Camera Phones: iPhone 3GS vs. Nexus One

Until recently camera phones were seen as more of a gimmick rather than a useful feature. However, modern camera phones are powerful. Phones such as the Nexus One and iPhone 3GS have multi-megapixel cameras which make taking professional quality photos much easier.

Although the Nexus One camera is much better than the iPhone 3GS on paper it's not all about the MegaPixels. The Nexus One has a 5 Mega Pixel camera while the iPhone 3GS only has a 3 Megapixel camera.

iPhone 3GS Camera Specs

  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera
  • Auto focus
  • Limited Manual Focus control
  • Fixed Aperture f/2.8
  • 3.85mm Focal Length - Equivalent to 37mm film camera

HTC Nexus One Camera Specs

  • 5 MegaPixel Camera
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • Fixed Aperture f/2.8
  • 4.31mm Focal Length - Equivalent to 35mm film camera

iPhone 3GS Camera

The iPhone 3GS Camera is a 3.2 Megapixel camera without a flash, compared to the Nexus one this is already old technology. The camera software will take around 2.5 seconds to boot up for the first time which can be irritating when you first want to use the camera. Once the camera is loaded, the time in-between taking photographs should be just under 2 seconds which is the same as the Nexus One.

Photos taken in low light levels with the iPhone 3GS camera are normally fairly noisy and poor quality. As there is no flash taking photos in a very dark room will be impossible without an alternative source of lighting.

Nexus One Camera

The Nexus One uses a 5 Megapixel camera with a flash which makes it possible to take much higher quality photos.. The Nexus One manages to load the camera application in around 1 second and it also has the same processing lag of just under 2 seconds. This isn't bad for a camera phone although compared to other digital cameras it might be seen as slow.

The Nexus One camera is also better in low light conditions, when the flash is used the photos are much higher quality and have less noise in them. The nexus one has a wider focal length which means that you will be able to see more of the image even if you are standing in exactly the same place when taking a photo with the iPhone.

The camera app on the Nexus One is also much more advanced than the iPhone 3GS and comes with a number of advanced features which are very useful. It's possible to adjust the white balance and apply a colored tint to the photos easily on the Nexus one. It's also possible to turn the flash on and off from within the camera application.

Which is Better

The Nexus One camera is better than the camera on the iPhone 3GS but this is comparing new for old technology. When a new version of the iPhone is released there's a good chance that it will have a flash and a much better camera. The Nexus One has a great camera for a camera phone, but compared to a digital SLR or even compact digital camera it's still lacking.

If you want a phone with a great camera now then choose the Nexus one, otherwise wait and see what Apple brings out the next time around.

It won't be long until cameras on phones are just as good as compact cameras but they're still missing a few things at the moment.

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