Best camera phones
We've got a list of eight of the best camera phones available in 2010.
Mon, Nov 15 2010 at 3:55 PM
SNAPSHOTS: (From left) Sony Ericcson Xperia, the Samsung Vibrant and the Samsung Epic 4g.
We’ve compiled a list of the best camera phones currently on the market.
After all, we use our cell phones for so much than just taking calls from friends and co-workers. They’ve become ways to record our memories with their ever-more common built-in cameras.
Here’s a list of eight of the best camera phones:
Casio Exilim (Verizon, $49.99 with 2-year contract)
The Casio XLM is the nature photographer’s flip phone. In fact, if you have this phone, you probably don’t need a stand-alone camera. The phone itself meets Military Specification 810F standards for water (immersion and rain), humidity, salt–fog, shock, vibration, dust, solar radiation, altitude and low- and high-temperature storage, making it an incredibly durable device.
The Casio XLM has a 5.1 megapixel camera with a rotating display to function as the view finder. The phone has seven different photo resolutions (2,560-by-1,920, 2,048-by-1,536, 1,600-by-1,200, 1,280-by-960, 640-by-480, 320-by-240 and 160-by-120), three times optical zoom feature, 16x digital zoom, auto focus, an image stabilizer, and a bright LED flash. The BestShot feature allows you to pick a custom setting for 15 different types of photos, including portrait, landscape, character, twilight, and food.
On top of the ability to take pictures, the Casio XLM’s camcorder features are solid, too.
You can record in three different resolutions (176-by-144 for video messages, 176-by-144, and 320-by-240), the image stabilizer for the camera works for the camcorder, and adjust color effects.
LG enV Touch (Verizon, $29.99 with 2-year contract)
A more basic handset than the XLM above, the enV Touch has a 3-inch touch screen interface with a flip open QWERTY keyboard, and other standard features.
As to the picture-taking, the enV Touch sports a 3.2 megapixel camera, six different resolutions (2,048-by-1,536, 1,600-by-1,200, 1,280-by-960, 640-by-480 and 320-by-240 pixels), multiple white balance and color effect presets, three focus options (auto, macro and manual) and three special shot modes (Smile, Panorama, and Intelligent).
The camcorder records in two resolutions (320-by-240 and 176-by-144) for either 30-second multimedia messages to up to an hour.
HTC Evo 4G (Sprint, $199.99 w/2-year contract and after rebates)
We highlighted the Evo 4G in our best Android phones for 2010, so a lot of the phone’s main features are in that article. As a camera phone, though, the Evo 4G is a great deal. It sports an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash. Included with are features like autofocus, minimal shutter lag, geotagging, facial recognition and a range of digital filters.
The Evo 4G’s camcorder can shoot in HD video (720p) with MPEG4 and H.264 output. The phone, of course, has the option for HDMI output, so you can hook up the phone to a HDMI capable monitor to play your videos.
Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint, $249.99 with 2-year contract and after rebates)
Like the Evo 4G, we covered a lot of the Epic 4G’s features when we took a look at the best Android phones for 2010, so let’s dive right into the camera.
A 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash, the Epic 4G’s camera also has the ability to record in HD.
Smile and blink detection features are included, as well as a panorama mode.
Sony Ericsson Xperia (AT&T, $99.99 with 2-year contract)
The Xperia runs Android 1.6 with a 4 inch touch screen and a range of other standard features. For the camera, the Xperia has an 8.1 megapixel shot autofocus lens, Xenon flash and an LED focusing light. Features include face detection, auto scene detection, face recognition, smile detection, image stablizer and touch focus.
The camcorder shoots in five different resolutions, including a wide VGA and a format tailored for YouTube clips. Video messages are limited to a maximum of 14 seconds, but much longer in standard mode.
iPhone 4 (AT&T, prices vary on model)
The flagship phone of the carrier, the iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera, 5x digital zoom and a LED flash.
The phone has no shutter lag between taking the picture and having the picture displayed on the phone, with the ability to tweak the flash (auto or always-on).
The iPhone camcorder shoots 720p video at 30 frames per second and 1280-by-720 resolution, MPEG 4 MOV /H.264 format.
Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile, $199.99 w/2-year contract and after rebates)
Appearing in our Best of Android phones list, the Vibrant appears here as well with its 5 megapixel camera but the phone lacks a flash.
There are a variety of editing options, including ISO settings, blink and smile detections and panorama mode.
The lack of a flash makes photos a bit dull, but we like to think the phone’s TV-out and DLNA capabilities make up for the omission.
Samsung Behold II (T-Mobile, $99.99 with 2-year contract and after rebates)
Another Android phone (this time running 1.5), the Behold II has a 3.2 inch touch screen, comes with the TouchWiz UI with an odd cube menu.
As for the camera, the Behold II has a 5 megapixel with flash 8x zoom, and the regularly included white balance, ISO settings, effects and photo scene modes. The phone comes with a widget that allows quick uploading to Flickr, so that’s a real plus.
The camcorder is average, with a resolution at 320-by-240 and 176-by-144, both at 15 fps, making for less than smooth experience, but about standard for a lot of video capabilities on cellular phones.
Did we leave out any picks for the best camera phones? Let us know in the comments below.
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