The best camera phones – Top five [Update]
As we found in our recent compact cameras vs smartphone photography test, your mobile is capable of taking some great pictures. The latest models can even outperform some cameras from big names like Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm. So what phone should you get if you want to save on buying a standard point and click camera?
From the iPhone 5s to Nokia’s Lumia 1020, we’ve rounded up the top five camera phones available. Read on to find out which handset will give you the best snaps.
Nokia Lumia 1020 – best for quality
The Lumia 1020’s 41-megapixel sensor is its main selling point, allowing you to take super-detailed shots on your mobile. The sensor is particularly handy in low light conditions with the phone picking out a lot more detail than rivals like the iPhone 5s. For those who still like a photo for their mantelpiece, the Lumia 1020 usefully produces two images when you take a photo – a low res image for sharing and high res alternative that you can print out and frame.
As good as the Lumia’s photographic functions are, they can be difficult to find and use. Plus, it can’t print wirelessly.
Read our full Nokia Lumia 1020 review to find out how the battery life, screen quality and other key features measure up.
iPhones 5s – best for flash
One way of improving a phone’s performance in low light is to make sure the flash works well. Trouble is, too much white light will ‘wash out’ the faces of those you’re trying to photograph. Apple’s iPhone 5s nimbly navigates this problem with its dual-LED flash, which helps give a better colour balance for shots. Combined with quality image processing software, you’ll generally get a good photo from the iPhone 5s.
Unfortunately, this 8Mp camera’s digital zoom lacks finesse – so you quickly lose detail when cropping into shots.
Read the iPhone 5s review to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Sony Xperia Z2 – best for 4K
The 4K TV explosion kicked off in earnest at this year’s CES with Sony and Samsung both launching sets designed to display ultra HD video. Since there’s so little content available for viewers to watch, it’s no wonder the Sony Xperia Z2 has been gifted with 4K video abilities. This means you can relive those home movies in unsparing detail.
As for the Z2’s 20.7Mp camera, it’s pretty much the same as what was offered by last year’s Z1. Despite this high megapixel count, the Z1 failed to take a great photo – we’ll be keeping a keen eye on whether the Z2’s image processing has improved.
Our Sony Xperia Z2 first look has the full verdict on its seamless waterproofing and Full HD screen.
Samsung Galaxy S5 – best for speed
When you want to capture a memorable moment on camera, speed is often of the essence. Step up the Samsung’s Galaxy S5, which claims to be able to take a photo in just 0.3-seconds – focusing in on your subjects in double-quick time. The 16Mp camera is also an improvement over the 13Mp sensor on its predecessor, the Galaxy S4.
That said, the Galaxy S4 didn’t quite match the iPhone 5s and Lumia 1020 in taking a good photo. We’ll soon see if Samsung’s flagship phone has improved from our test lab results.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S5 first look for more of this Android phone’s key features.
Nokia Lumia 925
The Nokia Lumia 925 features an impressive 8.7-megapixel sensor meaning it compares favourably to the iPhone 5s. Its pre-loaded apps also unlock the ability to take animated cinemagraph and panorama shots, as well as upload more regular photos to Instagram. Though a small minority of the photos we took during testing did return a slightly yellowish tint, there was no doubting the phone’s general image quality.
Most significantly, the well-documented ability of the Lumia 925 to take quality shots at low-light levels means it’s ideal for anyone looking avoid the use of an often distorting flash lens.
Find out how it compares with its rivals in our Nokia Lumia 925 review.
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