I got thinking about the camera on the Nokia N8 and thought about writing a 12 megapixel feature. The Nokia N8 is clearly the most popular 12 megapixel cameraphone till date, and still holds the overall cameraphone second place behind its cousin, the Nokia 808 PureView. Considering that this old horse hit the market in 2010, that is amazing. What many may not know is that there are a number of 12 megapixel cameraphones on the market, and yet none of them holds a candle to the N8. There is even the 13 megapixel Sony Xperia GX SO-04D targeted at the Japanese market. Then there’s the 16 megapixel HTC Titan II, which sadly doesn’t measure up, or come close to what the competition offer.
Here is a list of 12 megapixel cameraphones in recent years (incidentally, they are all from one manufacturer):
- Sony Ericsson Satio (Xenon flash)
- Sony Xperia ion
- Sony Xperia acro S
- Sony Xperia SL
- Sony Xperia S
I am not sure if the above list is exhaustive, but if I left out any recent devices that qualify to be on that list, do bump me. All the above-listed cameraphones feature 12 megapixels, yet are no match for the N8 primarily due to the latter’s much larger sensor, but then we cannot ignore the Carl Zeiss optics and the Xenon flash. Even the aged, Symbian-based Satio with a Xenon flash light, does not.
Because this is a feature article that is focused on 12 megapixel cameras and above, I have not compared with any 8 megapixel cameras, but it bears saying that because it isn’t about megapixels only, some 8 megapixel cameraphones in the market produce better images than some of the 12 and 16 megapixel cameraphones mentioned in this article.
Factors that affect image quality of a cameraphone include, though not limited to: resolution (megapixels), lens, image sensor, flash light type, and focusing technology. I am no professional photographer, so don’t ask me for anything too technical. The point simply is that there is more to a camera’s image quality than just megapixels.
Despite all the 12 megapixel contenders, and the 13 and 16 megapixel would-be spoilers, the Nokia N8 stands tall and apart. If you are a cameraphone enthusiast and want a top device at a comfortable budget, the Nokia N8 is all yours. If you have much more money to splurge, go get the Nokia 808 PureView. I know that there is some merit to the Lumia 920’s camera, but that is mostly restricted to low-light situations if you turn off the flash i.e. controlled environments. But equipped with powerful Xenon flash lights, I don’t see the two Nokias having much problems in low light situations. Actually, they fare very well. You cannot go wrong between those two.