Camera Comparison: Five 8-megapixel Smartphones


Low Light Test

Low Light Test

Feeling adventurous, we proceeded to our lab and whipped up a low-light test scene. An incandescent light source was used.

Apple iPhone 4 - 1/15s, f/2.8, ISO 1000, Pattern metering
Apple iPhone 4S - 1/17s, f/2.4, ISO 800, Pattern metering
HTC Sensation XE - ISO 819
Nokia N9 - 1/17s, f/2.2, ISO 800, Average metering
Samsung Galaxy S II - 1/17s, f/2.7, ISO 400, Centerweighted-average metering
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S - 1/16s, f/2.4, ISO 640, Centerweighted-average metering

 

Observations

The benefit of the faster F2.4 lens in the iPhone 4S compared to the F2.8 lens in the iPhone 4 is apparent: shutter speed was maintained, but the photo was taken at a lower ISO. The resulting image exhibited slightly lesser noise and more details. The Sensation XE displayed a case of over zealous noise reduction; noise was greatly reduced, but details appeared smudgy, making it looked like a water painting. The Nokia N9 did a decent job correcting the white balance. All in all, none of the cameraphones did well in this test. The iPhones seemed to be the least aggressive in terms of noise reduction at high ISOs; the result was often a noisier image, but also of one that revealed the most details.