Smartphone Camera Shootout: iPhone 5 vs Lumia 928 vs Galaxy S IV

Personal photos are a unique look into someone's life and the experiences they have come across. When it comes to capturing those moments, consumers have a wide variety of choices from DSLRs to point and shoot cameras, smartphones and even tablets. For most of us, the camera we have most often is the one attached to your cell phone.

We have taken three of the top smartphones, the iPhone 5, Lumia 928 and Samsung's Galaxy S IV and took a few shots with each for comparison  All of the phones are the Verizon model (CDMA) and of course, are the U.S. variant of the phone (this is critical for the Galaxy S IV as Samsung ships a slightly different model in the U.S. as compared to the rest of the world).

We took multiple shots with each phone in several locations to test close up shots, color reproduction, scenic photos and low-light images to test the sensors in a variety of settings. Each shot with the camera on the automatic (or equivalent) setting. 


Galaxy S IV


iPhone 5


Lumia 928


iPhone 5 / Lumia 928 / Galaxy S IV

The flower image above shows that the iPhone 5 and the S IV both have over-saturated the photo, with the yellow becoming a bit too bright. The Lumia 928 was the closest to actual color reproduction of the flower with a blue tint to the photo when compared to the others.


Galaxy S IV


iPhone 5


Lumia 928


iPhone 5 / Lumia 928 / Galaxy S IV

In these images, the Lumia 928 once again showed better color reproduction with the grass being far more green when compared to the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S IV. It appears that the iPhone 5 and the S IV are typically on the warm side while the Lumia 928 continues to be a tad cool.


Galaxy S IV


iPhone 5


Lumia 928


iPhone 5 / Lumia 928 / Galaxy S IV

In this image test, the Galaxy S IV produced the image that had the best color reproduction with the Lumia 928 being too warm and the iPhone 5 being too washed out. 


Galaxy S IV


iPhone 5


Lumia 928


iPhone 5 / Lumia 928 / Galaxy S IV

This one is a bit of a toss-up, the Lumia 928 and iPhone 5 show better definition in the clouds than the S IV, but it's a marginal difference with no clear winner in the batch. 


Galaxy S IV


iPhone 5



Lumia 928


iPhone5 / Lumia 928 / Galaxy S IV

In the low-light test, the Lumia 928 clearly wins with with the best definition/clarity and the Galaxy S IV and the iPhone 5 being equal in their respective photos. This shouldn't come as a major surprise as the Lumia line of phones are known for their low-light capabilities.

Conclusion

Following the above tests, it became clear that the Lumia 928 is the best all-around smartphone camera of the group with the Galaxy S IV coming in second and the iPhone 5 coming in last. That's not a major surprise for the iPhone 5, given it is the oldest of the group.

In terms of ease of use, all the phones had fast shutter speeds, but the Galaxy S IV was a bit harder to use as it does not have a dedicated camera button like the iPhone 5 and the Lumia 928.

So, of the top three devices we tested, if you are buying a phone and a camera is your top priority, the Lumia 928 is the phone for you.

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