5 On Your Side

Nokia vs. Samsung, which takes the best cell phone pictures?

Posted March 11, 2014

Cell phones have become an integral part of daily life, especially when it comes to capturing spontaneous moments.

But sometimes, zooming and low lighting can leave those moments blurry, too far off or dark.

Consumer Reports recently tested the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, both of which promise superior images.

Testers said the Samsung is bulky and awkward to hold. It has a 10x zoom but is clunky to operate. And while it has a powerful flash, images taken in low light were not impressive.

The Nokia’s digital zoom lens gave astoundingly sharp photos with great detail – even when enlarged. In low light, its photos were 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,” said Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports.” In fact, it's better than some point-and-shoot cameras we've tested."

For those who record a lot of video in low light, the Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5 both work well, Consumer Reports said.

But no cell phone currently in the market can match the quality of a professional DSLR camera.


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  • texasncgirl Mar 13, 2014

    As a photographer with $1000s of dollars in camera equipment and glassware...having a phone that takes excellent photos is very important to me. When I travel or am out and about, my bulky DLSR is not with me; it's impractical. I also have a great handheld/pocket camera...but your phone...your phone is ALWAYS with you. Being a photographer brings with it the intense desire to always be able to capture moments and capture them well. I can't always have my DLSR on me, nor am I always in the position to carry both my phone and camera (when travelling or out, I often do not take a purse...don't want the bulk). So, long story short, it IS important that a phone has an excellent camera.

  • Peter Kerstetter Mar 12, 2014
    user avatar

    As an owner of a Lumia 920, I am impressed with its photography.
    In the right hands, even the Sony Mavica FD5, which I also owned, can take beautiful pictures.
    People get all worried about how many megapixels a camera has. Megapixels mean little if the camera produces a lot of noise.

  • sunshine1040 Mar 11, 2014

    My cell phone is used for making or receiving calls I want high quality pictures then I buy a high quality camera