Camera Shootouts

$200 phone vs $600 phone: Dual-camera shootout

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Dual-camera setups are part of a major smartphone trend, and they’re not exclusive to expensive devices. Cherry Mobile introduced their own dual rear camera phone to the Philippine market in the form of the Desire R8, which is priced at just PhP 9,990 (US$ 200).

Since affordable phones are now able to match flagships in their own way, let’s put the Desire R8 against one of our favorites: the Huawei P10.

We took the photos using both phones’ bokeh or wide aperture mode and applied the biggest lens opening possible. The Desire R8 has 13- and 5-megapixel color sensors, while the P10 has 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel color sensors with optical image stabilization.

Let’s begin with the comparison.

We start with a candid photo of Leez and her purple Brookstone Cat Ear Headphones. Both phones were able to capture a nice image with great bokeh effect. If you find the blur to be excessive, you can always adjust after taking the shot.

Now on to a proper portrait of Leez with a lot of natural light coming from the window, which brightened her face well. We kind of prefer the Desire R8’s shot here (despite the yellowish skin tone and dim exposure) over the P10’s luminous portrait. The Desire R8’s soft cut out of Leez is also easier on the eye.

As for indoor macro shots, we have Mario as our subject with Luigi and a sand stormtrooper in the background. The 12-inch distance to Mario created satisfying bokeh from both phones; however, the Desire R8 struggled in this faint lighting environment.

Our Spider-Man Sphero toy stars in this next shot. With enough natural and artificial light, Spidey was able to stand out from the background. The Desire R8 produced the best bokeh effect here, although it looked overprocessed compared to the P10’s photo.

Going outdoors will give you the best results, as you can see with Isa’s portrait. The abundant amount of light balanced out the shadows and highlights, but the Desire R8 processed the image too much. The P10’s shot looks a bit flat, though you can always edit afterward.

So, how did the $200 Cherry Mobile phone stand up against Huawei’s flagship? For its price, the Desire R8 was able to put up a good fight. It showed aggressiveness in image processing, which made its shots look unnatural; we’re still surprised with its output, though. As long as you can find good lighting, you’ll be able to take a decent bokeh-rich shot.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P10 Plus portraits: Pia Wurtzbach vs Me

Camera Shootouts

$100 Phone vs $900 Phone: Camera Shootout

Does paying 9X more mean 9X better photos?

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Here’s something you don’t see us do very often: comparing one of the best smartphone cameras available in the market today with one of the cheapest but not necessarily worst.

The chosen contenders in this shootout are single-camera phones, namely the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. The former sells for around US$ 900 almost anywhere in the world except for the US where it’s much cheaper, and the latter is more or less US$ 100 in Asia and some parts of Europe.

In previous similar comparisons, we used phones that had US$ 200 to US$ 650 price gaps; this time we’re comparing phones with a huge US$ 800 difference. While it’s obvious that Samsung’s flagship has top-of-the-line specs and is one of the most feature-rich phones out there, we are curious to see if its camera is nine times better than Xiaomi’s budget offering, given its steep price tag.

Get your pen and paper ready because this is a blind test. All photos were taken in Auto Mode and were not edited. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks.

#1

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And that’s it! Are you ready to see what phone you picked for each set? Here they are:

#1
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#2
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#3
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#4
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#5
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#6
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#7
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#8
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#9
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#10
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#11
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#12
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#13
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#14
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#15
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#16
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

After several other comparisons in the past, we know by now that when it comes to at least daytime scenes, any two smartphone cameras will be comparable, and the same can be said about this shootout. We just didn’t expect it would be a close fight between the Galaxy S9 and Redmi 5A even for indoor and low-light shots like numbers 8 to 12.

There are, of course, little things that a comparison cannot show by just putting two photos side by side. The Galaxy S9 focuses and shoots much faster than the Redmi 5A in all scenarios. It took several tries for the Redmi 5A to produce a good photo while the S9 more often than not would get it right the first time. It’s important to note, however, that the S9 sharpens and makes some photos warmer than in real life, as can be seen in the food and portrait shots.

Overall, the Galaxy S9 is still the better camera, no doubt. But if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that when it comes to still images, you no longer need to spend all of your hard-earned savings for capturing moments you want to remember. The Redmi 5A will give you comparable results as a smartphone camera worth nine times its price tag.

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have in your pocket, and in this case, the one your pocket can afford.

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Camera Shootouts

Google Pixel 2 vs Samsung Galaxy S9: Blind Shootout

Spoiler alert: It’s a close fight

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After comparing the cameras of the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 for ourselves, we want to give you a chance to see how their photos fare against each other in a blind shootout.

These two phones, as you may already know, are the cream of the crop when it comes to imaging prowess. Despite having only a single camera on their backs, both flagships produce stellar photos on a consistent basis.

As usual, we have a few rules in place. We only used auto mode for their camera apps and are showing the unedited JPEG files which we had to crop to fit this space. The order of which phone shot what is random to make this shootout more fun.

Let’s begin!

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

 

Curious to know which phone shot what? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#2: Galaxy S9 (left) vs Pixel 2 (right)

#3: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#4: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#5: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#6: Galaxy S9 (left) vs Pixel 2 (right)

#7: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#8: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#9: Galaxy S9 (left) vs Pixel 2 (right)

#10: Galaxy S9 (left) vs Pixel 2 (right)

#11: Pixel 2 (left) vs Galaxy S9 (right)

#12: Galaxy S9 (left) vs Pixel 2 (right)

Are you surprised by these results? Like our own assessment from before, the Galaxy S9 consistently takes brighter photos while the Pixel 2 produces greater detail. It’s ultimately a matter of preference and we can safely say that these two phones can do no wrong when it comes to shooting.

Let us know what you think about the results in the comments section below and which smartphones you feel we should compare next.

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Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Google Pixel 2: Camera Shootout

Which phone performs better in the real world?

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In 2018, a great camera makes a smartphone, at least when it comes to the cream of the crop. This week we set out to find which of the two best camera phones in the world today, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Google Pixel 2, shoots the best photos.

Like other comparisons we’ve done in the past, our parameters are the same: We only used the rear camera and only the default camera apps of each phone, all photos were taken on auto mode, and the comparison was based purely on unedited JPEG files viewed on a single computer monitor.

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