Sony Ericsson Satio vs. Samsung Pixon12: 12MP shootout

GSMArena team, 21 October 2009.
Pages: 1234567

Lens quality

Normally we would think that a 35mm lens is easier to produce than a 30mm. Yet we don't see any advantage for the Satio as far as lens quality is concerned.

Right on the opposite, the Samsung seems to have a tad better edge-to-edge sharpness, with the Satio lens showing some corner softness. This of course was mentioned in the chapter on resolved detail above, so we don't feel that promoting the Pixon12 again on the same ground is justified.

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Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Sony Ericsson Satio 100% crops

And as far as the other issues a lens might have, we are pleased to say that both contenders are equally good. There was no sign of chromatic aberrations, even in extreme conditions. They were also both nicely resistant to flare.

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Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Sony Ericsson Satio 100% crops

Winner: Tie

Macro

Here comes another category where calling a winner is as tough as it gets. The Samsung M8910 Pixon12 is a really excellent performer in close ups, producing great resolution and excellent depth of field.

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Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Sony Ericsson Satio 100% crops

The Satio on the other hand allows you to get closer to the subject, which is quite important in macro shooting.

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Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Sony Ericsson Satio 100% crops

The Pixon12 of course has the benefit of the better resolved detail, which is quite important here as well, but again, we gave it the deserved credit for that in the first test, so we'll go ahead and call this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Speed

Those two came pretty close in terms of speed. You can see the times we measured in the table below.

The start-up time is the time from pressing the camera key (or opening the camera lens in the Satio's case) to the moment when the handset is ready to focus and take a photo.

The shot-to-preview and preview-to-standby times are pretty self-explanatory. It's how many seconds it takes a cameraphone to take a shot after the user has pressed the shutter key and how much more it takes to return to standby mode when the preview is turned on.

The final column indicates the shot-to-shot times that we managed to achieve with the preview turned off.

Start-up timeShoot-to-previewPreview-to-standbyShot-to-shot (no preview)
Sony Ericsson Satio2.70 sec 1.65 sec0.80 sec2.75 sec
Samsung M8910 Pixon122.46 sec3.03 sec2.70 sec2.20 sec

Both of the handsets perform admirably in this test. Even though they have 50 percent more information to process than their 8MP predecessors, they still manage to be faster. We find the results of the Satio particularly impressive as smartphones usually have much slower camera interfaces than feature phones. That and the fact that it manages to do better in the most frequently used shooting-with-preview scenario are enough for us to pronounce it the winner here.

You shouldn't also forget that the Satio comes with the ultra fast BestPic burst shooting mode, which takes up to 9 shots in a rapid succession in full resolution.

Winner: Sony Ericsson Satio

Video

The Satio manages VGA video @ 30fps, while the Pixon12 goes somewhat higher to D1 @ 30fps. In addition, the Samsung cameraphone manages 120fps slow-motion videos at QVGA resolution. While not our most frequently used feature, the slow motion video recording is a really neat trick that is nice to have onboard.

Here go the samples for you to check out.

Sony Ericsson Satio VGA@30fps video
Samsung M8910 Pixon12 D1@30fps video

There are actually a couple of cameraphones on the market that can deliver video of higher quality than the two 12MP shooters. The undisputed Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH and the 720p-capable Samsung i8910 Omnia HD are probably what video-fans should check out first.

Yet, as we don't have those two competing here, we easily pronounce the Sony Ericsson Satio the winner in this category. The extra resolution of the Pixon12 videos is fine and everything but the colors lack the vibrancy of the Satio and the compression applied is just too much for us to take.

Winner: Sony Ericsson Satio

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