BlackBerry Q10 vs. iPhone 5 – Camera Shootout [Update: Lowlight Shots included plus full gallery]

Q1 I5

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.

flowers iPhone 5

flowers iPhone 5

flower q10

flower q10

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.

oak iPhone 5

oak iPhone 5

oak q10

oak q10

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.

leaves iPhone 5

leaves iPhone 5

leaves q10

leaves q10

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.

cows iPhone 5

cows iPhone 5

cows q10

cows q10

grass iPhone 5

grass iPhone 5

grass q10

grass q10

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.

keyboard iPhone 5

keyboard iPhone 5

keyboard q10

keyboard q10

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.

knocker iPhone 5

knocker iPhone 5

knocker q10

knocker q10

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.

Mac Q10

Mac Q10

Mac i5

Mac iPhone 5

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.

Spice Rack Q10

Spice Rack Q10

Spice Rack iPhone 5

Spice Rack iPhone 5

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.

Kettle Q10

Kettle Q10

Kettle iPhone 5

Kettle iPhone 5

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Special thanks to Phones 4u for lending us the Q10 to try out.

 

Tags: , , , ,

  • tomascco

    Very diplomatic, Cam. Now, let’s be real here. White balance a little off? At least you said oversaturated. I find the Q10 images much less detailed than even my 6 megapixel point-and-shoot. This is probably one comparison that should have been avoided.

  • blazzr

    @tomascco Which details are you talking about? I looked at the full res versions of oak, grass, and flowers, compared the parts that are in focus on both photos, and can’t find a difference in details. The only difference that affects visible details would be the exposure – i5 photos are a bit overblown and have lost some of the bright details. The knocker photo by Q10 has more noise than i5 photo though.

  • http://www.Kapowphotography.co.uk/ Swansea Photographer

    Can’t personally find much of a difference there .. everything can be tweaked in photoshop anyway..
    http://www.Kapowphotography.co.uk