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Image Quality Compared: Flash Portrait

 

We set this basic portrait shot up in low artificial light, provided by a single tungsten bulb - roughly equivalent to low indoor lighting. The iPhone 5's tiny LED flash clearly struggles to illuminate the scene, and while its choice of a low ISO setting (~ISO 100) has kept things reasonably smooth and noise-free, camera-shake has taken the edge off pixel-level sharpness. We're not keen on the skin tone either - the Nokia 808 has delivered the most accurate color, and you can see for yourself how artificially warm the iPhone 5's rendering is. We greatly prefer it to the refrigerated blue color cast of the Samsung Galaxy SIII though. 

The Nokia 808's flash is a proper xenon unit of the sort found on most conventional cameras - the extra power is obvious from its far superior evenness of coverage, and balanced, neutral color rendition.

Comments

Total comments: 16
armanius

Maybe I missed it, but there's no discussion about the horrible distortion at the top and bottom edges (in portrait ).

0 upvotes
sjkro

Why are so many pictures up-side-down?

2 upvotes
vsk_suresh

There is a Fix for the Purple Haze, Just rotate the phone upside down and shoot it as normal, the purple haze is gone. :-) I tried it and and wanted to let all of you know...

0 upvotes
cph71

a little tip I read somewhere, is that you can use the control on the headphones to trigger the shoot, thus minimizing camera shake.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon

"For all DxOMark Mobile data presented on connect.dpreview.com we're showing only the '8MP equivalent' values, which gives us a level playing field for comparison between phone cameras with different megapixel values"

Wow. Just wow.

If you did that for normal cameras imagine the uproar......

Why not just report the best each camera can do?

0 upvotes
reeds

Excellent review. It's great to see serious attention on the cameras that most of us use most of the time.

The Nokia Pureview comparison is fair but for the future I'm more interested in comparisons to phones that are closer in size and weight.

The Nokia 808 is more than twice the volume of the iPhone 5 and about 2 oz/57g heavier than the iPhone 5. (Illustrated here: http://www.sizeall.com/compare/Apple-iPhone-5-Nokia-808-PureView-US-quarter-25-cents-coin/314 )

That's like carrying a second phone and 10 US quarters to get the better camera.

What's the best camera phone in same size and weight class?

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon

"The Nokia 808 is more than twice the volume". No it's not. Your link does not work but I plugged the two phones in. Height and width are the exact same shape, it's a bit thicker with a bump for the camera sticking out that is a lot thicker. To get twice the volume you must be calculating the volume of a box it would fit in. But it's not a box, It's like a slightly thicker iphone with a bump sticking out and given the variation in phone shapes I would consider it in the same class.

1 upvote
reeds

You're right, my first rough estimate was overzealous. Here are the exact values:

The Nokia 808 is 73.2% larger and 50.8% heavier than an Apple iPhone 5 based on both company's published specs. (The 808 is 95.50cc vs iPhone 5's 55.12cc. The 808 is 169g vs iPhone 5's 112g.)

That seems like a big difference to me based on my experience with other devices. However, I have not held them in my hands so I value your opinion. Do you think these specs suggest they are in a somewhat different category? That is, the 808 comparison is interesting but other devices closer in size/weight should be included in the future?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Hector1980

I've always been a big fan of dpreview, so it's great that now you decided to start testing smartphones.

Are you going to test apps, too? I'm a big fan of this one:

http://jag.gr/645pro/

And it would be great to have a dpreview-caliber review about it.

0 upvotes
vlad0

I've been taking pics with my iPhone 5 for the past week.. it does very well for it's sensor size, but when I put it up against my Nokia 808.. things don't look so good, especially at night..

Here is my little test from couple of days ago:

skydrive gallery: http://sdrv.ms/QOzrHB

4 upvotes
Reg Natarajan

Great gallery. Nothing beats seeing back to back comparison results, and you're right, the Nokia is vastly better.

0 upvotes
cluening

Thanks for the samples. The 808 sure bests the other 2 cams. But the N8 also does quite well, it can be PP'd still very well. Just the contrasts are a bit low, thats it.

0 upvotes
reeds

Great gallery! The last two images really drive home the difference.

1 upvote
Biggus

hmm, I don't see that the iPhone 5 image is that much better than the One X or the S3. It may just about have slightly better resolution, but not in the parts where it's overly bright in the highlights in comparison, indeed in some places, it's the worst of the 4. I'd also say the colour is as much on the warm side as the others are on the cool.

Looks to be a rather biased review tbh.

In my own order of preference, looking at the overall image, I'd choose in the following order...

S3 - most balanced, but less cool than the iPhone is warm
iPhone5 - too warm
808 - soft/suffering from haze
One X - very warm, too dark in the shadows

0 upvotes
Barney Britton

We also incorporate DXO's test data when drawing our conclusions. And we'll have an S3 review online very soon so you can take a more detailed look at how both cameras compare.

1 upvote
cluening

What you consider as haze and softness on the 808 is just the very defensive approach on in-camera tweaking. As I found out with the N8, this haze and softness can easily give perfect pictures in PP.
A lot of headroom.
Cant do with Apple phone cams, as I tried.
Might be the same with the S3, already showing lots of sharpening artifacts, so dead end.

1 upvote
Total comments: 16
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