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fosfor gadgets | July 28, 2016

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Camera phone shootout

Nokia N93 to the right and Sony Ericsson K800i to the left


You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that the majority of all photographies in the future will be shot by cellphone cameras. The camera phones still have to be significantly better before they can compete seriously, but the gap is shrinking for each year.

We took the two of the best cameraphones that is available on the market to find out how good they are. Today’s two contestants are the Sony Ericsson K800i and the Nokia N93.

Both of the cameras sports a resolution of 3.2 Megapixels but the Nokia N93 also has a 3x optical zoom while the K800i doesn’t have any zoom at all.

Photo quality

We started by taking a landscape shot over Stockholm. When we looked at the photos from both of the camera displays they looked identical, but when we loaded the pictures to a computer we saw that the difference is quite big.

Sony Ericsson K800i shrinked photograph
Here’s a 460×345 version of the photograph just to show you what type of photo we’re talking about here.

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
Here’s a 100% crop of the image above. As you can see the K800i has more vivid colors and more contrast, while the N93 gives a quite pale impression.

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
Here’s a 300% crop of the sky, and the JPEG compression artifacts from the N93 are really bad.

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
Here’s anohter 100% crop of a detail. This one comes from the balcony to the left. Check out the difference between the vertical lines between the two photos. You also see a noticeable difference in the noise levels from the two cameras.

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
Since the Nokia N93 features a 3x optical zoom we decided to show you how much closer you can get using the zoom. The 100% crop to the left is zoomed in to the max, and the right 100% crop is from Sony Ericsson’s available only available zoom level…

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
…and here’s a zoomed out version of the same photo.

Sony Ericsson K800i shrinked photograph
Here’s another 460×345 version of the photograph just to show you what type of photo we’re talking about below.

Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
Here’s another comparison landscape photography. It’s a 100% crop from a park photo taken during quite bad lighting conditions. As you can see the K800i is blurry, and the N93 is very noisy.

Optimal condition photo. Tripod was used. Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
This photo was shot during optimal conditions. Both cameras rested on a temporary tripod and this round I would pick the N93 as the winner.

Close-up photography. Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
None of the cameras stand out in close-up photography. I prefer the result from the K800i due to it’s more natural colors and less noisy picture.

Flash photography. Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
During bad conditions the Sony Ericsson K800i really stands out. The auto-focus responds swift and correct and the xenon flash lights up the object nicely. The result from the N93 was terrible. The photo was taken in a room that was nearly dark approximately 1.5 metres from the dog.

Flash photography. Nokia N93 to the left, and Sony Ericsson K800i to the right
We tried another setup with a room that was a bit lighter. The N93 managed to get an acceptable photo, but the K800 is way better.

Usability

Flip away Sony Ericsson K800i's lens protection to begin shooting
To get going with the K800 you just have to pull down the lens cover.

Twist up the display and the Nokia N93 gets into camera mode
If you want to take a picture with the N93 you have to do two things: 1.) Take away the lens protection and 2.) Twist up the display.

It takes around 6 seconds from start to finish for both camera phones to take a picture.

Sony Ericsson K800i settings
The Sony Ericsson K800i has a bright and crisp 2″ screen with a resolution of 320×240. You access all settings using the joystick and the select button. Easy going.

Nokia N93 menus
The Nokia N93 features a 2.4″ with the same resolution as the K800i. All settings are easy to use and the quality of the display is excellent.

Both of the cameras are easy to use even though I prefer the handling of the K800i.

Verdict

Sony Ericsson Z800i vs Sony Ericsson K800i
Just to examplify the enormous difference in quality with a camera phone that is only 1 year old, here’s two 100% crops of a similar photograph from a 1.2 megapixel Sony Ericsson Z800i and the Sony Ericsson K800i.

Sony Ericsson Z800i vs Nokia N93
…and the introduction of the optical zoom adds another dimension!

The Nokia N93 is bulkier and it isn’t something you want to slip into your front pocket of your jeans – it’s simply too big. It’s also heavier 180 grams vs 115 grams.

Both of the two camera phones take good photograps, but the Sony Ericsson K800i is stronger all-around. I wouldn’t trade the excellent flash photography for the ability to zoom in on objects with the optical zoom of the Nokia N93.

If you’re into shooting video, or if you really, really feel the need for an optical zoom you should go for the Nokia N93 though – the video mode featured in the K800 isn’t something that Sony Ericsson should be proud of.

Nokia N93 pros

Optical zoom
WLAN capabilities

Sony Ericsson K800i pros

Excellent party camera due to the good flash
Slimmer and lighter than the N93
Less noisy photographic results than the N93
Nice Blog-integration

Winner: Sony Ericsson K800i

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