Top 5 Camera Phones of 2012

The constant battle for the throne, between high-end smartphones never seems to end. Manufacturers squeeze extra juices everywhere possible to make their own product superior, varying from processing power to custom user interface. The camera plays a key factor in any smartphone, and it becomes a critical factor among the top-rivals aiming for the number one position. While camera departments in the smartphones in these days are in fact way too better than point and shoot cameras few years back, still there exists a competition for the perfection. The following is a wrap up of the top camera phones of 2012.

Apple iPhone 5

For those who shifted from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5, the 8 mega pixel shooter, and the great compact camera squeezed into the shell, shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Obviously iPhone 4S’s camera was one of the best in its range-among the rival camera phones, and with the iPhone 5 only little has been changed, as a lot had been already engineered to perfection. Noise reduction and luminous reduction algorithms have been tweaked a little, which has resulted in smoother, soft looking images compared to iPhone 4S’s images at 100% crops, however the details of the images are well preserved. The low light performance too has been improved, with the ISO range now boosting up to ISO 3200 which is a significant change, compared to the ISO 1000 limit found on iPhone 4S. But still, the ISO settings cannot be controlled manually, an option, photo-enthusiasts would’ve loved, when shooting in some tricky situations.

Another cool addition is the panorama feature, which actually came from the iOS6.The stitching of the photos is seamless and fast, although the file sizes may increase drastically when this mode is used. Camera interface hasn’t undergone a significant upgrade; however a physical shutter key is still missing. Within few days of release, iPhone 5 camera was criticized for a strange purple flare found on snapped photos, however it was later explained by Apple that the flare was due to a bright light source being positioned out of the scene, such as the sun. A quick fix was to cover shade the lens with the hand or to change your point of view slightly.

Video quality of the camera is great too, with 1080p full HD recording. Another cool feature is the simultaneous video and image capture, however the resolution of the captured images are really low at just 2 mega pixels. On the other hand many android flagships can capture high resolution images simultaneously while recording video.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

Galaxy 2 was the biggest rival to iPhone 4 over the previous year, and Samsung seems to take the competition to the next level with the new galaxy S3. The camera department of Galaxy S2 was pretty good, and with the upgrade Samsung only introduces few tweaks to it in Galaxy S3.

It’s the same sensor found in the Samsung galaxy S2, however several new features have been introduced backed by the new quad-core processing capabilities. They include capturing 16:9 full resolution photos while recording full HD video, recognizing people in captured photographs by moving beyond traditional face-recognition algorithms etc. Apart from them, regular features like geo-tagging, smile-detection and touch focus too are present. HDR mode for high-dynamic range imaging and a continuous burst mode of shooting 20 high resolution shots in just 6 seconds are interesting additions. Photos are much more detailed, and color saturation and contrast have been tweaked to present much more accurate photographs, instead of making just eye-candy images. Video enhancements are remarkable as well, with the ability to record Full HD videos (1080p) and HD (720p) videos with less noise and greater details.

HTC One X+

HTC One X, the flagship droid of HTC packs a 8 Mega pixel sensor, with some serious features including geo-tagging, face-detection, simile-detection and continuous auto focus, which helps in locking your focus to a moving subject. HDR effects, Panorama mode and several effects you find in photo effects apps like Instagram are built into the stock camera application.

One X+ is another step forward from this popular flagship droid, and the same sensor, same camera interface is expected from this droid beast as well. The upgraded features mainly concern hardware enhancements like boosting the quad core 1.5 GHz processor to quad core 1.7 GHz and increasing the built in memory up to 64 GB, however a replacement for the 8 mega pixel sensor is unlikely, therefore camera performance should be the same if not tweaked, which is already fantastic.

Few complaints regarding the photos of HTC One X were regarding the noise levels and sharpening algorithms and the phone getting hotter when taking photos, however image quality was remarkable compared to the rest of the 8 mega pixel smartphone league, therefore the upgraded version should produce high quality images with correct colors, saturation, contrast levels and details.

Sony Xperia S

Sony targets a top-notch position at camera-phone territory with the 12 mega pixel sensor, with an advanced Exmor sensor and LED flash, glued together to make a perfect camera for their high end smartphone, Xperia S. The resolution boost obviously results in much more detailed photos over top rivals like iPhone 5 and Galaxy SIII cameras. Xperia even packs a dedicated shutter key to notify its users that it’s ready for some serious shoots.

Sweep panorama feature and Sweep multi angle features are noteworthy developments and are interesting enough to use. Over exposure issues associated with the previous Xperia lineup too has been addressed here, in Sony’s attempt to make a perfect camera phone.

Xperia S is capable of recording Full HD videos at 30 fps, matching the features of the top rivals. Even on video mode, you can set the exposure, metering mode and focus mode manually. Another great addition is the continuous auto focus system. Videos recorded are actually great, with more accurate color saturation, and details.

LG Optimus G

LG Optimus G on Sprint packs a 13 Mega pixel camera, unlike the AT&T version’s 8 Mega pixel shooter. Sharpness and details in the photos are absolutely amazing, and low light performance has been improved either. Features common in the competition like HDR imaging, Panorama imaging, and continuous burst modes are available without making surprises. Automatic buffering of images before you press the shutter button, helps you record every specific moment, so that you can select the best one later. Voice recognition system associated with the camera too has been tweaked so now Optimus G camera is capable of taking a picture when you say “cheese”.

This droid is also capable of recording Full HD 1080p videos at 30 fps, along with continuous auto focus. The 13 Mega pixel sensor beats down Galaxy s3 and HTC One x here, by capturing more details. This 13 Mega pixel camera-phone will be released November 11th.

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Guest article written by: Gene Wright. Gene is analyzing hundreds of gadgets and software looking for the top gadgets of 2012. He’s working on a DrmRemoval software – a powerful converter that allows to remove drm from your protected videos and tunes.


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Guest article written by: Gene Wright. Gene is analyzing hundreds of gadgets and software looking for the top gadgets of 2012. He’s working on a DrmRemoval software – a powerful converter that allows to remove drm from your protected videos and tunes.


10 thoughts on “Top 5 Camera Phones of 2012”

  1. Great list, I’m already using Samsung Galaxy SII and really an awesome smartphone with smart and quality features. No doubt today Apple iPhone 5 is top smartphone.

  2. Hi Gene,

    The mentioned phones are no doubt the best camera phones these days, plus one can always add cool effects to his photos by downloading handy apps and make his photography professional! 🙂


  3. Among these list of phones i consider the iPhone as the best one. No other phone can beat the Apple phones lineup forever.
    But all other phones mentioned are with a good camera too. And those are next to iPhone 5

  4. Hi Gene,

    I suppose Nokia Pureview 808 should be in the top of the list as it is the best camera phone available. Please correct me if I am wrong….

  5. Recently, I have bought Samsung GT-S8500 smartphone. it is really awesome. I am satisfied with it. Thanks to admin for his valuable post on these mobile phones.

  6. I love Samsung Galaxy SIII and in view, no other brand offers the product that Samsung Galaxy series has. I love You Samsung Galaxy SIII !

  7. All phones listed here have amazing cam result. But i think Nokia Lumia has also fine result. Among them iphone 5 is best.

  8. for the design iphone 5 is the best for all. but if we talk about specification i think samsung S3 is the best. but i still prefer iphone 5. its elegant (just my 2 cents)


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