Image Quality Compared (Studio - Bright Light)

 

The Samsung Galaxy S3 handles our studio test scene well in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness, exposure and white balance but at a pixel level we can see the same image characteristics that we already observed in the real-life sample on page 5. A combination of fairly aggressive noise reduction and sharpening leads to the S3 resolving less low contrast detail than some of its competitors in this comparison.

The iPhone 5 offers better detail on some of the fine fabrics in our test scene but also produces a more grainy look in some of the areas of plain tone. We would expect the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 to use very similar imaging sensors but it appears that Apple favors better detail over clean images while Samsung's approach is to apply fairly heavy-handed noise reduction at the expense of fine detail.

Neither the iPhone nor the Galaxy S3 can keep up with the Nokia 808 though which is the stand-out device in this comparison. It produces more natural tones and colors than the competition from Apple, Samsung and HTC and the level of captured detail is close to some entry-level DSLRs.