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Quel smartphone a le meilleur appareil photo ?

Dan Rubin, Rédacteur en chef du Photographic Journal vous répond.

Dan Rubin, Instagram aficionado and editor-at-large of the Photographic Journal

Dan Rubin, Instagram aficionado and editor-at-large of the Photographic Journal Dan Rubin

L’appareil photo de l’iPhone 5S face à celui du Nokia Lumia 1020, du Samsung Galaxy S4, et du Xperia Z1, voilà la comparaison que nous propose un photo-journaliste anglais du nom de Dan Rubin.

Pour un client lambda la qualité de l’appareil photo numérique d’un smartphone se joue seulement sur le nombre de mégapixels, mais pour un spécialiste tel qu’un reporter photographique plusieurs éléments doivent être pris en compte tel que la qualité du zoom, l’ergonomie… The Guardian a donc demandé à Dan Rubin, photo-journaliste de tester les appareils photos des smartphones les plus populaires du moment. Après le test pour savoir quel est le meilleur smarpthone du moment entre l’iPhone 5S, le Nexus 5 et le Galaxy S4 voici le test des appareils photos des devices du moment.

(The Guardian)

Smartphone cameras tried and tested: the pros and cons of the latest models

Photographer Dan Rubin tries out the cameras on four smartphones to see how they compare in terms of quality and useability

« We call them smartphones, but the phone is the least important part. I would love to be the one who comes up with a new name for these, » says Dan Rubin, arranging the four sleek somethings delicately on the table, weighing each in his palm. « I take smartphone cameras very seriously, and I have done ever since the iPhone 4 came out, which was the first phone camera that was good enough for practical use. »

That was in June 2010, and Rubin traces the worldwide surge in mobile photography to that release, combined with the launch, four months later, of Instagram. « That was serendipity on a massive scale. That combination is what got me shooting every day – it’s what made me a professional photographer. »

Rubin is a renaissance man for the digital age, working in software and product design, and pioneering a serious, professional approach to smartphone photography, which he considers no less rewarding than taking pictures on his Canon 5D Mk II. « These are the most used cameras in the world now, and because those photos are all being shared, we are seeing more of the world than ever before, which I think is fantastic. You can do a whole lot with a camera phone; under the right conditions with the right light, the right framing, the right focus, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell a photo wasn’t shot on a big camera. »

Smartphones have already rendered point-and-shoot cameras almost obsolete, and Rubin thinks they are now even threatening the DSLR. « Software intelligence is where they can potentially be ahead of Canon and Nikon, and already are in some respects. People look down on mobile photography, or say it’s lazy, but camera phones encourage us to take more photographs, and I think the more we take photographs, the better photographers we’ll be. » The theory certainly works for Rubin, whose half-million-odd Instagram followers are constantly shocked that his photos are taken on phones. « It doesn’t matter what hardware you have, » he says, « the important thing is learning how to see. »

iPhone 5S

8 megapixels, dual warm/cool flashes, iOS 7.0.3, from £549

iPhone5s« I’ve owned every single model of iPhone except the 3GS, so I’m very familiar with the software and the device history. That said, I don’t buy Apple products simply because I pray at the church of Steve Jobs, I’m happy to use alternative products if they’re good.

« The best way to discuss this model is to compare it to previous iPhones, and the 5S’s faster processor improves both the camera and the post-processing. The 5S uses a much-improved flash that measures the white-balance of the image in a fraction of a second before taking the picture. The flash then varies the intensity and combination of the two flashbulbs, which are different-coloured, to balance the colour of the image. It’s a very effective idea, which I’ve never seen on any other camera.

« The burst mode, which takes 10 frames per second, is amazing, When I was taking street photography in India, it allowed me to capture things I could never have got any other way. It blew me away, and it reminded me of Arthur C Clarke’s quotation: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' »

Sony Xperia Z1

20.7 megapixels, 5″ display, Android 4.2, £599

Sony Xperia z1« The Sony is the biggest physically and in terms of screen-size it’s almost overwhelming, and the benefit for that size isn’t apparent. It’s borderline uncomfortable, and even after a week I’m not used to it, while with the Nokia I never felt that way. It also feels very clean and clinical — cold even. I was terrified whenever I held it that it was going to slip out of my hand.

« Having more screen real estate is good for looking at photos, but for taking photos there is a threshold, and I think the Sony has crossed it. At one point you have to say, ‘I don’t need a TV in my pocket.’ The size of the screen and the number of megapixels are the phone’s USPs, but the size ends up being more of a hindrance and the megapixel is a red herring – more megapixels don’t necessarily mean a sharper image. Of all of them, the Sony is the only one that feels like it doesn’t have any one standout feature which makes it take better pictures. »

Nokia Lumia 1020

41 megapixels, optical image stabilisation, Windows Phone 8, from £549.99

Nokia Lumia 1020« In terms of usability, it’s a tie between the Nokia and the iPhone, but of all the phones the Nokia is the only one I don’t want to give back – I have an emotional attachment to it. Nokia has always been known for making good hardware and that hasn’t changed – it feels exceptionally well-made and the reason I loved it is that it feels like it’s been lovingly built.

« It’s the only phone of the four that has a slightly more colour-saturated default setting: a barely perceptible difference but a bonus for people who just want to take good snapshots. More interestingly, there is a hardware gyroscope inside the phone to perform image stabilisation, which is very impressive. It means you don’t need a steady hand or a faster shutter speed because it’s doing physical adjustments. As a software designer I’d say that the camera app on the Nokia is very elegantly designed – the others are garish, while this is very clean. Windows phone as a platform falls down a bit, however, because there aren’t many apps available yet: you can’t have either Snapseed or Instagram, and I hope that changes because I like this device. It wouldn’t stop me from owning one though. As an iPhone owner I would still buy a Nokia, and that says a huge amount to me. »

Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom

16 megapixels, external lens, Android 4.2, £449.95
Samsung Galaxy S4« The size of the lens contributes slightly better quality in certain situations. It’s still a very small lens, but if you do want a camera more than a phone, then the Samsung has an edge — the physics are a just bit better. The standout feature of the big lens is the device’s hardware zoom, which goes up to 10x.

« The zoom is brilliantly sharp and clear, and the software zooms on the other phones don’t come close. The downside of it is that it’s uncomfortable to hold. The exterior lens feels like it’s in the way, and every time I pick it up I feel worried that I’m smudging or scratching the lens.

« Size is the trade-off. If you want a serious difference in quality, the hardware has to be much bigger, and that’s the problem: they’re trying to make it two things at once and, exactly as you might assume, it feels a bit like Frankenstein’s monster. »

Pour résumer, Dan Rubin a tout d’abord comparé l’ergonomie des quatre smartphones. Si le Xperia Z1, l’iPhone 5S et le Nokia Lumia 1020 se retrouvent ex-æquo, le Galaxy S4 se démarque par une ergonomie trop lourde, jugé pas assez compact. Pour ce qui est des détails perçus lors de la prise de photo, c’est l’iPhone 5S qui ressort du lot notamment grâce à sa fonction HDR. Pour se rendre compte de la différence, Rubin a testé les appareils photos sur un mur de plâtre rempli de graffiti. Enfin pour ce qui est du zoom, le Galaxy S4 remporte haut la main l’épreuve. Avec une distance de zoom inégalée et une qualité conservée malgré le zoom, le Galaxy S4 gagne quelques points. Chaque smartphones possèdent ses avantages et aucun ne se démarque vraiment après cette batterie de test (

Enfin, en tant qu’afficionados d’Apple, il partirait sur un iPhone 5S, mais les autres ont quelques avantages également :

  • Le Samsung zoom est très bon, mais l’appareil est un peu gros à avoir dans la poche.
  • Le Nokia est vraiment très bon à plus d’un titre.
  • Le Sony est trop austère pour être un téléphone appareil photo agréable.

En résumé, des trois concurrents de l’iPhone, le Nokia est très agréable et très amusant à utiliser et surpasse en plusieurs points les qualités de l’Apple.

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