For pretty much any dedicated digital camera out there I can easily find detailed specs on sites such as dpreview.com.

For cameras in smartphones however, these details are not easily found, or maybe I don't know where to look. Examples of items I'm looking for:

  • sensor size
  • lens focal length
  • image size
  • lens f-stop
  • ISO range
  • shutter speeds
  • closest focus distance
  • etc.

Is there a database or review site out there that reports these camera specs for all the various mobile devices?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I got nothing to add except I think it's a great question, we and millions more are carrying these cameras around and we know very little about them. +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – Alendri
    Oct 2, 2012 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alendri - I think we know a great deal about them. They are pretty simple in terms of optics and mechanical features. I don't think a comprehensive source on just camera technology in phones exists because frankly, they aren't that different these days. Nokia is really the only one doing anything different, and most of that is just using marketing to talk up the software features. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 2, 2012 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt Compared with other camera equipment I feel we know rather little when doing comparisons, and I wouldn't want a comprehensive source on just phone cameras. I would like to see it included in any (all) of the other great sources out there. With the appropriate filtering options of course. If I am searching for a snapshot camera it would be great if I got results including phones and prices :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Alendri
    Oct 2, 2012 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alendri That makes no sense. Smartphones are designed first to be phones, you pay to operate them as a phone. If I am looking for a $200 point and shoot camera, I'm not looking for a $200 Samsung phone + a 2 year contract at $70/month(or almost $2000 total). Sure you could buy a phone out of contract or unlocked, but then the price goes up considerably. Basically I'm not shopping for a phone when I'm shopping for a camera or vice versa. I'm getting quite off topic, but lets just say I've already attempted to answer the original question below, because I find it valid. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 2, 2012 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


Most, if not all, mobile phone cameras don't have a mechanical shutter or aperture.

I would bring it down to, the specs don't matter. You can look at the EXIF data from a photo taken with a camera. My Galaxy S I for example:

FL: 3.79mm

Ap: 2.64

And the ISO ranges from 50 to 400.

In photography "theory", a small sensor and small aperture results in very wide depth of field, meaning most is in focus.

Even if you did have all the specs, it wouldn't useful information because it's not designed to be controlled, like a DSLR. What can be applied is post processing, which is what instagram is for. Blurring the corners creates a pseudo narrow depth of field effect.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. I did reverse engineer some of the specs of the camera in my own smartphone by looking at the EXIF data, but that is not what I'm looking for. I would like to have data for smartphones that I don't own, this is for a software application I'm writing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miguel
    Oct 3, 2012 at 3:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Miguel Yeah, I figured you were trying to find a database of some sort for this information but I can't see how it's useful. What does the app do, if you don't mind me asking? Is it a camera app? Maybe it becomes very useful information! \$\endgroup\$
    – BBking
    Oct 3, 2012 at 5:16

The closest thing to a single source of this information that I found was Camera Image Sensor. Unfortunately it isn't really complete as it is missing many phones.

While I couldn't find any complete source, the following are helpful:

Another thing to keep in mind is that almost all cell phone cameras use an electronic rather than mechanical shutter. So they aren't really limited by the hardware. Most phones offer app stores that give you the option for essentially any "shutter speed" using software.

Not that it is going to work every time, but since you mentioned it, I do find dpreview to have great information when they do cover news on new phones. For example the detailed spec sheet for the Nokia 808 was very good. Unfortunately they do not aggregate this information into a database that we can search easily like they do for more standard cameras.


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