Comparing cameras on the BlackBerry Q10 and iPhone 5 may seem like an unusual choice. My interest was mostly born from my old love of BlackBerry. I used to be a fan of the old QWERTY keyboard equipped devices, but there was one area of weakness constantly plaguing the devices: The camera. Both have 8MP sensors, and so comparing color reproduction, contrast and lowlight performance was may main concern.
I wasn’t expecting the Q10 to to be better, I had pretty low expectations before taking it out. But, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
As always, with any camera comparison I do my best to ensure I take the picture from the exact same spot, focussing on the same part of the object. It is difficult to get it perfectly right, but, I didn’t touch any settings except to change the ratio on the BlackBerry’s photos from 1:1 to 4:3 to match the iPhone’s default aspect ratio.
While sharpness was good on both, I found the BlackBerry to get the white balance a little wrong. In the flowers photo above, the entire image has a yellow-y tint.
Amazingly, despite focussing on a dark part of the image, the BlackBerry’s processor does a better job of evening out light and dark areas. To get the same effect on the iPhone, I’d have had to switch HDR on. Colors are more vivid on the Q10 too, but bordering on the over-saturated side.
Again, the iPhone 5 clearly gives a much more realistic finish to the image. The Q10 has a tendency to over saturate the green. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you like vivid colors.
There’s clearly a pattern emerging: iPhone is more natural and a little faded, Q10 is a little too vivid. Neither is perfect, and both issues can be adjusted in any basic photo editing software.
In all honesty, when it comes to sharpness and clarity, there’s little difference in good light. Similar to the Z10, the Q10 performs well in daylight conditions.
As an overall takeaway snapshot judgement for the daylight shoot: The iPhone has a better auto white balance processing, and captures more depth in both distance and contrast. The Q10 on the other hand can create really vivid images without any editing necessary.
Stay Tuned for lowlight shots. They’ll be coming later on.
UPDATE: Lowlight Shots
As promised, I’m updating the post with lowlight shots. Again using all the same conditions and automatic settings, but with less light than the earlier shoot to see which picks up more light when it really matters.
As you can probably tell, the iPhone’s sensor is much better at taking in light when the conditions get a little dark. Both have plenty of noise, but the iPhone’s image is clearly the brightest.
The spice rack was little by nothing more than the cooker hood bulb, offering a little more light than the previous image of the MacBook in its stand. The iPhone again captures a lot more light than the BlackBerry, still with a little noise, but making it almost as if it was taken in daylight.
In the last set of images, the only light source was the object of focus, the kettle switch. The iPhone did a much better job of picking out the light reflecting off the surfaces surrounding the switch, and focussed much better on the switch itself.
I did take a handful more images in both day and lowlight, and all are included in the gallery below.
Special thanks to Phones 4u for lending us the Q10 to try out.