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Camera shootout: iPhone 4 vs. Nokia N8

The Nokia N8 packs one of the most high-end optics ever seen on a camera. There’s a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens with five optical elements contained within in. Then there’s a mechanical shutter, unlike other camera phones where the sensor is switched on and off digitally,the Nokia N8 has a physical shutter that opens and closes like eyelids that’s more like an actual camera. You can see the shutter in action ins our N8 video here.

Everyone knows that the N8 has a 12MP image sensor, but not many realize that apart from the double digit pixel count, the sensor on the N8 is the biggest ever built into a mobile phone. An increase in pixel count means nothing if the image sensor is the same size, you get a high pixel density with smaller pixels, and you don’t want that. What you want in a good camera is a large image sensor so that you can have larger pixels to capture images, with larger pixels on the sensor, you get better pictures and the Nokia N8 gives that.

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Compare this with the camera on the iPhone 4. Apart from the 5MP pixel count and a larger image sensor to accommodate larger pixels (just like the Nokia N8), not much detail is known about the camera, who manufacturers the lens, what size is the sensor etc. and it has a digital shutter as opposed to a physical one.

So based on these facts, which phone takes better pictures?

While we wait for the official launch of the Nokia N8 in Malaysia, we’ll bring you links to two very good reviews of both cameras side-by-side, one from Engadget and another, a re-review of Engadget’s review. It’s a very interesting read and is worth a look.

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Engadget iPhone 4 vs. Nokia N8 camera shootout here.
The re-review of the Engadget shootout here.