Xenon vs. LED : Flash Battle ! Which Flash is Better on a Cameraphone ?!

Grace P. from Nueva Ecija sent TP this question via Twitter DM earlier today:

"TP, I'm planning to buy a new Cameraphone this Christmas and one of friends told me to get a phone with camera that has Xenon flash instead of LED flash. What exactly is the difference between LED flash and Xenon flash? Is Xenon flash really a lot better than LED flash? Thanks"

Hi Grace!


Photo Credit: PhoneArena


First, to answer your questions:

1. What exactly is the difference between LED flash and Xenon flash?

The main difference between LED flash and Xenon flash is in luminosity. Xenon flash is just way brighter than LED or even dual LED flash.

2. Is Xenon flash really a lot better than LED flash?

Xenon flash is only better than LED flash in taking still photos where flash is a necessity, obviously. When taking photos in broad daylight or where another light source is sufficient, there's hardly any difference in photos taken with either Xenon or LED flash, of course.

LED has an advantage when used as a constant light source for video recording and when softer illumination is need in still photos.


Sample shots (taken in a bar where light source is hardly sufficient):

Taken using Nokia N85 with dual LED flash --


Photos courtesy of Black Phoebe


Taken using Nokia N82 with Xenon flash --



As you can see, the difference between photo quality is noticeable.


Sample shots (taken outdoors in broad daylight):

Taken using Nokia N85 with dual LED flash --


Photos courtesy of Black Phoebe


Taking using Nokia N82 with Xenon flash --



There's hardly any difference in photo quality, don't you think?

Additional info:

What is Xenon flash, exactly?

A Xenon flash lamp is a gas discharge lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for very short durations. The lamp is comprised of a sealed tube, often made of fused quartz, which is filled with a mixture of gases, primarily Xenon, and electrodes to carry electrical current to the gas mixture. Additionally, a high voltage power source is necessary to energize the gas mixture.

A flash is initiated by first ionizing the gas mixture, then sending a very large pulse of current through the ionized gas. [via Indopedia]

Some cameraphones with Xenon flash include: Nokia N82, LG Renoir, Samsung Pixon 12, Sony Ericsson Satio, Sony Ericsson C905, Motorola Zine ZN5 and Nokia 6220 among many others

What is LED flash?

A light-emitting diode (LED) (pronounced /ˌɛl.iːˈdiː/[1], or just /lɛd/), is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps (small bulbs) in many devices, and are increasingly used for lighting. Introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962 early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light, but modern versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet and infra red wavelengths, with very high brightness.

The LED is based on the semiconductor diode. When a diode is forward biased (switched on), electrons are able to recombine with holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence and the color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. [via Wikipedia]

Some cameraphones with LED or dual LED (with 2 LED bulbs) flash include: Nokia N95, N96, N97, N86, N86, E90, E75, E71, E72, Nokia 5800 LG Arena, LG Secret, Samsung Innov8, Samsung Jet, Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot among so many others.

There you go. I hope you find this helpful. :)



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