iPhone 3GS Vs. Nexus One – Which Has the Better Camera?

iPhone vs. Nexus One in Camera

An indispensable part of modern day mobile phones is the camera. Ever since the iPhone 3GS with its 3.2 megapixel camera was launched, it has been debated on whether or not its camera is good enough. While serious photographers will still consider it wise to go for a dedicated digital camera, most users have found the iPhone's camera to do more than a good job for a smartphone.

You might recall one of our earlier articles where we had compared iPhone's camera with Droid's. Back then, it was evident that despite the Droid's 5MP camera, pictures taken with the iPhone were still of better quality than those from the Droid. With the Nexus One out, how does this new handset compare with iPhone in terms of camera picture quality? CNET writer Josh Lowensohn has a comparison of the pictures taken from the two devices that offers pretty interesting results.

According to his casual study, one of the biggest plus-points for Nexus One has undoubtedly been the flash. Josh's picture in a darkened room shows that the iPhone performs quite well. 

iPhone vs. Nexus One in Camera

But in a very dark room, thanks to the flash, Nexus One's pictures are good, while its pointless to take pictures with an iPhone 3GS. It also produces a more grainy picture compared to Nexus One when used in low light conditions. 

iPhone vs. Nexus One in Camera

That being said, iPhone too does a few things better than the Nexus One; primarily in features such as auto-focus. The camera of the two phones seem to produce more or less similar quality pictures otherwise. Josh claims that the Nexus One camera marginally outperforms the iPhone mainly because of more recent technologies. 

We would tend to agree with Josh here. With technology getting outdated at such a quick pace, even the eight odd months of difference between the launch dates of these two devices mean that the Nexus One stands to have better technology equipped in its camera. With LED flash expected to come in the next generation of iPhone, the gap between the two devices in camera technology should be bridged very soon. 

What do you think?

[via CNET]

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  • Jay

    come on give me a fuking break. the nexus one is 5 megapixel and has flash so this topic shoulndt even exist. i didnt even waste my time reading it. obviously the 5 mega pixel camera is better no matter what the iphone's camera is. the iphone maybe better in everything else but that doesnt mean it has a better camera.

  • Chris

    Jay – pixels ain't everything.

    What are you going to do with these photos? These days 90% of the time you'll put them on a social networking site, post them on a blog, email them to your mum. Then they get displayed at say 800×600 resolution. Well that takes 480,000 pixels – a small fraction of 3MP let alone 5MP.

    Unless you are planning on printing your photos out at 8×10 or larger it's not going to make much difference.

    What starts to matter is optics and processing smarts (what does the phone do between getting raw data from the sensor and saving a .jpg file) much more than raw pixels.

  • alex

    chris is right, the driod camera is 5mp, but the 3gs takes way better pics

  • Hemingway

    I have taken some excellent photo's with my 3GS. So much so that I haven't even considered getting a dedicated camera just because of the ease and quality of the 3GS. If having a 5mp camera over a 3.2mp was that big of a deal, get a dedicated camera.

  • Not necessarily buddy.

  • open your mind… and be educated.

  • Santosh

    i agree with what jay is saying…….
    it is just pointlesss to compare between a 3.2 mp and a 5.2 mp camera equipped with flash……
    and yes… comparison between droids 5.0 mp camera and 3.2 mp iphone camera were made, n thankfully iphone's was better….. but still though it is not justifiable to compare between the two…. considering the difference in the resolution ……
    …. but yes… it may vary according to the brand and products… eg…. nokia's 3.2 mp camera on n series are far more better than 8 mp camera equipped in samsung…. even on a digital point shoot camera… a canon's 8.1 mp camera is far better than samung's or kodak's camera….. but… literally it can't be justifiable to make a compariosn between the two…..
    n in defense for iphone…. it's doesn;t take that bad picture that you can;t post it to the social networking site…. but sadly mine doesnt( i dont know what's the problem with my camera)
    lastly i'm or any other iphone user's aint gonna hate my iphone coz nexu's camera is better than iphone's……
    one more thing to add….
    the best thing many reviewers forget to talk about iphone is its multi touch screen……
    until any other touch phone comes with a multi touch screen…… its impossible for them to imagine they beat the iphone…

  • It's rarely about resolution — in spite of what the media (and most of the public) think. There's no point in having lots of pixels if the image is noisy or blurred (poor lens, poor sensor). In fact, it's often the case that the higher-resolution camera will be worse, all else being equal, as there are less photons hitting each sensor site -> higher gain needed -> more noise.

    Happily the Nexus One has a good camera (even though it's high-res as well :-). I've put up a collection of images so you can decide for yourself:



  • Moo

    hehe of course you guys are going to be biased towards the iphone, nexus one takes much clearer photos