Want to buy a phone for camera..

Started Aug 8, 2013 | Questions
Si14
Junior MemberPosts: 47
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Want to buy a phone for camera..
Aug 8, 2013

Hi all,

I am looking for a smart phone with good camera. Can you suggest some:

I am aware of Nokia N8, 808, and 1020 which have relatively good cameras, however, 808 and 1020 are big!

What is the best phone out in terms of the camera quality?

Thanks for your time.

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bigley Ling
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Re: Want to buy a phone for camera..
In reply to Si14, Aug 8, 2013

I think you will be hard pressed to find a good phone with camera that is not "big" these days. The trend seems to have the best phone cameras installed into flagship mobiles, which in turn have larger displays.

I think the Nokia 808 is the smallest footprint for screen size  etc, and sports a very good camera. The only thing with that handset is the bulk added behind where the amazing Zeiss optic and 41MP sensor reside.

Appart from that the Nokia 925 seems to be quite a slim phone, without the bulk of a protruding lens, and seems not too large. Maybe this you could consider?

The SG4 sports a very decent camera too, but since it is a flagship phone from Samsung, it also sports a very nice large screen. Not sure if that is considered "big".

I know if you want the best out of a mobile camera, that will work in more scenes, consider the 808 or the 1020, as both those has a lossless zoom, with the 808 producing images that can rival some DSLRs for IQ.

Good luck

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Hulamike
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iPhone
In reply to Si14, Aug 8, 2013

Why settle for one? With iPhone you get access to the App Store and dozens of camera apps that are all better than the one Apple gives you. I like 645Pro MK II which produces a 23 meg lossless TIFF if you like. I print them big all the time.

Does Nokia even have an App Store? Seriously, I don't know. What I do know is that I'd sure hate being stuck with whatever camera some nerdy phone engineer thought was cool. With iPhone you can pick and choose for around $1.50 a pop. Only way to go IMHO.

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Si14
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Re: Want to buy a phone for camera..
In reply to Si14, Aug 8, 2013

Just to clarify:

I do not have special love for Nokia!

Any phone with good camera is appreciated.

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Alupang
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Hulamike, Aug 8, 2013

If all you need is tiny sensor quality, then just buy a Nokia 520 for around $100-150. It compares quite favorably to ANY another tiny sensor phone like the $800+ iphone 5.

Nokia lowest on the totem pole Lumia 520 VS Apple's flagship i-phone 5:

http://nokiarevolution.com/2013/06/15/the-lumia-520-vs-iphone-5-camera-test/

But both these phones suck for any kind of photography imo.

My advice is if you are strapped for cash, get the Nokia 808 new/used on the bay. Its sensor is 5 times larger than any phone from apple or samsung.

Showing Nokia 808 shots to android and apple users is like introducing fire to cavemen. They are simply blown away.

Nokia 808; Manila Typhoon Rains

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Hulamike
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Alupang, Aug 8, 2013

Not seeing it Alupang. But keep on beating that horse anyway. You still haven't answered my question, does Nokia have an App Store or are you stuck with the camera they supply? Does if allow various aspect ratios? Color film modes? Volume shutter? Lossless TIFF, etc? Variety's the name of the game these days. Pixel counting is soo yesterday!

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John339
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Hulamike, Aug 8, 2013

I just ordered a Nokia 808 PureView and yes there is a Nokia app store.

http://store.ovi.com/applications

There also is a forum and different aps for the Symbian operating system.

http://www.symbian-freak.com/forum/index.php?sid=3373e7be453baa717e5e6d7532b3e27e

I picked it for the sensor size and have looked at many shots taken with it and other phone/ cameras.

It was difficult finding a place that has it in stock and I had a hassle with one place that said they had sent it to me and later admitted no stock and it certainly was never sent.

Whatever you get just shoot a lot of photos and get used to it just like a DSLR or in my case a SLT. A good photographer will do fine with almost any of the phone/ cameras so just decide on one and get to shooting.

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Alupang
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Re: iPhone
In reply to John339, Aug 8, 2013

John339 wrote:

I just ordered a Nokia 808 PureView and yes there is a Nokia app store.

Hey congrats you will love it. I really like mine...in fact I own 2 Nokia 808s. One is brand new back up because I know there won't be a better phone made for years to come. Nokia 808 is that good.

http://store.ovi.com/applications

There also is a forum and different aps for the Symbian operating system.

http://www.symbian-freak.com/forum/index.php?sid=3373e7be453baa717e5e6d7532b3e27e

I'm not that into software...I just use an excellent free PC program "Irfanview" that does fine degree rotations, crops, auto color/levels, etc. It's simple, fast and best of all, totally free. It has tons of silly plug-in filters too of course--but I got over that childish phase of photography long long ago. I'll never understand the obsession some people have over apps---it's just software you know. Dime a dozen to me.

Most of the time I just crop a little and adjust rotation, then resize and unsharp mask. The Nokia 808 JPGs are usually just fine---no need to hide flaws with crazy filters or anything.

I picked it for the sensor size and have looked at many shots taken with it and other phone/ cameras.

Yes of course, it's all about sensor size and lens quality. The Nokia 808 has both of these qualities--best camera in any phone. The Lumia 1020 cam isn't quite as good (sensor is a little smaller)  but it has other really cool features like a larger higher res screen for better web experience. Tough choice. I call it a draw overall.

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bigley Ling
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Alupang, Aug 8, 2013

Alupang, I will wait for the features I desire in the 1020 before getting one. For instance, for a "pro" camera app to be pro, it really needs setting that pros can use, like sharpness adjustment, and saturation. I basically want the image to be at least the same as my 808 in terms of color, saturation, and sharpness. As I have mentioned in other posts, I do  not mind even if it took 6 seconds between shots, if the pixel interpolation could be improved to match that of the 808.

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Hulamike
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Nerd Alert
In reply to Alupang, Aug 8, 2013

I get it. You don't like image editing or camera apps. Odd from someone who pretends to be all about image quality. No image is ready for prime time directly from any camera let alone a cellphone, that is anything above a selfie or party pix. Maybe thats all you shoot.

So I guess you're just another techno nerd afterall. Any photographer would and does appreciate the need to augment reality in post processing. That goes back to photography's roots in the early 1800s. Look it up. On your cellphone app.

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Alupang
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Re: iPhone
In reply to bigley Ling, Aug 8, 2013

bigley Ling wrote:

Alupang, I will wait for the features I desire in the 1020 before getting one. For instance, for a "pro" camera app to be pro, it really needs setting that pros can use, like sharpness adjustment, and saturation. I basically want the image to be at least the same as my 808 in terms of color, saturation, and sharpness. As I have mentioned in other posts, I do not mind even if it took 6 seconds between shots, if the pixel interpolation could be improved to match that of the 808.

Since I only work with full resolution files, I prefer to use a PC to do all my post processing. I have Photoshop (never use anymore) and freeware Irfanview.

If I was really into apps I suppose I would just fire up my Photoshop. I think it's what most pros use, right? Meh; Irfanview is fine for me.

Bottom line is I think the Lumia 1020 can come very close to Nokia 808 if you PP the 41MP JPGs with a computer. Consider I shoot my 808 @ Vivid +1 saturation, so I like the 1020's punchy colors.

Plus I'm very confident the Lumia 1020 cam app will be updated again and again over time. It's already been updated to include bracketing. Sharpness and saturation settings are next.

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Hulamike
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Alupang, Aug 8, 2013

Pity you have to wait for the PHONE manufacturer to address saturation and poor sharpening, etc. $800 bucks, huh? wow.

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Si14
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(Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Hulamike, Aug 9, 2013

I also think having a software capable of doing basic functions and manual settings (shutter/iso/intervalometer/bracketing ...) is a must.

On the other hand, one might not have enough time to PP all the images. So, a good software to generate an acceptable photo without PP is very much needed IMHO.

I searched and noticed that Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are two possible options. I would have gone with the Nokia, if they were low-profile and software-rich (similar to Android-IOS).

Unfortunately, I need to mention that Nokia softwares are very limited.

Anyways, I am wondering how much is the IQ difference between Nokia 808, 1020 and the SG4 and iPhone 5? I want to see if I go with the SG4 and iPhone 5, how much I would be missing in terms of the camera capabilities?

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Alupang
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Re: (Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Si14, Aug 9, 2013

Si14 wrote:

Anyways, I am wondering how much is the IQ difference between Nokia 808, 1020 and the SG4 and iPhone 5?

That's an easy question to answer: About five times better image quality because Nokia sensors are about 5 times larger.

This isn't rocket science. The size of the sensor is directly related to image quality. Period.

Don't believe me? OK fine. Read this please:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/08/02/sensor-size-is-what-matters-and-the-trend-is-for-larger-says-aptina

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seeblue
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Re: Want to buy a phone for camera..
In reply to Si14, Aug 9, 2013

Which comes first for you, the smartphone or the camera? If it's the smartphone, you need to figure out which ecosystem and operating system you prefer. You'll figure that out by spending a FEW HOURS off and on in the store playing with the phones.

Then to get the best camera for the ecosystem and operating system you prefer, you'll need to buy a near or top-of-the-line model.

I prefer iOS and an iPhone. As far as the camera (I've got a 4S), it's quite controlled and competent. Out of the box, images are conservatively sharpened, colors are moderate and accurate, noise is moderate in good light. In regular use, it's predictable and repeatable. I get consistent results. In that sense, you get a feel for it's strengths and weaknesses and compensate accordingly. Images look similar on my phone and desktop monitor. Images need little to no "work" unless you want to.

As noted earlier above, the photography software catalog in the App Store is endless.

No cameraphones is a substitute for a real camera, IMO. If the camera is first, buy a real camera. Smartphone cameras fill a niche by their convenience/immediacy, portability, and ease of use (up/downloading/posting/processing).

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Si14
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Re: (Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Alupang, Aug 9, 2013

Alupang wrote:

Si14 wrote:

Anyways, I am wondering how much is the IQ difference between Nokia 808, 1020 and the SG4 and iPhone 5?

That's an easy question to answer: About five times better image quality because Nokia sensors are about 5 times larger.

This isn't rocket science. The size of the sensor is directly related to image quality. Period.

Don't believe me? OK fine. Read this please:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/08/02/sensor-size-is-what-matters-and-the-trend-is-for-larger-says-aptina

I have already read that article.

Do you have photo comparison?

Based on the following photo comparison, you can see here that the difference is not that much significant. If you have a photo comparison that shows the difference in action, that would be interesting to see.

http://www.gsmarena.com/piccmp.php3?idType=2&idPhone1=5125&idPhone2=4577&idPhone3=4910

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Stevan G
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Re: (Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Si14, Aug 9, 2013

Si14 wrote:

Alupang wrote:

Si14 wrote:

Anyways, I am wondering how much is the IQ difference between Nokia 808, 1020 and the SG4 and iPhone 5?

That's an easy question to answer: About five times better image quality because Nokia sensors are about 5 times larger.

This isn't rocket science. The size of the sensor is directly related to image quality. Period.

Don't believe me? OK fine. Read this please:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/08/02/sensor-size-is-what-matters-and-the-trend-is-for-larger-says-aptina

I have already read that article.

Do you have photo comparison?

Based on the following photo comparison, you can see here that the difference is not that much significant. If you have a photo comparison that shows the difference in action, that would be interesting to see.

http://www.gsmarena.com/piccmp.php3?idType=2&idPhone1=5125&idPhone2=4577&idPhone3=4910

the difference between S4/IP5 and 808/N8/1020 is literally night and day, if you are interested in good photography just don't bother with small sensors, and if you need good ecosystem just buy a cheapo Android tablet for $50 and bring it along

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50058219

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Hulamike
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Re: (Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Alupang, Aug 9, 2013

What flavor is that Kool-Aid you drank?

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Hulamike
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Re: (Galaxy S4/iPhone 5) vs (Nokia 808, 1020)
In reply to Si14, Aug 9, 2013

He can't and won't because he's not a photographer. All he ever states is file size. There's a lot more involved with a good photo than size.

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Jeff Peterman
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Re: iPhone
In reply to Hulamike, Aug 9, 2013

Hulamike wrote:

Why settle for one? With iPhone you get access to the App Store and dozens of camera apps that are all better than the one Apple gives you. I like 645Pro MK II which produces a 23 meg lossless TIFF if you like. I print them big all the time.

Does Nokia even have an App Store? Seriously, I don't know. What I do know is that I'd sure hate being stuck with whatever camera some nerdy phone engineer thought was cool. With iPhone you can pick and choose for around $1.50 a pop. Only way to go IMHO.

I agree that the iPhone is a decent camera. But it is still a SINGLE camera. Yes, you can get many apps to process the captured image, as you can on Android phones (like the S4) and Windows phones (like the Nokia) - or you can just take the image out of the phone and process it on a computer.

So, for anyone looking for a relatively small phone with a decent camera, the iPhone is certainly worth considering. But it is still a single camera. Now, I don't know how many phone cameras allow apps to access the non-compressed image directly from the sensor - does the 645Pro app actually work with the non-compressed data, or does it receive the compressed file but give you the option of saving the edited image in an uncompressed format? (The latter reduces one level of compression artifacts but doesn't remove the initial ones created when the image is captured.)

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