Xiaomi has been active in equipping dual cameras across its entire lineup, from the budget-friendly to the midrange and flagship levels. This got us thinking: How would the cheapest of the bunch fare against the most expensive? There’s only one way to find out.
For this single-branded camera shootout, we’re pitting the high-end Mi 6 against the much more affordable Mi 5X. While the former should smoke the latter in terms of raw performance, image quality may actually be more competitive than you’d expect.
They both have a pair of 12-megapixel cameras at the back with dual-LED flash and 2x optical zoom. Being the pricier one of the two, the Mi 6 naturally has some advantages, namely optical image stabilization and a slightly larger aperture opening on the wide-angle lens for brighter photos.
But just how big of a difference would those features make? Let’s compare photos taken around Beijing, China to find out.
Our first samples are close-ups with the naturally produced background blur of the two sets of cameras. Right off the bat, we can see how close this comparison is going to be. Both did an outstanding job of blurring out the background while keeping the flower sharp. The Mi 6’s photo just happens to be a little brighter because of the larger aperture.
At first glance, both shots seem to be identical in terms of pure quality, but looking a bit closer reveals slightly sharper details on the walls of the Mi 6’s photo and more noise in the Mi 5X’s output.
The Mi 5X needed a higher ISO to evenly illuminate the subject, but because of that, you can see some loss of detail in the darker areas. Still, it has better contrast than what the Mi 6 produced.
Similar to the flower photos earlier, the macro shots here give a slight edge to the Mi 6, but only because of the better-controlled exposure on the subject itself and around it.
Now we have our first samples from the zoom lenses of each phone. Results turned out similar to the previous comparison, with the Mi 5X’s product being more subdued.
This scenario gives us more to work with. The Mi 6’s image is noticeably better here with a warmer tone and less blown-out highlights.
Using optical zoom this time, the results are again more or less the same. Both phones did a splendid job of keeping everything sharp; the photo from the Mi 6 is just warmer.
HDR mode was active to retain all the details in the highlights and shadows. We give this round to the Mi 6 for rendering the lines on the building’s facade with greater accuracy.
Selfie time! This one was tough with the strong backlighting, but both phones did well enough. If you pixel peep, you’d notice less mush on the face for the MI 6, at the expense of minimal overexposure.
Surprisingly, the output favors the Mi 5X this time. The cheaper phone’s advantages are in the better-looking floor, clothing, and vegetation in the background.
Indoor shots with poor lighting are tough for any smartphone, and this is no different. The Mi 5X had difficulty focusing and took several attempts to capture the right exposure, but the final image turned out pretty well. Yet, the Mi 6 takes the victory thanks to its brighter lens and image stabilization, both of which were invaluable for this sort of situation.
Again, the Mi 5X struggles to find the correct exposure, and doesn’t focus nearly as fast as the Mi 6. With that, the MI 6 wins with a superior photo overall.
Rounding up our shootout are samples shot in portrait mode. With the feature turned on, a combination of the zoom lens and software tricks create extra blur behind the subject, giving the impression that these were shot with dedicated professional-level cameras. Both phones did great here. We prefer how the Mi 6’s photo looks a little more realistic and less blown out with the lighting, although the Mi 5X didn’t do a bad job itself with the way it handled the colors.
And there you have it! If there’s one thing we learned from this shootout, it’s that paying for a more expensive dual-cam Xiaomi phone doesn’t necessarily give you a better imaging experience.
Sure, the Mi 6 would win every other comparison — battery life and playing graphics-intensive games, to name a few — but in terms of image quality, you can pick either one and be fully satisfied.
[irp posts=”19776" name=”$200 phone vs $600 phone: Dual-camera shootout”]
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei P30 Pro: Camera shootout
2019’s early flagship Androids
Now that Samsung and Huawei have released their respective flagships for the early part of 2019, it’s time to compare them in the funnest way we know how: a blind camera shootout.
Both brands make it clear that they’re proud of what their premium phones can achieve in the imaging department. While the Galaxy S10+ is incredibly versatile with its triple-camera setup and host of software tricks ranging from Live Focus to intelligent scene detection, the P30 Pro boosts its hybrid zoom and night mode game with a total of four rear cameras.
They rightfully deserve their scores at the top of DxOMark’s rankings, but what does the general public think about their camera output? With this shootout, you have your chance to analyze each photo and pick the better of the two without bias.
As always, every photo is shot in auto mode with default settings unless a category needs specific options applied. No post-processing was done except for resizing to keep the file sizes down. You may find the answer sheet at the end of this comparison.
#1 — Architecture
#2 — Building facade
#3 — Flower macro
#4 — Low-light indoor
#5 — Food close-up
#6 — Landscape
#7 — Ultra-wide landscape
#8 — Portrait
#9 — Colors
#10 — Food
#11 — Selfie
#12 — Dynamic range
#13 — Details
#14 — Nighttime outdoor
#15 — Nighttime indoor
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14A, 15B
P30 Pro: 1A, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14B, 15A
Like past premium shootouts, the results here can often go either way. The Galaxy S10+ seems to shoot a little wider with its ultra-wide lens and tends to raise exposure more in certain situations; the P30 Pro, meanwhile, is slightly better at retaining detail in daytime and controlling light in dark areas.
Redmi Note 7 vs Realme 3: Camera shootout
A true budget battle!
We love pitting premium phones against one another to see which ones rule the mobile camera space, but every now and then, we need to see how well the budget options perform with their entry-level shooters.
For this installment of our long-running series, we’re comparing the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3, which are undeniably the most popular phones in the sub-US$ 200 segment. Being affordable doesn’t mean performing cheap, however; they have surprisingly good image sensors on them as proven in our reviews.
To make this interesting, we’re presenting yet another blind shootout so you can play along with us. Everything is shot on auto mode and no post-processing was applied except for resizing to keep the file sizes bearable.
You can find the results at the end of this article. Let’s begin:
#1 — Detail
#2 — Moving animals
#3 — Macro
#4 — Portrait mode
#5 — Selfie
#6 — Food
#7 — Landscape
Redmi Note 7: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A
Realme 3: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B
There’s no doubt that both phones shoot well at their price points, and some of the rounds could go either way depending on individual taste.
If we were to nitpick, we’d say that the Realme 3 provides more detail and produces better dynamic range, while the Redmi Note 7 is smarter when it comes to background blur and has more realistic colors on subjects.
What do you think? Connect with us on our social media channels and let us know which phones you’d like us to compare next.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Camera shootout
Wide, regular, and zoom!
We’ve come to a point wherein three rear cameras on a smartphone are becoming the norm and all three must serve an individual purpose.
That’s the case with the Galaxy S10+ and Mate 20 Pro, which are Samsung and Huawei’s most versatile camera phones to date. They both have the ability to go wide and zoomed in, on top of their regular high-resolution shooters.
As always, we’re turning this into a blind shootout so you can play along. The order of each round is random, and everything has been shot using auto settings to give both phones a fair chance to shine. The results are found at the end of this article.
#1 — Flower
#2 — Building
#3 — Graffiti
#4 — Ultra-wide
#5 — Regular
#6 — Zoom
#7 — Background blur
#8 — Backlit
#9 — Bright sky
#10 — Moving subject
#11 — Macro
#12 — Landscape
#13 — Dynamic range
#14 — Portrait
#15 — Sunset
#16 — Artwork
#17 — Twilight
#18 — Food
#19 — Vegetation
#20 — Nighttime
#21 — Total darkness
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18A, 19B, 20A, 21B
Mate 20 Pro: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18B, 19A, 20B, 21A
How do you feel about the results?
Truth be told, it’s as close as you’d expect from the two top mobile camera performers on DxOMark (for now, of course). Each round could go either way, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference — like if you prefer warmer tones or greater contrast in your photos.
Let us know which smartphone you think won in the comments section below.
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