Camera comparison: HTC EVO 3D vs. EVO 4G

One big question regarding the new HTC EVO 3D concerns the camera. Erm, make that cameras. How does the EVO 3D, with its 5-megapixel camera (in 2D mode) stack up against the HTC EVO 4G's 8MP shooter?

In our initial (and very unscientific) tests, the EVO 3D holds up pretty well. A couple of things we need to mention here: We're running Cyanogenmod 7 on our EVO 4G, and the phone (and lens cover) is well more than a year old. So consider it handicapped against a brand-new EVO 3D, we suppose. But you should get the gist of what we're seeing.

Sample pics are after the break.

These thumbnails open in full resolution in a new window.

EVO 3D samples are on the left, EVO 4G on the right.

  • Dare I say the evo3d pics look better?
  • Do you have vision issues?
  • Needs spectacles, definitely.
  • Dare I say that both look "meh"?
  • Look at both garden pics with the green and pinkish ear plants... The Evo 3D pics are clearly sharper and cleaner. The Evo4G pics look higher contrast, which I am sure is adjustable in E3D's camera settings. The Evo 4G's 8MB is no slouch, but 3D's 5M is just a bit better.
  • He doesn't, you do. The 3d pics are much sharper, indicating the 4g has a focus problem
    Look at the frog. Can you honestly say the 4g did a better job? The 3d's colors are somewhat muted, and has a cooler cast (too blue) but that can be fixed. Some cams even have on-phone adjustments for saturation and color temperature. Its easily fixed in any image editor. But there is no adjustment for bad focus. Regardless of how much CSI you watch.
  • Honestly, you'd have trouble doing much color correction after the shot is taken unless your phone is shooting in RAW. JPEG loses all of the data that makes color correction possible, except in the most cartoonish and cursory ways.
  • Simply not true.
  • heres the evo 3d pic with increased saturation and temperature and heres the evo 4g
  • 3d looKs pretty good I can't wait just 4 days to go.
  • Um, you posted two identical URL's.
  • I see what you were trying to do there, but you over-compensated.
  • I get an error message opening the page. It says "Can't display web page"
  • The 4G phone appears to have focused on the flowers behind the frog, they are nice and crisp. But still, the 3D's images aren't bad if not darker or more blue as noted. You can see the same thing in some of the other images as well. For instance, in the first image, for some reason the 4G phone focused on the chairs instead of the flowers. The flowers are fuzzy but the chairs are nice and crisp.
  • actually, if you look at the 4g photo you will notice that the focus point is on the leaves BEHIND the frogs and it is in fact an amazing sharp image. the photographer is at fault here and the 4g does indeed take better photos.
  • Yeah, I agree that the Evo 3D images look better. The Evo 4g pictures had better color and also looked blurry in some areas, but the Evo 3D pictures had a clearer/sharper image.
  • Say what?!
  • You heard him. His analysis is spot on. 3d is much better focus and sharpness.
    4g has higher saturation and warmer color temp, but those are something you can shop. You can't fix bad focus.
  • +1
  • I should add the evo4g seems to put out better and more saturated colors but the sharpness of images seems better in evo3d.
  • For sharpness, check out the one with the granite blocks in the foreground. The EVO 4G shows the details of the grain, where the 3D blurs it. The 4G is the clear winner.
  • I see your granite blocks and raise you the Frogs. Now which is better?
  • The 4g is better, but it's focused on the ferns, not on the frogs.
  • You have to be careful with your assessment because the blurriness could be due to camera movement or (and in this case I believe this to be true)a different focus point. Like Phil said, this is not a scientific test. My guess is that he was hand holding the cameras. Not much should be deducted unless it is a very controlled test.
  • You are right about the granite blocks. But the 4g is not a clear winner.
  • I see that the 4G did a better job focusing on the granite blocks but it cost the picture. The flowers are completely out of focus which was the main subject of the photo. (This is likely due to the stock camera app using a different type of focus than the HTC version) I admit the blocks aren't well focused in the 3D picture, but the flowers aren't out of focus which is a win to me.
  • Original EVO seems better.
  • EVO 4G beats it ... in my opinion !
  • Although from the samples above, the original Evo is better, this pretty much sums up why I don't buy cell phones for their camera capabilities and why I'm still upgrading to the 3D. None of the photos above really are of good picture quality.
  • Original Evo looks much better
  • Comparing an 8mp camera against a 5mp camera. You guys are really something.
  • It's not about the pixel count that matters. It's about the size of the sensor. Often, more pixels actually results in worse picture quality if it's a very small sensor.
  • Exactly.
  • xda troll you :) - I figured that you would know the EVo has only 5MP on cm7
  • Not true, my evo with cm 7.0.2 #94 takes 3264x2448.
  • Congrats on being the guy that always argues megapixel numbers over quality of sensors.
  • I can honestly care less about the camera... Not like we're printing phone pictures. All you do with phone pics is upload them to Photosharing sites or Facebook/twitter. . . . I actually plan on getting an actual camera real soon because I like taking pictures.
  • "I can honestly care less about the camera" so you do care about the camera? Why do people always say that when they COULDN'T care less about something?
  • shut up... got nothing better to do?
  • lawlz. this happens too often, someone's gotta point it out. lol
  • Apparently, none of us do, since we're posting here. Haha! But he's right. People screw up that saying all the time. It's "I couldn't care less". If you COULD care less, then that means you DO care to some degree. Yes, I know, the grammar police are a pain.
  • Words mean something. Ignorant speech should be called out where ever it is seen.
  • There you go!
  • EVO 3D just keeps getting less impressive....ugh HTC im surprised but im not surprised.
  • HTC uses cheap garbage for the cameras anyway. I could careless about taking pics or vids anymore with my Evo, once u print the picture out or look at it on a pc they look like grainy crap. HTC really needs to step up their camera with something more better. What's the sense of shooting in 3d if you still use crappy lens for your cameras. That's why a camera is is option on the phone and nothing to brag about. Now the screen and hardware is where the bragging rights belong.
  • Agreed!
  • You read my mind. I was reaaaally hoping for a better camera! I compare my Evo 4G pix to the LG G2X and I get mad. I pre ordered this sucker keeping in mind I have 30days to return it. HTC night shots blow, even my old iphone 3gs takes better pix. This 3D better impress or goodbye HTC, hello Samsung.
    I give both cameras 4/10, both suck! I hope HTC tweaks something with their camera before release, what a let down! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  • If the EVO 3D is not 10 times better then I am going to boycott HTC! I have an EVO 4G and yes in perfect lighting conditions it takes a good picture but anything else it's worthless. And the video capture is even worse. This is the one and only thing I hate about the EVO. I think this short review just helped me make the decision to wait for the Galaxy II (Sprint Within). Hmmm, I really thought HTC would step up and use a better sensor on the EVO 3D considering it's big selling/marketing hype is the camera. BTW: MPs above 5MP really don't make much of a difference unless printing large format...
  • The noise in the images from both cameras would drive me to drink. That being said, I think the 3D has just slightly better clarity. The 4G seems to lean on color saturation (a little too much in my opinion). I assume the camera were using the same basic capture settings. Megapixels on these tiny sensors doesn't really make a difference. So, 8MP vs 5MP is not really that big of a deal. Other than your image size output. In the scheme of things, looking at these images, the crop doesn't hurt or help. There a a number of 5MP shooters on smartphones that take better pictures than the 8MP varieties. The Nexus One and iPhone come to mind.
  • I think the 3D has just slightly better clarity. The 4G seems to lean on color saturation Exactly. 4G color temp (often confused with "white balance" in cell phones)is warmer as well. That leads people to think its a better picture. But saturation and temp is something you can fix. Soft focus you really can't fix. There is a LOT of compression noise in these photos. HTC has a thing called Picture Quality in many of their cameras, which controls image size, via the compression algorithm. The "normal" setting is totally a mess, and if you reset the camera to defaults that is what you get.
  • I'm really troubled by the figurine in the first photo. Phil did you buy that or does your wife insist it live on the table? Either option is not very palatable. ;-)
  • I do not know what the plants in the bottom pict are but my neighbor next door has them in their yard and I would say Yes the over all has a better Camera but the color saturation and clarity is more crisp in the 3D. But with that said these will not hold a candle to my 7MP point and Shoot. So with that being said quick shot and posting it to FB on the fly these camera are fine, if you want to print the picture put your phone away and use a real camera!
  • Can you do a comparison in a low light situation with and without flash? My EVO 4g SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS whenever the flash goes off. The flash is so bright and the aperture or shutter speed doesn't adjust I guess and you end up with a picture that's just white.
  • Unless you absolutely need a flash, turn it off.
  • Hmmm....Evo 4G seems to capture natural light better than the Evo 3D. The contrast is a little off whack on the Evo 3D. Though, there are many samples I've seen elsewhere where the Evo 3D beats the Evo 4G. Guess it really depends on where you're at and what the situation is at the moment. EDIT: Dangit! Quit posting bits and pieces of what could be a full review, just post the FULL REVIEW already! :P
  • Without being there, how can you say the 4G captures natural light better? 4G has a warmer color temp, but you can't say that is better unless you could compare it to the original scene.
  • Well, from comparing their samples is how I drew my conclusion. You dont necessarily need to be there to compare aperture ability. Unless they shot these on different days and completely different times. The outdoor shots evidently show that. BUT, I'm sure the Evo 3D's settings can be tweaked to achieve optimal quality. I've honestly seen the Evo 3D take better pics. I can't wait to order it tonight!
  • People need to stop the MADNESS...The Evo 4g is a great device the granddaddy of all 4g Android devices and it had a great run it made Android and Sprint proud. It's time to move on and the Evo 3d is a great addition to the Evo brand and family on sprint it is the snappiest device on the market and the performance of this device speaks for It's self. Spec wise the best device on the market and I believe in having the best at all times. I brought my OG EVO June 4th 2010 and on Friday I will purchase my Evo 3d PROUDLY..
  • Well put. Life goes on...and so does technology.
  • The Evo 3d will be the best device on sprint HANDS DOWN. Until the quadcore Evo next year I will be rocking my Evo 3d proudly because technology wise this is the best
  • I think the Evo 3D looks way better in my opinion
  • Are ALL the settings EXACTLY the same with both phones ... Even if they are both in default mode, the default may be totally different ... Show what the settings are.
  • If people are all into taking pics, get yourself a DEDICATED camera for that matter. Cell phone cameras are just for those spontaneous moments where you want to quickly capture a moment. If you are interested in print quality photos, then you really need to invest in a good camera.
  • Agreed -- to an extent. I think the OEMs play a role in all of this, though. This notion or perception that the cameras on smartphones are high quality is unrealistic, if not just downright silly. There's so much blather about the MPs of smartphone cameras. Even Apple is rumored to be adding an 8MP camera to the next-gen iPhone. As a photographer, I don't look to my Droid X to capture pin-sharp images, but I did expect a bit more clarity from high-resolution images taken on a sunny day. I have been able to push an 8x10 print from one my Droid X images, but it was processed in an app and noise (grain) was part of the effect. Maybe it doesn't really matter, because I suspect most people are only sharing these images on Facebook, Twitter or by text or email.
  • So true, so true this camera debate is getting old. If the EVO3D had a little tiny Nikon sticker right next to the cameras we wouldn't even be having these comparisons people would just say loony la la its a Nikon camera lookout la la.
  • You're agree but there's a problem with your line of thought. The problem is there because we know cameras in phones can do much better, so as consumers we want what's best. Just look at the iPhone and Samsung phones. Even my 2 year old Samsung Moment with a 3.2mp camera takes better pictures. It's long past time for HTC to step up in the camera department, especially since taking images (albeit 3D), is a major marketing point for HTC and Sprint with this phone. It's as if they did everything cosmetic right, but the actual camera wrong. Look at the nice dedicated camera button, the 2D/3D button and all the new features in the camera software. Too bad, the goof on the optics (Who knows what it's made of) and cameras itself!
  • Waaaaaaa waaaaaaa waaaaaaaaa....The Evo is the 3D is better...tastes great...less filling....who gives a hoot? I'm going to whine to Phil because he said he'd have this comparison up this morning. Btw folks...relax...just playin'
  • 4gb internal n 8 gb sd card... ya this phone is the grand daddy alright. Didn't the original have 2gb internal or something pointless like that? So basically if you have not purchased a 32gb chip yet might as well add it to the total of the phone. I just do not understand that at all. great phone but not god's gift to smartphone addicts by a long shot. people on sprint need something to cheer about I
  • Weird seeing that the E3D's camera isn't noticeably better than the EVO's in this test due to the fact that CM7 does not have 8MP camera working. I guess I assumed that the E3D would be a good upgrade, but it's looking more and more like that will not be happening for me
  • What are you talking about?
    Not true, my evo with cm 7.0.2 #94 takes 3264x2448.
  • You all are kidding right? The EVO 4G has better quality? Are you even looking at the pictures??! You must be looking at the thumbnails and not clicking on the two pictures and looking at them side by side. Tell you what...right click open in new tab the picture of the two frogs standing on the shovel. Look at how detailed the frogs are in the EVO 3D opposed to the HTC EVO 4G Try clicking and zooming in even...the 8MP doesn't hold a CANDLE in detail...its not even guys must be looking through your android browser not even clicking on the thumbnails. Also, be you think the leaves are THAT green in the EvO4G picture? Or the flowers that vibrant? Its pure saturation...its not even true color quality. Go to a computer and look at the pics again and repost then fame if you feel the need.
  • Well, the problem there appears to be the auto-focus. The 4g for whatever reason (I blame the CM7 Camera app) is focused on the ferns behind the frogs, and the ferns are razor sharp. The 4g3d is focused on the frogs, so yes, the frogs are nice and sharp, but it's all blurry around the ferns. Really, until you've got the same camera software on both of them, and a bit more controlled focusing, it's going to be damn hard to compare.
  • You should put a disclaimer that both are taking 5mp shots as CM7 doesnt take 8mp shots. It's not a fair comparison. Even at 5mp the EVO 4g takes batter shots. Show some 8mp shots with the EVO 4G and see a true comparison.
  • Number of pixels is mostly meaningless.
  • Not true, my evo with cm 7.0.2 #94 takes 3264x2448.
  • The Evo 4G pictures definitely have more "pop" or more colorful , and The Evo 3D pics are sharper
  • I agree Wiezeee that's my point...the EVO 3D has better sharpness and detail. If we really want to compare apples to apples have both devices use vignette on 5MP The HTC 3D Stock camera is probably compressing the size therefore reducing overall quality
  • More indoor/low-light pics would be great!
  • while the evo 3d pictures are definitely an upgrade over the original evo, htc cameras still seem to be pretty crappy in general when compared to other brands. my samsung epic with a 5mp camera takes absolutely fantastic pictures, so good in fact that it just about completely replaces the need to carry a point and shoot. i have few friends with iphones and they take way better photos as well.
  • Cellphone based cameras (the CCD's themselves) really need to have an improvement for shutter speed and focus. It's really a shame that an 8MP (or even 5MP) camera is slave to the minor shaking or movement of a person holding the phone free-hand.
  • The problem is that the sensors and the lenses are just too damn SMALL. They can't capture enough light. That is why the "shutter" speed is so slow and indoor pictures look bad.
  • I think I'll be fine with the EVO 3D's camera(s). I'm not looking to take Pulitzer-winning pictures in the near future.
  • Evo 3D's pictures have more detail but lake the sharp colors of the OG.
  • bring on the video comparison!
  • Phil, can you change the EVO 3D's setting from "widescreen" to "4:3" or "standard" and take a few comparison pictures that way? The "widescreen" mode on the EVO 4G actually crops the picture (you don't gain extra "width", you loose the top and bottom 1/4 of the picture and thus image sensor). I think your EVO 3D pictures are hobbled a bit by not using the full sensor (if the implementation is the same as the 4G). It would also make the comparison to the 4:3 shots from the EVO 4G more "apples to apples". Thanks! JT
  • I went back to a sense based rom from cyanogen just because the camera sucked so bad. This comparison wasn't worth the time.
  • Wow, the contrast and color density on the 3d are way worse. I wonder a little how much of that might be the camera software though. CM7's camera app is definitely different from the stock HTC Camera app.
  • Look.. both phones are good, but when it comes to speed i'll say the evo 3D surpasses the evo and many ways, if you guys download that app called QUADRANT you will see the difference, my old evo 4g was doing about 1100mhz (overclocked-root)and the evo 3d also root and overclocked was doing 2800mhz i work with sprint so i get an early release on all devices, but far as i know the evo 3D is pretty amazing device with many new features and it comes with the green hornet movie in 3D.. which you can connect your phone to a 3D tv
  • You're an HTC or Sprint shill aren't you? 40 minutes since you created your account, and you counter my post about photo contrast with the fact that I get a free copy of Green Hornet in 3d with an Evo 3d?
  • What the Fork does any of that have to do with the Picture Quality of the camera and specifically this comparison. What a maroon.
  • Opinions and a-holes....
  • It is funny that everybody became camera experts just because the Evo 3D lost 3MP
  • I don't see a major difference between them. I'm sticking with my Evo 4g for now. I have friends that are upgrading so I'll mess around with those and make my decision then. You can't go wrong with either phone in my opinion.
  • Evo 3D: 250%+ faster CPU. Twice the RAM. Twice the internal flash. Higher res screen. 921% faster GL. Larger battery. 800Mhz radio. Slightly thinner. 3D display. 3D stills & video. There is a lot to be excited about, even if the still camera quality is about the same.
  • Yes, but it has the 3 D's.
  • Blah blah blah. Take a poll. Winner gets nothing. Both take good pics. The slightly better pictures of the 3D aren't a deal breaker for me but they might be for you. To each his own.
  • Both kinda suck. I wouldn't get it for the camera. I would get the 3D for the dual cor 1.2 Ghz processor and increased ram and disk space for applications....and Sense 3.0 but not for the camera....
  • The camera is really only for those occasional moments where it's handier to use the cell phone for a quick pic. I'll agree with everyone that the 4G * definitely* has better color, but the 3D does seem a bit sharper for most of the pics. And it's also true what someone else pointed out that having a 5MP and an 8MP with the same size sensor, the 5 will generally give better shots. The reason most phones these days ship with a 5MP shooter is because that seems to be the "sweet spot" for a CCD that size. And whoever said that color correction can't be done on anything but RAW format photos is being overly-critical. JPEG's be color-corrected all day long, even if not at the "professional-quality" level this guy's talking about. *Anything* I shoot with my cell (or digital camera for that matter) that I plan to "keep" gets a good "scrubbing" in Photoshop. Now... I'm interested to see how some of my image touch-up methods work on a 3D pic... That'll be interesting, cause I know full well that I'm at *least* going to be playing with the 3D camera for a couple of days after I get the new Evo. HTC doesn't go nuts on the camera (I think) because they know it's not a crazy important part of the phone for most people.
  • Anyone notice the EVO 3D pics are taken in a 3.7MP resolution? Who ever took these pics didn't have the setting all the way up to 5MP.
  • That is because he had the wrong aspect ratio chosen, so it simply cropped off the top and bottom of the pictures. This really is a horrible comparison....
  • At first blush, when I first viewed these pics on my EVO, I wasn't impressed. When I got home however, I decided to take another look at the photos on my laptop, and WOW...there is a huge difference between the two cameras when viewed on a larger monitor. No question that the color saturation on the EVO is more pronounced, but the sharpness of the 3D is FAR better in my opinion. While the EVO has hot spots of sharp focus, the 3D has sharp focus nearly throughout the entire photo. If you're sitting on the fence or rethinking your decision to purchase a 3D, take a look at the photos on a larger monitor first...I was actually surprised.
  • Wow! Such controversy over which cell phone camera is better! They're both CELL PHONE CAMERAS! They all suck compared to even the low end point and shoots, so who cares?! I have a $100 Cannon that takes way better pics and records flawless 720P. It will be a long time before cell phone cameras even begin to compete with point and shoots.
  • $100 Cannon? OR Canon? What sub $100 Canon do you own that shoots in 720p? Would like to know moar
  • The Evo 4G might have better color saturation but the Evo 3D's optics look like Johnny 5. Win!
  • I think what keeps being neglected to be mentioned is that the EVO 4G's lens has been in use for almost a year, while the 3D's is brand new. You almost have to spot the 4G a little slack considering it isn't a brand new lens.
  • Actually, it's the lens cover on my Evo that seems to foul it up for me. If my lens cover isn't sparkly clean, I just can't take a good photo. If the test subject is scratchy, as they will tend to get, the photos are n-e-v-e-r going to be sharp again. And, in the end, neither one of these phones performs strikingly well, even against the cheapest of modern dedicated digital point-and-shoots. So, weigh your expectations. My real question on the 3D is about the macro capability. I am all the time trying to photograph serial numbers and the like on close-up targets. I almost never can get a good close focus, even though the lens CLEARLY passes through the optimum focus point in hunting for focus. Frustrating as all hell. Mark
  • Did not read 160 comments but... Was it overlooked that the CM7 camera sucks ass? Sense uses touch focus. CM7 stock camera is horrible.
    I am running CM7 with MIUI camera (5 mpx setting) on my EVO 4G and it entirely better than the crap CM7 stock cam. Sense hands down has the best camera app for Evo. So this is totally a bogus test. You are all up in arms over some dimwitted comparison.
  • hey mr.phil...dr.phil..forget about the new 3-d update...let gets the evo 4g done right.....please....after the gingerbread update both of them 6/3 and 6 /20 for my evo..there is a major camera bugg that has not been noticed or rarly reported...when u take a few pictures... the pictures comes out dark and not cristal clear as in the past with froyo also when the picture is taken and tries to save in your gallery..the camera frezzes up.... (so annoying) and when you try to navigate thru the camera settings... the camera frezzes up and reboots the whole phone.....with your knowledge and power in the android world..please write to htc/google and sprint to get a updated patch for this... i love my evo...i use the camera heavy... now its just a ordianry phone....please help..... mike
  • People please take the time to understand that you can't even try to compare the two cameras. I have been a photographer for over 15 years. Anyone with common sense knows that a camera with 5 megapixels cannot take better photos than a camera with 8 megapixels. There is no way you can make a camera with a lower resolution take a better picture than a camera with a higher resolution. I had my HTC 4G Evo 4 days before it came out in stores. I have taken over 200,000 photos with it. That is not an exaggeration. It's the plain and simple truth. My best friend bought the 3D Evo and we put the cameras to the test. We tested every setting and every type of lighting. When we finished we printed out the side by side pictures. There was no comparison between the two cameras. The 4G Evo's camera took much better pictures. The color was better. The pictures were sharper. While looking at the pictures on the computer. If you tried to zoom in on the 3D Evo's pictures they became to blurry. However the pictures taken with the 4G Evo's camera were still crystal clear zoomed all the way in. So to those who truly think that they see better pictures from the 3D Evo should consider making an appointment with the eye doctor A.S.A.P. You need glasses. Hope this information was helpful to those with common sense. PS. Saying that the 3D Evo's camera takes better pictures than the 4G Evo. Is like saying a 9 Millimeter handgun is more powerful than a 45 caliber handgun. It makes no sense.
  • I just wanted to add I have a large collection of cameras. Ranging from the Nikon D3x all the way down to one of my favorites the Canon Rebel T3i. I have owed every Canon Rebel they have made. I am a big fan of the Rebel series. I own about 19 professional cameras. I have the Nikon D90 the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. Let's just say I love cameras and have a passion for taking the best of the best photos. I truly wanted to trade in my 4G EVO for the 3D EVO. The only thing that held me back is that it has a weaker camera. The 3D Evo is faster and has a much better battery life. I pray that we will soon have a even better 3D phone with a higher Megapixel camera..
  • The cameras are not AS a big a deal as the dual core processors :)