One smartphone feature that has steadily improved over the years is the camera. Once a novelty, the camera is now an important selling point that can influence a person’s buying choice. Engadget recently had the opportunity to test the top camera-enabled smartphones at Nokia’s Tampere, Finland research and development complex and found that the iPhone outperforms most, but not all, of the competition.

The Engadget team was able to test the iPhone 5 against the Nokia PureView 808, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and a prototype Nokia Lumia 920. The top performers in their low-light tests were the Lumia 920 and PureView 808, both of which include Nokia’s PureView technology. PureView uses an oversampling technique that captures a high-megapixel image and condenses it into a lower-megapixel image with impressive clarity and detail.

The iPhone 5 was the runner-up to Nokia’s handsets, producing images that were slightly darker than the Lumia 920, and not as detailed. Given the low 5 lux lighting, this result is not surprising as most smartphone cameras use small sensors that struggle in low-light conditions. The iPhone 5 easily outperformed the HTC One X and the Galaxy S III, both of which produced dark and grainy images.

You can check out the sample photos from each camera on Engadget’s website.

Photo shootout: Lumia 920, Nokia 808, iPhone 5, HTC One X and Galaxy S III originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 09:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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