The iPhone 5 Vs. The Competition: Which Camera Takes Better Pics In Low-Light?

The iPhone 5 Vs. The Competition: Which Camera Takes Better Pics In Low-Light?

Nokia might have fudged some of their demos of the Lumia 920’s camera, but there’s no denying that the PureView technology that camera is based is incredibly impressive, especially in low-light. The iPhone 5, though, is no slouch when it comes to low-light either. How do they stack up?

Engadget recently went to Nokia’s Tepere, Finland R&D complex and were given access to a testing suite, where they were able to do low-light comparisons between the Lumia 920, the iPhone 5, the HTC One X and the Galaxy S III. Using each camera, they took photographs of a static scene at around 5 lux, which is about the same lighting level you’d see on a dimly lit city street in the middle of the night.

While the Lumia 920 was the clear winner, the iPhone 5 wasn’t too far behind, especially when compared to the absolutely terrible efforts of the HTC One X and Galaxy S III.

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  • Brian Gregory May

    Lumia 920 takes the cake.

  • Shilly Devane

    “better” is such a bad term. not everything should be lit like it is daytime. do you want a night time scene to look like it is midday?

  • csman

    Fantastic comparison. That Lumia camera is something.

  • rJUUSO

    That shoud be Tampere instead of “Tepere” :)

  • SkolVikes88

    I love my iOS devices. Always have. One thing though – iPhone cameras blow in low light. I don’t have the 5 yet, but the achilles heel as been the camera. Why, I don’t know, but it’s annoying.

  • Eric

    My iPhone 4S, IMO, takes pretty decent shots in low light. Not as good as the 5, and apparently not as good as the Lumia, but better than other phones I’ve tested it with including the S2, S3 and Note. But that’s what the flash is for. ;-) First and foremost, these are still phones. The camera isn’t what sells me on the product, but it does play a big part. So not knowing much about the Lumia, I still hold my reservations on the phone as a whole, till I know about it’s pros and cons. I’ve also read on a previous article that the iPhone 5 camera has some issues with purple halos in bright lighting shots. I’m wondering if it has to do with the new quartz lens cover.

  • EdRed
    I’m wondering if it has to do with the new quartz lens cover.

    You mean sapphire glass lens cover, right?

  • Gheedsgreed

    “better” is such a bad term. not everything should be lit like it is daytime. do you want a night time scene to look like it is midday?

    About course you do, what do you think low light photography is all about? Take in more light, better exposed picture.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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