When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4 earlier this month, critics had pointed out that the 5-megapixel camera on the new iPhone did not match up to the 8-megapixel sensors offered on rival devices like HTC EVO 4G.
The Apple CEO had however underlined the fact that megapixel count was only one metric to measure image quality and that the backlit-illuminated camera sensor technology on iPhone 4 shall render higher quality images.
A recent study of camera quality published by MacWorld has backed these claims. For the study, MacWorld compared the quality of images shot on the new iPhone 4 with those captured by iPhone 3GS, HTC EVO 4G, Samsung Galaxy and Droid X. Basic point-and-shoot cameras from Samsung and Sony were also studied. The results are interesting.
MacWorld concludes that the images rendered from the iPhone 4 camera were better than those rendered by rival smartphones like EVO 4G, Samsung Galaxy and Droid X – even though these smartphones came with 8MP camera sensors. Only the point-and-shoot cameras were seen to deliver better quality images. This once again underlines the fact that megapixel count in isolation may not be an ideal parameter to compare camera sensors.
For the video quality test, MacWorld also included the Flip Video M2120 for the study. The results are even more astounding. The videos captured from iPhone 4 was seen to be not only better than the rival smartphones, but also videos shot using the point-and-shoot cameras. Only Flip Video M2120 offered better quality videos. Here are the final standings according to the study.
However, iPhone 4 had its areas of downside. The audio quality on Flip Video and Samsung Galaxy were noted to be better than iPhone 4, which shared its audio score with the Droid X.
These conclusions are also marginally reflected in another study conducted by the folks at Boy Genius Report who compared the HD video capability of the iPhone 4 against Droid X. BGR found that while Droid X was better than iPhone 4 in terms of audio quality and color accuracy, there were a few other critical aspects where the iPhone performed better. For instance, files created using the H.264 format on the iPhone 4 consumed significantly lesser storage space than the video files captured on Droid X. Also, with a better frame rate (30 fps on iPhone 4 compared to 24 fps on Droid X), iPhone 4 was seen to have a better HD video capability.
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