Ever wondered what the difference is between a 2-megapixel camera phone and a 10-megapixel dSLR camera? We've rounded up some of the most popular cameras and camera phones and tested them, taking pictures in medium and dark lighting conditions to see how they perform.
All the shots were taken with devices taken straight out of the box, and we used the default settings or an automatic mode if there was one. Obviously these images have been resized to fit the Web, so they're not fully representative of how they would look if they were printed out professionally at full size. Given that most people compress their digital photos to publish on the Web, email them or transport them, we still think this test is valuable.
First up, we tested the , which comes with a 2-megapixel camera, which doesn't feature auto-focus, a flash or LED photo light. As you can see from the top photo, taken in medium light conditions, the colours look faded and the photo looks blurry.
The bottom photo was taken in low light and again looks blurry and very grainy, due to the lack of auto-focus and flash.
Sony Ericsson K810i
The is Sony Ericsson's latest Cyber-shot camera phone and features a 3.2-megapixel camera, xenon flash and auto-focus. As you can see in the top photo, taken in medium light conditions, it's sharp and the colours came out fairly balanced if not a little yellow, but that's probably due to the lighting in the room.
The bottom picture was taken in low light and as you can see the xenon flash really does light up a scene, but the shot came out a little blurry, which may have been due to moving our hands slightly when we took the shot.
We were really impressed with the picture quality from the , which features a 5-megapixel camera, auto-focus and an LED photo light. As you can see the top photo, taken in medium light conditions, is in focus and the colours are very vibrant, if not a little over saturated.
In low light conditions the Nokia N95 struggled to focus properly and as you can see in the bottom picture, the LED photo light gives off a slightly blue tinge.
Canon IXUS 70
The IXUS 70 is Canon's latest compact camera and comes with a 7.1-megapixel sensor, auto-focus, xenon flash and 3x optical zoom. The picture at the top is sharp and relatively well balanced, but it's interesting to see that the colours are less vibrant than the shot taken by the Nokia N95.
In low light the IXUS 70 performed relatively well. The xenon flash meant that the photo was well lit, if a little over-exposed, and the auto-focus performed as expected.
The EOS 400D is the only dSLR in the line-up and boasts a 10.1-megapixel sensor, auto-focus, a xenon flash and comes with an EFS 18-55mm kit lens. The top photo, in medium light, came out sharp and the colours came out well balanced, but again interestingly not as vibrant as the shot taken by the Nokia N95. This difference in colour is likely due to the N95 processing the shot after it was taken.
The shot taken in low light came out really well -- it's sharp, well lit and the colours came out really well too.
Roundup: Medium light conditions
This is a roundup of all the shots taken in medium light conditions. We're surprised to see the Nokia N95 took a relatively sharp photo and adjusted the white balance well too. We think the 400D picked up the highest level of detail, though.
Roundup: Low light conditions
Not having auto-focus really affected the shots taken by the Nokia 6300, and the lack of a xenon flash meant the N95's shot came out with a blue tinge. In our opinion, the 400D took the best-lit and most focused shot overall.