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Old 01-06-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
havoc315
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iPhone 5 vs Budget Compact

After a discussion in another thread, I thought I would try a blind "taste test."
There is no question that a dSLR will give better image results than an iPhone. Same can be said for a mid-level or high-level compact camera.

But if you already have an iPhone 5, or Galaxy III, or one of the other top smart phone cameras, should you spend another $50-$100 just to have a seperate compact camera?

For this test, I used my iphone5, and I used a 2-3 year-old Sony Cybershot that we bought for my son when he was 6. It was about $100 at that time., it's 10mp and 3 or 4X zoom. The iPhone 5 is 8mp, and has no optical zoom. (obviously, if optical zoom is a big priority, its a reason to get even a cheap P&S). I did absolutely no post-processing or editing. Everything is straight out of the camera. For the iphone though, I did try out some of the picture-taking apps -- not editing apps. Just camera apps. But no further editing after taking the pictures.

I'll leave this comparison "blind" for a few days, and then I'll un-block the exif data.

First, an oil painting of a tulip, without flash. Camera 1 and camera 2:


flower1 no flash by Havoc315, on Flickr


Flower2 without flash by Havoc315, on Flickr

Last edited by havoc315; 01-06-2013 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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Tulip painting, with flash, camera 1 and camera 2


Flower1 with flash by Havoc315, on Flickr


Flower2 with flash by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Football lying in the snow, camera 1 and camera 2


football1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


football2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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Just a wooded area on a cloudy day.... Sharpness of the tree? Dynamic range?


woods1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


woods2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Winter rockgarden. Interesting results on the brick building in the background.


rockgarden1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


Rockgarden2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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Pizza... test of macro, and the colors


pizza1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


Pizza2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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An outdoor water scene, some grass. Which camera better captures the lighting and the colors of the grass?


water1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


water2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Indoor low light testing with a bottle of wine. First, without flash:


bottle1 without flash by Havoc315, on Flickr


Bottle2 without flash by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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Now the bottle of wine with flash. Probably best to judge all 4 of the pictures (without and with flash together). With flash, 1 camera lost the shadows and the other camera lost the highlights.



bottle1 with flash by Havoc315, on Flickr


Bottle2 with flash by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:18 PM   #10
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Now a tennis ball in the snow. The snow pictures are a good test of auto white balance.


tennisball1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


tennisball2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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Last set, stream on a grey day


stream1 by Havoc315, on Flickr


stream2 by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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I should have created a poll but oh well...
So comments on camera1 versus camera2?
Overall, which camera is the better performer? Or about the same?
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #13
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My guess would be that camera 2 is the iPhone.

Based on these, I think camera 2 did better overall.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #14
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I just came from a family party. Two of these pics were taken with an iPhone 4s (not mine). The other was taken with a $185 Canon SX260 pocket Megazoom. Both images are sized down, the iPhone pics were downloaded from a post to Facebook.




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Old 01-06-2013, 04:48 PM   #15
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Call me picky, but I do like to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. You're using the latest cell phone technology to technology that is 2-3 years old. I don't know which one is which, but #2 seems to perform consistently better. I just question your methodology. Some of the photos appear to be at different focal lengths which can also affect the image. You would have been better served to use a stabilizing platform to better replicate the images. I think you need to improve your testing methodology.
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