We have tested the three best contemporary camera phones. You can compare the same scenes, taken by Nokia 6630, Sony Ericsson S700 and also by the expected 2 megapixel Sony Ericsson K750i. See how the auto focusing feature works on a mobile phone.
Sony Ericsson K750
Sony Ericsson S700
Very good. I don't have in mind the 2 megapixel resolution, but the automatic focus. Like all digital cameras, the button has two positions. When you push it with a little pressure, the camera focuses, the phone beeps, a symbol appears on the display; and when you push all the way the picture is taken. While capturing, you can listen and feel with your fingers how the lens are moving inside the phone.
Sony Ericsson K750i however, doesn't work like a real digital camera - it does not change the aperture, it is fixed at F2.8. The amount of light, which gets to the sensor is regulated only with the shutter speed; in worse light conditions ISO sensitivity is also used. With the higher ISO sensitivities the noise in the picture increases.
Thanks to the fine display, the image in the viewfinder is perfectly sharp, but after the capture of the photo blurs a little. Obviously, this is because of the fact, that the phone is trying to display the whole 2 megapixel picture, which downsampled loses some sharpness. Nokia 6630, meanwhile, is just the opposite: before capturing - nothing special, after the capture the displayed picture is better.
Look at these photographs. On the left, you'll always find Sony Ericsson K750i, in the centre Sony Ericsson S700i and on the right Nokia 6630. All the pictures here are in full resolution, so prepare for a longer download.
On the next photo, Sony Ericsson K750i has overdone a little with the saturation of the green colour. The grass, however, isn't so dark as it is on the photos, taken by the other two camera phones, so the K750i wins.
On these photographs, K750i is again the most authentic in color. Nokia is one step behind.
Usually Sony Ericsson S700i makes good contrasty photos, but in this case this isn't so.
At this scene I wanted to try how macro mode of K750i works. Luckily, I tested also the normal mode, which works better from this distance. Macro mode is basically designed to take pictures from 10 cm and the photo was too unclear. Nokia is not doing good in this test.
Although this kind of scenes usually lead to overexposed sky, Sony Ericsson K750i managed well with it, Nokia overexposed (notice the clear white in sky) , Sony Ericsson S700i was somewhere in the middle.
It was a sunny day. Sony Ericsson K750i took the best photo. The other pictures, especially those taken with Sony Ericsson S700, are too cold.
This is another try with macro. Nokia loses, Sony Ericsson wins.
In this case, double win for Sony Ericsson again. I don't understand why on the photo, taken by the Nokia 6630 there is so much noise.
In the next three scenes Sony Ericsson S700 loses and there is maybe a tie between K750i and Nokia 6630.
Interior with an artificial lights and color walls. Sony Ericsson S700i automatics didn't cope with it at all, the other two camera phones made it quite well for such conditions.
Another interior. There was apparently less light as it was outside, which you can see from the pictures. This time from the three phones I prefer the Nokia 6630.
Sony Ericsson K750i is a class above the compared camera phones and two classes above all others. Pictures, of course are not perfect. You may have remarks on the local defocusing on the right side of all the pictures (of course, this is the disadvantage of the pre-production unit), the pictures often are more colorful than normal, but this is also a feature of the Sony digital cameras. However, this is the best camera phone for nowadays and the near future.
What is the result of the comparison between Sony Ericsson S700 and Nokia 6630? Although in the previous tests we had more sympathized S700, when comparing the pictures in this paragraph, Nokia is now looking better to me.
I have an explanation for this. While in the previous tests, most of them individual, we have tested different settings, this time we had only taken pictures with on auto. While dealing with Nokia is cool, because there's nothing to adjust, with Sony you have to play a little - to edit the compensation of the exposure, to use different modes for balancing the white color, to turn off the spot metering when needed. The question is: aren't such advanced methods necessary for a camera phone? And, on the other side: why not appreciate the approach "just press the button".
So the winner is apparent - Sony Ericsson K750i. More interesting is the fight for the second place.