What phone has the best camera?

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
9,558
UK
What do you guys think? those of you where the camera on your phone is very important. What is the best do you think right now?
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
Xperia z2
Lumia 1020
Lumia 1520 / 930
Galaxy S5

^ in no particular order

Followed closely by

iPhone 5S
LG G2 Pro
Xperia Z1
Xperia Z1 Compact
Galaxy S4
Note 3

^ in no particular order
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
9,558
UK
wouldn't mind checking out Xperia z2...all the reviews look good and it is a nice looking phone.
 

AQUADock

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2011
1,047
37
Definitely the Lumia 1020 followed by the GS5, Z2 and 5S all in close second.
 

soulreaver99

macrumors 68030
Aug 15, 2010
2,641
1,790
Southern California
Based on the phones I have personally owned...

Xperia Z2
iPhone 5s
Note 3
Nexus5

The iPhone 5S is almost a tie with the Z2. Z2 gets the edge for more versatility but as a simple point and shoot, they are about dead even. Both of them out do each other depending on different situations.
 

Sensamic

macrumors 68030
Mar 26, 2010
2,598
280
There was a report a week ago that some camera experts said the Z2 is the best one they've tried.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,375
181
If you don't mind using a phone with a dead OS and can put up with the inferior video recording compared to the Z2, the Nokia 808. It's plain unbeatable WRT still shooting. Not even the Z2 can beat in it.
 

Cod3rror

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2010
1,745
36
If you don't mind using a phone with a dead OS and can put up with the inferior video recording compared to the Z2, the Nokia 808. It's plain unbeatable WRT still shooting. Not even the Z2 can beat in it.
Agreed.

Nokia 808 PureView's pictures are simply amazing! Nothing matches it so far. And no, 1020 does not beat it, as much as people like to claim.

Look at these images at 100%, incredible detail, yet soft smoothness with no noise or grain at all.

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/2014040922066QzSgw.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102121bIew50.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102117a7kb8q.jpg

In fact, 808 beats all P&S cameras except for RX100, which beats it by a small margin and RX100 is the best P&S.


However the OS is dead.
 

rtomyj

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2012
802
688
I think the Lumia high end line and the iPhone 5 and 5s are best right now. Android phones (like One, Nexus 5, etc) come 3rd.
 

theapplefanboyj

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2014
674
0
Just tried the S4 Zoom, the S4 in a mini body with a bigggg camera. I tried that and the pictures it took couldn't compare to my Dad's S4!
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,375
181
Agreed.

Nokia 808 PureView's pictures are simply amazing! Nothing matches it so far. And no, 1020 does not beat it, as much as people like to claim.
Exactly. I personally am perfectly happy with the 808. Of course I don't use it as a "smart" phone (read: tons of third-party apps), only as a decent featurephone with only two add-on apps (AudioRecorder Pro and CameraPro Qt) installed. And I don't use the Internet on it either - that is, the problems with Web browsing, Skype, Facebook etc. don't really apply to me.

----------

I think the Lumia high end line and the iPhone 5 and 5s are best right now. Android phones (like One, Nexus 5, etc) come 3rd.
Well, there are, camera-wise, some REALLY excellent Android phones: the S5 and the Z2 are both excellent and both surpass the 5s and are on par with the Lumia 1020. (Of course, they still can't hold a handle to the 808 WRT pure stills image quality. That is, if you really want the best stills camera available, you really should go for the 808.)
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,988
575
St. Paul, Minnesota
Agreed.

Nokia 808 PureView's pictures are simply amazing! Nothing matches it so far. And no, 1020 does not beat it, as much as people like to claim.

Look at these images at 100%, incredible detail, yet soft smoothness with no noise or grain at all.

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/2014040922066QzSgw.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102121bIew50.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102117a7kb8q.jpg

In fact, 808 beats all P&S cameras except for RX100, which beats it by a small margin and RX100 is the best P&S.


However the OS is dead.
Isn't the 1020 just an 808 camera with some updated algorithms? Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Oohara

macrumors 68030
Jun 28, 2012
2,627
1,316
I haven't used one extensively myself, but the half press to focus/full press to snap dedicated camera button on the Lumia 1520 seemed like a lovely feature when I tried the phone out in a store recently.

I tend to think that equally or even more important than theoretical picture quality is how fast a phone cam is to activate and how straightforward it is to operate. The 1520 (and a few of the other Lumias) really nail it with that separate cam button, both for initial activation and for focusing. It just feels more like a regular camera, which means using it for taking photos becomes more intuitive.
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
I haven't used one extensively myself, but the half press to focus/full press to snap dedicated camera button on the Lumia 1520 seemed like a lovely feature when I tried the phone out in a store recently.

I tend to think that equally or even more important than theoretical picture quality is how fast a phone cam is to activate and how straightforward it is to operate. The 1520 (and a few of the other Lumias) really nail it with that separate cam button, both for initial activation and for focusing. It just feels more like a regular camera, which means using it for taking photos becomes more intuitive.
Yep agreed, it's really a nice feature to have on the 1520. :)

Does the 1020 have it I wonder?
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,375
181
Isn't the 1020 just an 808 camera with some updated algorithms? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Regrettably, no. Apart from the (excellent) OIS, it's significantly inferior to that of the 808 in every single respect.

----------

Yep agreed, it's really a nice feature to have on the 1520. :)

Does the 1020 have it I wonder?
It does - as does the 808 too. Of course, these two phones are significantly slower than the 1520 WRT camera startup time too.
 

watchthisspace

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2010
617
30
Agreed.

Nokia 808 PureView's pictures are simply amazing! Nothing matches it so far. And no, 1020 does not beat it, as much as people like to claim.

Look at these images at 100%, incredible detail, yet soft smoothness with no noise or grain at all.

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/2014040922066QzSgw.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102121bIew50.jpg

http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/808_pureview/201404102117a7kb8q.jpg

In fact, 808 beats all P&S cameras except for RX100, which beats it by a small margin and RX100 is the best P&S.


However the OS is dead.
Nokia, please make a Windows Phone with camera of the 808. Holy crap those photos make me think it's a DSLR :eek:

or Apple, Samsung, HTC, gimmie dat.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,375
181
Nokia, please make a Windows Phone with camera of the 808. Holy crap those photos make me think it's a DSLR :eek:
Unlikely to happen, regrettably. The 808 was a tech demo targeted solely at the hardcore tech / camera enthusiasts. An Average Joe don't wanting the best possible image quality would never purchase such a thick and heavy phone. This is why the 1020 and, particularly, the 1520 and the 930 are far thinner.

Basically, it's the same as Apple's striving for the thinnest possible iPhone even on the expense of the image quality of their camera. With a thicker phone, they could put a significantly better sensor and/or wider / brighter lens and/or OIS in the iPhone. Still, they cater for where the money is: the Average Joes (particularly the female and/or non-tech-savvy ones) and not us tech geeks.

I'm really sorry to see Nokia's going the Apple way in this regard.
 

Alfuh

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2009
239
0
I'm doing some traveling later this year and thought a "feature phone" with a great camera would be much better to have than a more recent phone with a lesser camera (less of a target for thieves too).

But I'll be damned the 808 is freaking expensive! Looks like its 4-500 used anywhere. Is this just because its such a unique item? Is it realistic to think to find it much cheaper?

Seemed better than carrying around a more recent phone or a P&S with a burner. Not at those prices though!
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,375
181
I'm doing some traveling later this year and thought a "feature phone" with a great camera would be much better to have than a more recent phone with a lesser camera (less of a target for thieves too).

But I'll be damned the 808 is freaking expensive! Looks like its 4-500 used anywhere. Is this just because its such a unique item? Is it realistic to think to find it much cheaper?

Seemed better than carrying around a more recent phone or a P&S with a burner. Not at those prices though!
1. On Amazon, used prices are generally around $300. Also in nation-wide forums like the Finnish http://www.matkapuhelinfoorumi.fi/forums/myydään-puhelimia.12/ . Without warranty, it's even lower; for example, this one: http://www.matkapuhelinfoorumi.fi/threads/nokia-pureview-808-hyväkuntoinen-hki-150e.82883/ is 150 euros.

2. you won't find a P&S camera with such detailed images. Sure, most (even the cheapest) cameras are faster to start / focus / write images than the 808, many take better video (particularly in low light) and have optical stabilization but you'll hardly find anything with so detailed images as the 808. Only DSLR's or ILC's paired with decent (non-kit), expensive lens come close. (Of course, these dedicated shooters are immensely better low-light shooters than the 808 and their DR is also significantly better and, apart from some lens (for example, the otherwise excellent 20/1.7 for the m43 system), also have OIS. They, when paired with the right (bright and/or preferably longer: zoom or at least portrait) lens, also deliver much shallower DoF. However, you won't really see much difference with good and low-DR lighting. In the latter case, the 808 can easily deliver better-detailed images than anything in the sub-$1500 category, given that 30+ Mpixel sensor-equipped, almost exclusively full-frame system cameras start at $1500, plus the lens price, obviously.)

Also, as an audio recorder (including when you record video), the 808 is unbeatable - much better frequency response, DR etc. than any other cameras (unless you use external mikes if they are supported - only in more expensive, typically system cameras only).
 
Last edited:

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,255
7,704
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Hmm well I've only had the iPhone 4 and 5 and my Nexus 5 as phones with what I would consider decent cameras, so I would have to say the Nexus 5 as it's the current one and the new app, just launched today, is great. The cameras damn fast at focussing with HDR+ too and in the pub the other night took some great shots.

However, if you truly want the best, you cannot beat a xenon flash like the some of the Nokia's have.

But smartphone cameras are the only form of camera I own, as they say the best camera is the one you have with you. Also I have seen over on Esato, a Sony Ericsson forum, some amazing photos with some old as well as new phones, as the will tell you, the photographer is just as important. Knowing how to take the photo really helps get great shots.
 
Last edited:

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
If you don't mind using a phone with a dead OS and can put up with the inferior video recording compared to the Z2, the Nokia 808. It's plain unbeatable WRT still shooting. Not even the Z2 can beat in it.
How does the Nokia N9 compare with these phones camera-wise? I remember it having a pretty good camera, but it might just be comparable to the iPhone/Android flagships rather than the 808. Either way, that 808 camera looks amazing and I am seriously considering it now.