Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
04th Oct 2012
Not so long ago, a camera was considered a token feature on cellphones. However, times have changed, and these phone-cameras are ready to challenge even their high-end point-and-shoot counterparts. The tables have turned, and now many people prefer to buy a camera phone, instead of lugging around a smartphone and camera separately. Specially for them, I've listed out the best camera phones in ascending order. While preparing this list, only the photo performance of each smartphone was taken into consideration.
5. Samsung GALAXY S III
Street Price (As On 5-Jul-2012): Rs 39,000 (BuyThePrice.com; Flipkart.com)
Apart from its impressive quad-core CPU, the GS3 also features a very good 8 mp camera. It offers a plethora of shooting modes, including Burst shot, Smile shot, and Panorama. The camera UI gives you total control over contrast, exposure, and white balance. In terms of quality, the resulting images contain enough detail to please even discerning shutterbugs. The ability to capture images while recording 1080p video is another nice touch. In addition to that, it's one of the fastest cameras, allowing you to snap up to 4 images within a second.
4. Apple iPhone 4S
Street Price (As On 5-Jul-2012): Rs 43,000 (IndiaPlaza.com; Infibeam.com)
The iPhone's camera is one of the best 8 megapixel modules I've seen in any mobile phone. It offers an impressive amount of detail, while keeping noise levels low. More importantly, the colours look natural. The camera feels blazing fast since the delay between two shots is just about half a second. Its full-HD video recording quality is also commendable. Add Apple's easy to use UI to that, and you end up with a great camera.
3. Sony Xperia S
Street Price (As On 5-Jul-2012): Rs 29,700 (BuyThePrice.com); Rs 30,300 (IndiaPlaza.com)
Sony's latest flagship, the Xperia S, boasts of a 12 mp camera lens along with a
XenonLED flash. What makes it special though, is a bunch of unique features such as Sweep Panorama, Sweep Multi Angle, and 3D Sweep Panorama. Out of these, the Sweep Multi Angle is a good feature for showing off to your friends. Thanks to the Exmor R sensor, the snapper's low-light performance is relatively better than that of its competitors. Had Sony avoided an over-saturation of colours in the resulting images, I would have rated the Xperia S higher.
2. Nokia N8
Street Price (As On 5-Jul-2012): Rs 18,400 (BuyThePrice.com; IndiaPlaza.com)
Thanks to its wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash, the N8 is considered the best 12 mp snapper. Although it doesn't offer a friendly UI, the handset outperforms the competition by producing highly detailed photographs. The Finns have also done a great job of keeping noise levels down. Moreover, the camera delivers natural colours under all lighting conditions. With good-quality HD video recording up its sleeve as well, the N8 can be easily recommended as a replacement for point-and-shoot cameras. In fact, the performance is so good that we went ahead and reviewed it as a standalone camera.
1. Nokia 808 PureView
Street Price (As On 5-Jul-2012): Rs 32,500 (Flipkart.com; Infibeam.com)
Referred to as "an excellent camera with a smartphone attached to it" by many, the Nokia 808 PureView is simply the best camera phone you can buy today. This handset excels in all departments, right from the snapper UI to the breathtaking image quality. Its lumpy camera assembly is more than just a gimmick, able to match the quality of DSLRs in under good lighting conditions. Thanks to the Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia's oversampling wizardry, the resultant images contain an outstanding amount of detail. Let's not forget the smooth 1080p video recording and Bracketing support, which is sure to please photography enthusiasts.
Guide: Top 5 Camera Phones For Shutterbugs
A list of handsets that give standalone cameras a run for their money.
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