Must-read: GSMArena's brilliant "Six-way camera shoutout"
You know I love to compare smartphone cameras and I pride myself I'm not too bad at it either. But I even before I started making comparisons, I already admired the work of GSMArena, which when it comes to smartphones is one of the most reliable sources on the internet anyway.
So I'm happy to share their huge comparison with the Nokia Lumia 1020, Apple iPhone 5S, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2 and Sony Xperia Z1. Regular club visitors already may have seen some of the results of those smartphones here recently, but my test we never so extensive as GSMArena is showing here.
I'll only give you the results of all different tests, but I urge you to follow the links and see how they got to it:
1. Still camera features - 1st: Lumia 1020, 2nd: G2, 3rd; Xperia Z1
2. Still photos in good light - 1st: Lumia 1020, 2nd Xperia Z1, 3rd Galaxy Note 3
3. HDR, Panorama - 1st: Galaxy Note 3/iPhone 5s, 3rd: One
4. Still photos in low light - 1st: Lumia 1020, 2nd One, 3rd iPhone 5s
4a. Low light with flash - 1st: Lumia 1020, 2nd iPhone 5s, 3rd Galaxy Note 3
5. Video camera features - 1st: Galaxy Note 3/Lumia 1020, 3rd G2
6. Video recording in good light - 1st: Galaxy Note 3, 2nd: Lumia 1020/iPhone 5s
7. Zoom comparison - outcome missing (?)
8. Video recording low light - 1st: Lumia 1020, 2nd One, 3rd Xperia Z1
Overall, the winner is the Nokia Lumia 1020, a surprising runner up is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Third is the Sony Xperia Z1, fourth the LG G2. Apple's iPhone 5s comes in fifth, and the HTC One ends last.
The only field where the Nokia Lumia 1020 doesn't even end in third place is in HDR/Panorama, which is not surprising to me as you can read in this post, where I even advised the Nokia team working on Panorama to go back to the drawing board (and get inspired by Samsung, that ends in first place in this part of the competition, together with the iPhone 5s).
It's quite interesting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 wins the silver medal in this competition, since in all marketing Samsung never paid any attention to its camera at all - guess the company is trying to be "quietly brilliant" this time :-)
Xperia Z1 ending in third place is a bit of a surprise to me - I would have guessed the LG G2 to take the bronze medal in this competition. This based on my own early comparisons, I still hope to find the time to do some more soon. I couldn"t test the Galaxy Note 3 for myself yet and I'm still looking for someone to borrow me his or her iPhone 5s for a day (fat chance I'm afraid).
Interesting to note though is that, where it's no surprise the Nokia Lumia 1020 wins this competition, there are no less than three Android devices beating the Apple iPhone 5s. That is quite painful for the Cupertino boasters, to put it mildly.
As the guys from GSMArena write in their introduction, the HTC One is the oldest phone we're putting to the test but it's the first Android to include OIS and its different approach is certainly interesting to compare. Using fewer but large pixels (dubbed UltraPixels) goes against the grain, and we are interested to see how it works out. Well, not too good, it now appears... Another company being a bit too proud of its imaging capacities I'm afraid.
And yes, I know they didn't use the Nokia 808 PureView, and I'm sure they're aware of that too. I guess the PureViewClub must be one of the rare blogs still writing about the 808 PureView (together with AllAboutSymbian). My guess is it would have ended very high as well, knowing how it scores in all categories. But it's not a current smartphone anymore (already when it hit the market it wasn't "current"), so I understand the choice.
From their fantastic comparison, I will only share one more shot: the field of view from all cameras compared, which I think is quite interesting in itself.
Their complete "smartphone roulette" starts here, be sure not to miss it!