Photo shootout: iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, Galaxy SII, Amaze 4G

photoss

One of the best aspects of the best-selling iPhone 4S is the 8-megapixel camera and the new sensor Apple has put in it. While we definitely love the camera on Apple’s latest smartphone, how does it compare to the cream of the crop and the previous model? I’m glad you asked, as we’ll show you some comparison shots of the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, Galaxy SII (Epic 4G Touch) and the T-Mobile Amaze 4G.

While you can quibble with some of the features, the color and the shutter time, most of these phones can credibly replace a point and shoot camera. The iPhone 4 is probably the worst among these three but it’s older than a year and is still the most popular camera on Flickr.

iPhone 4S: With an 8-megapixel camera, the iPhone 4S can take some great shots. The dual-core processor means the app loads quicker, shot-to-shot time is much faster than on the previous model and low-light shots come out great. New things in iOS 5 like quick access to the camera from the lock screen, the ability to use the volume up button to take shots and the on-board photo editor make the iPhone 4S a great phone to take pictures with.

Amaze 4G: The Amaze 4G is arguably the best shooter of the lot, as there’s virtually no lag time between shots, pictures come out beautifully, and there are a wealth of photo options. Whether it’s a panorama, close-up macro or a low-lighting shot with flash, photos from the Amaze 4G look great blown up or shared on social networks.

Samsung Galaxy SII, Epic 4G Touch: The Epic 4G Touch for Sprint performs like a champ when it comes to pictures, as the 8-megapixel camera captures bright and clear shots and it has multiple shooting modes which can really come in handy. Like all the other devices, the tap-to-focus is smooth to use but I wasn’t as impressed with the low-light shooting with flash on this compared to the latest iPhone and the Amaze 4G. Still, photos turned out vibrant and look great on the Super AMOLED Plus screen or on a larger display.

iPhone 4: It’s probably not fair to expect a 16-month-old phone to provide the same quality as the other three devices but the iPhone 4 can still do some solid pictures. The iOS 5 software adds some much-needed features like photo editing but the 5-megapixel camera just doesn’t product the same quality of shots as the other three. The photos aren’t bad at all but there are better cameraphones on the market, including the iPhone 4’s sequel.

Standard settings, good lighting – iPhone 4S, Amaze 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4S test shots

Amaze 4G test shots

Epic 4G Touch test shots

Standard settings, good lighting – iPhone 4S, Amaze 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4S test shots

Amaze 4G test shots

Epic 4G Touch test shots

Macro mode or up-close shots – iPhone 4S, Amaze 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4S test shots

Amaze 4G test shots

Epic 4G Touch test shots

HDR mode – iPhone 4S, Amaze 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4S test shots

Amaze 4G test shots

Epic 4G Touch test shots

Low-lighting, flash shots – iPhone 4S, Amaze 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4

iPhone 4S test shot

Amaze 4G test shot

Samsung Galaxy SII test shot

  • Bstringy

    Thanks for doing the test. Comparing cameras that do not support manual settings is pretty difficult, hard to judge results. It’s possible to use one camera set to auto and shoot the same scene four times and come up with results similar to what is shown here; light is changing, subjects moving, etc. Looks like these cameras are all pretty similar is the most I can determine. 

    • Anonymous

      Yep but I still think there’s value in comparing these shots next to each other. While the lighting and subjects aren’t exactly the same, you can get a general gist of what each device is capable of. Like I said in the post, they’re all pretty good

      • Gigio

        No comment…
        Test Set 1,2 and 3: iPhone 4s and Epic 4G same image sample.
        Test Set 4: iPhone 4s sample created cropping iPhone 4 sample.

        No comment….

  • Umgoblue425

    Looks like the files for the iPhone 4S and the Epic 4G Touch got confused as on the row house shows, decorative wall shots, and tree shots the pictures for the first and third shot are identical in appearance and composition and the file name has a 1 added for the third shots. Marin was there possibly a mistake made in uploading the test shots?

  • http://twitter.com/cjaldrich1 Cameron Aldrich

    The Amaze really rendered the HDR much better than the others. I assume that these were all taken with the OEM camera apps? I’ve had really good luck with a 3rd party camera app shooting HDR. Other than that, I think the 4Gs handled the bad lighting you threw at it a bit better, but I think they all are capable of taking good photos with a little tweaking of the controls. Thanks for the comparison!

    • http://profiles.google.com/sckortyman spoorthy vemula

      its a 4s not 4gs. the iphone doesnt have 4g

  • http://twitter.com/bufbarnaby Joe

    HTC Amaze looked better than 4S in many situations…and iPhone has no resolution options and lacks many of the cool things HTC has like panorama shots.

  • Umgoblue425

    Marin can you please clarify or fix the images for either the iPhone 4S and the Epic 4G Touch. The photos for both of these are exactly the same and the file name for the Epic 4G Touch photos just has a 1 added to the name, otherwise it is the exact same file name as the iPhone 4S files! Please respond or correct. Thanks

  • http://profiles.google.com/sckortyman spoorthy vemula

    The 4s and the s2 photos look strikingly similar. I think they both win. The maze has the worst photos in terms of technical quality (sharpness, noise) but the 4 has the worst cause of horrible WB. I think that amaze had the best flash results and overall speed. I think the s2 wins (android makes editing photos easier), closely followed by the 4s, then the Amaze, with the 4 in last place.

    After looking again it looks like the amaze has the best color too so this is incredibly close. 4 loses though, thats for sure

    After looking yet again the s2 and the 4s have the EXACT same photos! I think a mistake has been made

    • Umgoblue425

      Does not anyone see that these are same two exact photos (the iPhone 4S and Epic 4G Touch). It would be impossible to be able so closely line up the exact same shot and angle. But if that weren’t enough evidence even the file names of the photos are the same with just a 1 added to the E4GT’s file name.  A mistake must have been on the upload. Marin can you please correct or respond. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    The S2 and 4S photos are IDENTICAL.  I hope this was a simple mistake.

    Please fix this.

  • Landmarkcm

    Your results are really weird to me that the 4S looks the darkest in all of them but yet in two of the other pics the 4 is the brightest?? Hmm hard to say which is the most accurate w out being there. But I think the clarity overall on the 4S is the best w the amaze being a close second..

  • http://www.thetechtemple.com The Tech Temple

    Glad these comparisons were made.  That Amaze camera is Nice!  Really surprised that it came from HTC.  They should use that camera in all of their smartphones for a while.

  • Jackie_s_p

    I actually have both the 4s and the Amaze and am choosing between the two. Video quality is important to me as well as still images. I have to say that the 4s wins here. I’ve changed settings on the Amaze and still there is too much noise/artifacts and just plain old too sharp. 4s image stabilization is better. 4s also autofocuses much more quickly in still images shots vs. the Amaze. The Amaze does have a more accurate color rendition though and produces shots that are a little more vibrant/saturated.  I’ve owned the old iphone for 4 years now and wanted to switch to Android for the fun of it. I was hoping the Amaze camera would do the trick for me – unfortunately is has not. Back to the iphone I guess.

  • Woops

    Cmon. I loaded the Iphone 4s and Epic 4G into photoshop and they are pixel perfect matches.  Yikes.  

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