Cameras on smart phones are getting more advanced. Consumer Reports just tested two new phones that promise much better pictures to see how close they come to top-of-the-line cameras.
David Coppolla is a professional photographer, and he uses expensive DSLR cameras to get his work done.
“Although some people swear that the camera phones take just as quality of a picture, but to a professional photographer, that’s obviously not the situation.” said Coppolla.
Even for non-professionals, cell-phone cameras can have drawbacks.
“Generally smart-phone cameras aren’t really great for zooming in, and they don’t do well under low-light conditions.” said Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports tested the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, two phones that claim to offer superior images.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom is bulky and awkward to hold. It does have a
10-times optical zoom lens and a powerful flash for taking pictures in low light.
But in Consumer Reports’ test lab, the Samsung didn’t deliver. The zoom lens is clunky to operate, and overall images were not impressive in low light.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 did much better. The digital zoom lens gives astoundingly sharp photos with great detail — even when enlarged.
And in low light, the Lumia takes photos that are much less grainy and shadowy than most cell phones.
“The Nokia Lumia 1020’s camera is among the better smart-phone cameras we’ve seen. In fact, it’s better than some point-and-shoot cameras we’ve tested.” said Gikas.
But for truly professional pictures, no cell phone yet can compare to the SLR cameras like David uses.
Consumer Reports’ tests show the Nokia Lumia 1020 shoots very good video in well-lit conditions but isn’t great in low light. So if you take a lot of video with your phone in dimly lit situations, consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or the iPhone 5s, both of which performed very well in video tests under all lighting conditions.