21 November 2013
In the space of only ten years, so-called 'camera phones' have come a very long way. Once only capable of capturing grainy images too tiny to see, today's phones offer so much more. With developments in photographic sensors in addition to other technological specifications, handsets are getting closer and closer to eradicating the need for a digital camera altogether. Not only that, with competition between mobile phone companies fiercer than ever, camera quality has become a significant selling point. As such, customers are well advised to know the ins and outs of which phone to buy, the quality of its camera and the results they can expect to achieve.
It's the market leader in so many ways, but how does the iPhone 5s measure up to its closest competitors when it comes to picture taking? Popular opinion is that the iPhone 5s's camera is the best yet from the dominant handset provider. Although its 8 megapixel camera has already been eclipsed by other phones, this really doesn't matter – the sharpness of quality when it comes to pictures taken may not be enough to print a billboard sized poster but when it comes to something such as providing images for personalised phone cases it is absolutely spot on.
Nokia Lumia 1020
One phone that is definitely aiming to sell itself on its camera capabilities is Nokia's latest offering, the 1020. Designed as a direct rival to the afore-mentioned iPhone 5s, the 1020 boasts a whopping 41 megapixel camera, trumping the iPhone's measly 8 megapixels and then some. The experience of using this powerful camera is far more like using a standalone piece of technology, and the performance in low level light and in motion is definitely better than any of its rivals. However, there is a flip side: with great megapixels comes, well, not so great storage – each image takes up so much room that creating photo albums on your handset is something of an impossibility.
The Z10 was something of a 'now or never' phone for the ailing Blackberry brand. And with the delays and disputes surrounding its, in the end, muted arrival many forgot to actually admire some of the clever camera features attached to the phone. For example, the innovative 'TimeShift' feature which allows a stream of images to be taken with just one touch of a button and then allows the selection of the perfect moment from all captured. The phone's 8 megapixel camera means picture quality is in line with most other handsets on the market, but with some expected features – panorama mode for example – notably lacking, it seems the Z10 may not have been worth the wait after all.
Google Nexus 4
A relative newcomer to the increasingly competitive smartphone market, Google has pitched its Nexus 4 camera just right at 8 megapixels. Although the camera can take longer than average to focus (so not much good for action shots) the phone does offer a raft of sophisticated editing tools which make personalising your images quick and easy. And the Nexus 4's biggest draw? It will save you money as it is among the most inexpensive smartphones on offer. The vast improvement, swift development and increasing sophistication of cameras on handsets is certainly symptomatic of the smartphone movement as a whole. And though it might not be time to throw the digital camera away just yet, that day might just be closer than we think.
What will phones be able to do next? Find out on our smartphone news page!
Rahima Aktar on Thursday, November 21, 2013 · Leave a Comment