Two OMAP 3430 Phones: Nokia N900 and Motorola Droidby Brian Klug on June 10, 2010 9:29 PM EST
Smartphone Camera Showdown
I'm a strong believer in objective comparison - I can opine for pages about the cameras and what I think about them, but ultimately you have to see the difference and make conclusions on your own. After all, the differences are obvious. For these camera reviews, I visited 7 different locations and took photos and one video with a number of phones. I'm going to do this for every phone I get my hands on, and build up a running comparison so we can really get a feeling for camera image quality. We're starting out with just a few, but I've got more for some phone reviews that aren't fully finished that'll come soon. ;)
We're working on a rollover table and gallery mashup that will let you view and compare all of the bench photos in an easy manner, but it isn't complete yet. Look for it soon, though!
Until then, all of the images are available in a zip file at full resolution (42 MB) here, and I've chosen one of the 7 locations to inline for comparison below.
There are also videos from each of the phones at the highest quality settings, and uploaded them to YouTube. For these videos, I haven't made any modifications or edits, just uploaded the videos in their native formats from the desktop:
HTC Droid Incredible
These should give you a pretty good feel for camera performance in a variety of locations - bright and dark, and of subjects with lots of colors. Where the N900's video is both higher resolution and crisper, the Motorola Droid's looks a bit noisy and seems to have a lower bitrate. The iPhone 3GS actually seems the most fluid in practice, though it adjusts exposure very aggressively while panning from the brightly-lit intersection to the shadowed wall across the street.
It's pretty apparent that the N900's camera is superior to the Motorola Droid's. The Motorola Droid's camera could use a bit more saturation and appears to have totally missed focus on the first image of the tree, if not a couple other images. I took the best photo of a few - all of these were marginal. The N900's camera is shockingly good - rivaling the HTC Incredible's in a number of cases. Interestingly, the HTC Incredible totally misses white balance in image 6, appearing way too blue.
There's quite a bit of variety in image aspect ratio and focal length between all of the cameras. Keep in mind I stood in the same location for all these tests.