Grand 5 megapixel shootout: The usual suspects

GSMArena team, 22 January 2008.
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Image gallery

We all know how good it is to preview your shots as soon as they've been made. It allows you to go immediately for a second shot if something has ruined your composition or you can simply brag about your super cool snapshot to everybody around.

When it comes to previewing your pictures almost all of the cameraphones score nicely.

The Sony Ericsson K850 is really fast at image browsing and thanks to the integrated accelerometer it is capable of automatically rotating the images with the change in the handset orientation. The K850 also has a snappy zooming on the photos that works in large steps. The animated slideshows the Sony Ericsson K850 creates are also better than the ones by Nokia - they have intriguing transition effects and nice music background.

Sony Ericsson K850 Sony Ericsson K850 Sony Ericsson K850 Sony Ericsson K850
Sony Ericsson K850: Photo viewer in Media center

Although we generally dig the animated image gallery of the Nokia N95 8GB, we don't like the fact that zooming is done slowly and in annoyingly small steps. The Nokia N95 8GB however wins our hearts with the large screen and when it comes to legibility under sunlight, Nokia displays have no competition at all.

Nokia N95 8GB Nokia N95 8GB Nokia N95 8GB Nokia N95 8GB
Nokia N95 8GB: The 3D gallery landscape and portrait mode viewing zooming in

The Nokia N95 8GB, the Sony Ericsson K850 and the LG Viewty all have hardware keys for opening the image gallery which is certainly a plus.

The Viewty however is slower at browsing image files - otherwise it offers a really nice image gallery and once it gets into zooming mode, it's pretty snappy with the zooming and probably the fastest one with panning on zoomed images.

LG KU990 LG KU990 LG KU990
LG Viewty: Browsing pictures in filmstrip view the secondary gallery allows shuffling images

We shouldn't also forget that it has the largest display among the cameraphones in this shootout. The Viewty also has this so-called Muvee editor that allows making animated slideshows out of your pictures resembling the ones by K850 and even allows you to export them as MPEG4 video files; something the K850 is not capable of doing.

The Samsung G600 boasts the most advanced image gallery that we've seen on a Samsung handset, but with a twist. It only works with images stored in the phone's memory. Browsing the images on the memory card is a real pain - it doesn't have the hoverbox effect seen in the regular image gallery, it's relatively slow and you do have to open/close each image instead of simply going through them all.

Samsung G600 screenshots Samsung G600 screenshots Samsung G600 screenshots Samsung G600 screenshots
Samsung G600: Browsing image thumbnails with hoverbox effect sorting images opening an image

Samsung G600: 3/10 LG Viewty: 7/10 Nokia N95 8GB: 8/10 Sony Ericsson K850: 8/10

Performance speed

In terms of speed, it's again hard to choose a clear winner as times vary according to the scenario. It seems that the fastest camera to boot up is the one of Samsung G600. Then it's the Nokia N95 camera that's the quickest to show the image preview right after the shot has been taken. If you are to take a picture right after you've seen the preview, the LG Viewty camera is the fastest one to take you there.

"...In terms of speed, it's again hard to choose a clear winner as times vary according to the scenario. As an overall performer the LG Viewty seems to be the fastest one of the bunch, while the Sony Ericsson K850 is at the bottom of the ladder. The difference though is not that serious..."

As an overall performer the LG Viewty again seems to be the fastest one of the bunch, while the Sony Ericsson K850 is at the bottom of the ladder. The difference though is not that serious.

Speed perfromanceStart-up timeShoot-to-previewPreview-to-standby
Samsung G6002.7 sec 4 sec2.4 sec
LG Viewty3 sec4 sec0.2 sec
Sony Ericsson K8504 sec4.5 sec1.5 sec
Nokia N95 8GB3.3 sec3.4 sec2 sec

Samsung G600: 6/10 LG Viewty: 8/10 Nokia N95 8GB: 7/10 Sony Ericsson K850: 5/10

Conclusion

Well that's it, the grand 5 megapixel camera shootout is drawing to an end. We will not present any final results - probably contrary to what you've been expecting. If you want to choose your next mobile and it has to be one of these, we suggest that you sum up only the results for the tests that are important to you.

And just in a quick attempt to summarize things, if you want the most universal performer this will surely be the Nokia N95 8GB. With the Nokia N82 you even have a xenon flash and exactly the same camera performance, so you might as well go that way too. Our observations are that the Nokia N82 handles all photo situations as the Nokia N95 and produces the same results.

Then if your top priority is well thought and capable interface you may chose Sony Ericsson K850. It delivers a superior user experience and feels like a real digital camera at times.

If you are into video recordings and macro shots, then your choice should be the LG KU990 Viewty. The widescreen touch screen display also counts as it's a unique feature among the contenders.

And finally if you are looking for the best-bang-for-the-buck and reliable performance you might as well go with the Samsung G600. While it's not a fully-fledged cameraphone, it does have its strong points and we shouldn't also forget that it's the most affordable of the bunch.

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