Feeds

Is your cameraphone an oxymoron?

iPhone 3G v iPhone 3GS v Palm Pre

Security for virtualized datacentres

Pic Review All cell-phone cameras are not created equal - even the three-megapixel cameras in the recently released iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre. And I've got the photos to prove it.

Our recent review of the iPhone 3GS went into some detail about the quality of the camera in Apple's new smartphone. But I also wanted to see how it stacked up against the Palm Pre, how much of an improvement it is over the much-derided camera in the iPhone 3G, and whether upgrading an iPhone 3G from Software 2.2.1 to 3.0 can help that phone's imaging abilities.

So I loaded up four phones and one camera and visited San Francisco's downtown patch of greenery, the Yerba Buena Gardens. There, I took over 200 shots to discover how each performs under ideal conditions: a bright, sunny day.

My test cameras phones were an iPhone 3G running iPhone Software 2.2.1, an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS running iPhone Software 3.0, and a Palm Pre running Palm webOS 1.0.3.

I also brought along an aging Nikon D70 DSLR, just to find out how images from a real camera compare to those from a pocket convenience. I used an AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens and set the Nikon to shutter-priority mode at 1/400 of a second. I set white balance to automatic and ISO to 200. And to be even mildly fair, I shot in JPEG, not RAW.

My findings can be summarized as follows:

  • Upgrading an iPhone 3G from iPhone Software 2.2.1 to 3.0 provides a welcome improvement in image quality. Essentially, image quality takes a step up from "sucks" to "sucks less."
  • The iPhone 3GS's three-megapixel camera is a noticeable improvement over the two megapixel camera in the iPhone 3G - and the differences are much more than mere megapixelage.
  • The Palm Pre's three-megapixel camera takes crisp, well-focused images, but it's a finicky little fellow with maddeningly inconsistent white balance.
  • And here's my "Well duh!" finding: even a five-year-old six-megapixel DSLR could easily out-image any of its phone-based competition, not only in detail but also in overall exposure and color balance.

Let's get down to some example photos - a lot of example photos.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.