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5-megapixel camera phone showdown

After reviewing four 5-megapixel camera phones we thought it was time to have a good old fashion camera phone showdown.

The 5-megapixel camera phone market is growing rapidly, with four models to choose from to date and that number to increase by more than double by the middle of the year.

After reviewing the competition separately we thought it was time to get them all back into the Labs together and have a good ol' fashion camera phone showdown!

Rules of the game
To make sure the tests were as fair and as uniform as possible we conducted the showdown under controlled conditions. We set up our studio with as many colourful plush Mario Bros toys as we could get our hands on, offering a variety of different colours to compare. We used two studio lights and took all the shots handheld to replicate real-world camera phone use.

Each of the phones was set to the highest image quality, with all other settings (white balance, scene mode, etc) set to automatic modes. The camera's flashes were likewise set to either auto or on, depending on what options were available.

When you're finished perusing the pics be sure to check out the full reviews for LG's Viewty, Nokia's N95, Samsung's G600, and the Sony Ericsson K850i.

Two metres from subject


1.LG Viewty      2.Nokia N95      3.Samsung G600      4.Sony Ericsson K850i     

Mouse over the name of the phone to display its images

Nokia's N95 is the sharpest of the wide images, and is a close second to the G600 for warm colour reproduction. The Viewty comes in third here for stronger colour, especially in the reds.

50-60cm from subject


1.LG Viewty      2.Nokia N95      3.Samsung G600      4.Sony Ericsson K850i     

Mouse over the name of the phone to display its images

The Sony Ericsson K850i continued to underwhelm in this second set-up with cold, dull colours and soft focus noticeable on the drink bottle. The Nokia stands out on this set with the sharpest focus.

30cm from subject


1.LG Viewty      2.Nokia N95      3.Samsung G600      4.Sony Ericsson K850i     

Mouse over the name of the phone to display its images

Samsung's G600 is a very close winner over the N95 in the third image. Both images are very similar in sharpness and the G600 just stands out with slightly warmer colour reproduction.

10cm from subject


1.LG Viewty      2.Nokia N95      3.Samsung G600      4.Sony Ericsson K850i     

Mouse over the name of the phone to display its images

This last picture was the greatest surprise for us as it was the only of our set-ups that showed the N95 struggling, and the K850i performing alongside both the Viewty and the G600. We tried several times to get a sharp photo with the N95 and what you see is the best of our attempts.

And the winner is ...
From this particular test the most consistent performer was Samsung's G600. Each of its pics were best or a close second to the N95. From previous experience Nokia's all-in-one has impressed before, and if you consider the majority of shots you'll take with a camera phone -- wide shots of friends at parties, landscapes and landmarks -- the problems we had with the close-up photos shouldn't be too much of a deterrent.

But don't take our word for it, you've got the proof right in front of you. Tell us what you think in the talk-back section below or post your thoughts in our forums.