels and the other is at five, but it is used in spite of the entire sensor to create an image with more information. It is not always evident, but in this case it is clearly visible that the image on the 5 megapixel has better color fidelity and detail than the 38 also see Lumia 1020 ‘s single.

With the HTC One becomes the blue statue just a blurred black silhouette, and details in the rest of the image is difficult to decipher even the. Sony Xperia Z1 manages to reproduce both the lighter as the dark areas in the image without someone part takes over too much, and it’s even better than Iphone 5S on making our Blue statue justice. IPhone 5S is not as talented but fails to reproduce all colors, but is still significantly better than the HTC One.

Winner: Lumia 1020

Sample images (cropped from original to clearer view details).Grades have been based on more images than those shown here.