Judging resolved detail is a tough one, as it's affected by both in-camera sharpening and noise reduction routines. We've lined up some crops so you can judge that for yourself.
By the looks of it, Samsung i8510 INNOV8 does better than the rest.
LG Renoir is close behind, although its results may be misleading as excessive sharpening tends to create a faux perception of high detail. Sony Ericsson C905 and Samsung Pixon are pretty much on par, and quite within reach of LG Renoir. Of course, all four easily outperform even the best 5 megapixel cameraphones.
SE C905: 7/10 • Samsung INNOV8: 9/10 • Samsung Pixon: 7/10 • LG Renoir: 8/10
Dynamic range is a very important aspect of the photo quality of each camera. There is no way to fix the blown highlights (the parts of the image that have turned white), which are the most prominent result of limited dynamic range.
We are glad to see a nice improvement in the dynamic range of all 8 megapixel cameraphones as compared to the previous generation of 5 megapixel snappers.
In fact the contenders performed very similarly in this aspect throughout our test. We managed to find just one picture that slightly favors a single handset.
Here is a crop from this scene along with a second one that shows the slight advantage of the LG Renoir. The second crop is in fact the same as the first one but with a special color overlay that shows the level of highlight clipping. Red and blue overlays stand for a single blown color channel, while the yellow overlay is where all channels are blown (pure white). So the less there is yellow, the better.
Almost all of the devices offer the so-called enhanced dynamic range mode to brighten up the shadows and reveal more detail, while in the same time keeping the highlights and midtones from getting overexposed.
Sony Ericsson have Smart Contrast, while Samsung call it Wide Dynamic Range. Either way, it comes out quite right. You still need to bear in mind that this camera option enhances the shadows artificially, much like image editing software. Therefore the handsets take more time to process the photo and usually, there's some noise in the shadows that gets more prominent when they lighten up.
SE C905: 7/10 • Samsung INNOV8: 7/10 • Samsung Pixon: 7/10 • LG Renoir: 8/10
Back in the day of our 5 megapixel grand shootout, we saw rather inconsistent color rendering across the different manufacturers. Now, with the next generation of cameraphones, color rendering is commendable throughout the test sample and generally better than the 5 megapixel pack.
There is one problem with color rendering though, and it affects the reds. SE C905 and Renoir put a bit too much pink in red, like the old Cyber-shots, but less prominent. Pixon renders red somewhat orange, while i8510 captures the hue right, but with saturation pumped slightly up, so that colors become more vibrant.
The i8510 INNOV8 will occasionally add just a little bit more yellow (which we actually like) and the Pixon would (very rarely) go slightly bluish. So, LG Renoir has probably the most accurate color rendering, though we prefer the more vibrant INNOV8 shots.
There are no problems with the orange, yellow or violet colors - quite similar representation.
SE C905: 7/10 • Samsung INNOV8: 8/10 • Samsung Pixon: 7/10 • LG Renoir: 8/10