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Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5s get compared with DSLRs, Nokia's camera deemed years ahead of the iPhone

Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5s get compared with DSLRs, Nokia's camera deemed years ahead of the iPhoneWhen the renowned Dpreview makes a phone camera comparison with their favorite DSLRs, one ought to listen. When this comparison involves Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41 MP sensor, and one of the most widely used cameras out there - the one on the iPhone 5s - one ought to listen more. The DSLRs in question included some heavyweights out there, such as Canon EOS 10D, Canon EOS 20D, Canon EOS 30D, Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D800 and the Nikon FM2 film camera.

The iPhone's camera was praised for its ease of use with nearly no manual controls and incredibly fast shot-to-shot times, which allowed the comparison authors to take ten shots per second in burst mode. When it comes to image quality in good lighting, however, the folks from Dpreview lauded the tiny but powerful lens that Nokia created along with Zeiss, which allows soaking in so much detail from the center to the edge of the frame, almost as much as the Nikon D800 was capable of, and that one is much larger. 

Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5s get compared with DSLRs, Nokia's camera deemed years ahead of the iPhone

The whole piece is worth reading, but here is the final verdict, which tells you how far smartphone cameras have advanced in the last year or two:

Gun to head … time to come up with a number. How many years are smartphones behind the best $2,000 DSLRs? Comparing detail resolved, I'll say the iPhone 5S currently sits 8-9 years behind the DLSRs in bright light, while the Nokia trails by less than 6 years — probably nearer to 3. This is even when you allow the DSLRs the luxury of a $1,700 lens, and shooting in raw. In bright light, the Nokia came close to competing with the detail from the best DLSR yet made.

Step into candlelight, and the gap between phones and DSLRs widens and becomes more a matter of taste, pivoting around your preferred tradeoff between speckly noise and smeary noise reduction. From our ad-hoc panel of 15 non-photographers, the iPhone trails the DSLRs by about 10 years, and the Nokia about 8.

Splitting the difference between candlelight and daylight, around 6 years of technology has made up for the massive difference in the size of the lenses and sensors between the best phone and the $2,000 DSLRs.

I was stunned.

This isn’t saying that the Nokia is a better camera than a 2007 Canon EOS 40D. It’s not. Detail makes up just a tiny fraction of the goodness of a camera, and none of what makes it a pleasure to use. The Nokia is much slower, can’t focus on moving targets, can’t easily defocus part of the picture, can’t change the perspective and feel of pictures by zooming or changing lenses, and can’t capture the same range of brightness in one shot that the latest SLRs can. Yet.

The curious thing about this list is that everything on it except one — changing lenses — can be fixed with faster processing. The iPhones, Galaxies and LGs have shown it already. And we know that faster processing is inevitable. The physical design of SLRs gave them a huge headstart over phones for both picture quality and usability, but advances in on-board processing are now quickly eroding that lead.

DSLRs aren’t standing still — they’re improving all the time too. But are they improving fast enough?
source: DPReview

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