Camera Shootouts

GoPro HERO 6 Black vs HERO 5 Black Comparison

Which is the action camera for you?

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GoPro is one of the biggest names in sports videography and is a name that first comes to mind when the need for a portable, easy-to-set-up camera arises. Although, the past couple of years were a bit hard for the company as sales plummeted, and after introducing their first-ever drone, some literally fell from the sky.

Still working hard on making another hit, GoPro has returned with their latest action camera, the HERO 6 Black, and it boasts some pretty impressive features. Will it be the saving grace the company needs right now? How does it fare compared to its predecessor, the HERO 5? We answer those questions plus more in this comparison.

Design

On the outside, nothing has changed with the new action camera at all. It’s made of the same robust, rubbery material that’s designed to go underwater for as deep as 10 meters without needing an extra waterproof case. Button placements are carried over — one up top to start recording and another one on its side to switch between shooting modes.

Underneath, the same 1220mAh battery is stored while connectivity ports are on the other side. Even the protective lens is still removable and replaceable. There’s virtually no way of telling the two apart except for the small print on the side of the camera.

Features

The biggest upgrade of the HERO 6 has more to do with output. It can now shoot up to 4K resolution at 60fps, whereas the previous HERO 5 topped out at 4K 30fps. It might seem like a small detail but having the option to shoot smoother video is always a good thing.

Another difference is frame rate. The HERO 5 Black can capture videos at a speedy 240fps but resolution is limited to 720p. The newer HERO 6 Black, on the other hand, can shoot the same 240fps rate at a clearer 1080p resolution.

For more flexibility, the HERO 6 can also shoot at 2.7K at 120fps so you get nice slow-mo video with the ability to resize or re-scale your footage if the need arises. Other features that differentiate the new action camera from its predecessor include better low-light performance and dynamic range.

Video Sample

Of course, all this means nothing if we can’t see for ourselves. I brought both cameras during my travels and you may refer to the embedded video below (starting at 2:46) for some sample video comparisons.

You can easily see that the sky from the HERO 6’s shots is more vibrant than the pale blue color from the HERO 5. There’s also a noticeable difference in exposure. The HERO 5 has darker blacks which, in this case, worked well since it was able to bring out more details on the snowy mountain.

Although both are set to auto white balance, footage from the HERO 5 still turns out to be warmer as seen in the indoor shoot.

In terms of stabilization, the new HERO 6 really stepped up its game to remove unwanted jerks and jitters. The difference is day and night, and it’s impressive how the HERO 6 almost looks like it was mounted on a gimbal thanks to its electronic image stabilization.

Don’t get us wrong, the HERO 5 also has its own EIS, but just not as good as the new flagship’s.

One more thing to notice when the camera’s EIS is turned on is that the HERO 5 needs to crop the image by 10 percent to achieve a smoother shot, while the HERO 6 has improved this and only crops about 5 percent of the original image.

Additionally, stabilization on the HERO 5 can only be used until 2.7K resolution at 60fps, while the HERO 6 supports stabilization until 4K. The only limitation here is that EIS maxes out at 30fps with no support for the higher 60fps.

Onto low-light shooting: Footage taken with the older HERO 5 couldn’t achieve the same level of clarity shot on the HERO 6. Colors are also livelier and digital noise has been reduced significantly on the latter.

Although there were instances, like when we went ice skating, that we preferred the color and details shot by the HERO 5. It looked more natural and the ice on the floor is still visible, unlike the one shot by the HERO 6.

Photo Samples

We now look at some photo samples from both action cameras.

This photo was taken at Italy’s oldest shopping mall and shows a good balance between light and dark areas. We like how the HERO 5 has a higher contrast which added detail to the metal structure of the mall. 

While waiting for a train, we see the sun lighting the Swiss Alps from behind with a dark and shaded station in the foreground. Again, we see a more vibrant blue sky from the HERO 6 with good details.

But look closer on the warning sign in front of you and the HERO 5 was actually able to deliver a better, more legible image. Even when you crop them to 100 percent, the smallest details seem to appear better on the HERO 5.

At night, both proved to be capable shooters, but the HERO 6 showed more details by effectively capturing the cracks on the floor. One thing that I had been complaining about with my HERO 5 is that it easily overshoots light flares, creating an unwanted glow and losing details.

It’s very much distracting here since it washed out the person’s face. Meanwhile, we’re happy that it was addressed on the HERO 6 as it’s clearly the better photo.

Zooming in to 100 percent shows that the green motorcycle has a livelier color and less noise on the HERO 6 compared to its predecessor. Here are more sample photos:

Battery Life

As mentioned earlier in this video, the HERO 6 Black carries the same 1220mAh battery capacity as the HERO 5 Black. So it should technically last for the same amount of time right? Well, no.

We conducted a battery test on the two at full capacities, same video settings, and started recording until they both drained their batteries. After more than an hour and a half, the HERO 6 actually gave up first at 1 hour and 42 minutes while the HERO 5 continued on and reached 2 hours and 5 minutes. That’s 23 minutes of difference and could go a long way in real-world shooting.

Responsible for this result might be the HERO 6’s newer custom processor. Yes, it could produce better dynamic range, low light shots, and stabilize the camera really well — but at the cost of a more power-hungry chip. That’s definitely a trade-off to consider.

Conclusion

So the question here is this: Should you upgrade to a HERO 6 Black from a HERO 5 Black?

Well, you first have to ask yourself the question: Will you be using it to shoot serious action scenes with really fast movement? Are you after the best quality there is? Or are you more of a casual user who just uses a sports camera to document your out-of-town trips?  

 

Because if it’s not for professional work, the HERO 5 Black is more than capable to document all your trips. It’s also worth every penny since it just dropped its price to US$ 299, making it a really attractive offering — not to mention longer battery life.

Although if you plan to use your action videos for broadcast and want to have a lot of flexibility in shooting and editing, then you can’t go wrong with the HERO 6 Black at US$ 399.

Camera Shootouts

Huawei P40 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Camera shootout

Which set of flagship cameras perform to your liking?

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Huawei and Samsung has been in a tussle in recent years over which brand is the number one Android smartphone maker. Buoyed by their outstanding work in mobile imaging, Huawei recently seized the top spot in terms of sales according to Counterpoint Research.

After comparing the two overall, we know take a closer look at how their early 2020 releases  — the Huawei P40 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra — fair against each other in a smartphone camera shootout!

Make sure to jot down your answers, as the results of this blind test will be at the end of this article.

As usual, photos were labeled, resized, and collaged (this time) for you to load the images faster. No post-processing nor any color adjustments were done in any of the photos. So, let’s begin!

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Results

#1

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#2

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#3

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#4

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#5

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#6

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#7

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#8

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#9

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#10

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#11

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#12

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#13

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#14

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#15

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#16

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#17

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#18

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#19

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#20

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#21

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#22

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#23

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#24

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#25

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#26

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#27

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#28

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#29

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

#30

Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

#31

Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

Were you surprised by the results and your choices? One that’s very evident is how the Huawei P40 Pro’s larger sensor produces images with higher brightness and less contrast.

At first glance, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is able to retain more detail on the first few sets of photos in broad daylight. However, if you zoom in, you’ll notice that both phones capture and retain nearly the same level of detail.

In fact, in some of the wider shots taken with both smartphones’ main sensors, you could argue that the P40 Pro is able to gather more detail. The Galaxy S20 Ultra also applies a more aggressive post-processing, whereas with the P40 Pro, what you see on the screen viewfinder is most likely what you’ll get on the photo.

Wides and zooms

Interesting, when it comes to the main sensors, the P40 Pro has the wider field of view, but switching over to the ultra-wide angle lens, the Galaxy S20 Ultra captures more of the scene.

Detail retention is once again pretty even. Color reproduction is a mixed bag for the P40 Pro. Most of the images are color accurate, but every so often you’ll get a shot with post-processing as aggressive as the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The latter consistently produces high contrast images — par for the course for Samsung — and one that most people might find more “ready for the ‘gram.” But if you’re after brighter, more color accurate shots that you can tweak on your favorite mobile photo editing apps, the P40 Pro is the way to go.

The same is mostly true for all of the zoom shots, but the P40 Pro gets a significant edge in detail retention.

Selfies and portraits

This one’s pretty close but one of main key differences are once again the wide angle view. The P40 Pro’s selfies capture more of the scene whereas the Galaxy S20 Ultra feels more like an in your face selfie.

The P40 Pro tended to produce warmer and brighter portraits in daylight, low light, and night situations.

Master of night

Speaking of the night, the P40 Pro’s large sensor is once again hard at work. The images it produced are noticeably brighter letting you see more.

It can work against the P40 Pro if you’re gunning for an image with more shadows than lights, especially if you just like to point and shoot without having to tweak settings too much. That said, it’s still able to capture more detail than the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Indoor low light is contentious. On one had, the P40 Pro captures a more color accurate scene albeit with less brightness. The Galaxy S20 Ultra on the other hand, produces brighter images but one that, once again, looks like some heavy post-processing had already been applied.

Which one is your GadgetMatch?

This part can only truly be answered by you. If you prefer images high contrast images that are truly striking to the eyes, the Galaxy S2 Ultra might be your pick.

But if you want something that more constantly produces color accurate images, but one that you might need to lower the brightness for, there’s the P40 Pro.

Lastly, while both phones demonstrated the ability to capture great detail, the P4o Pro’s detail retention seems more consistent across all of its lenses. Whether you’re shooting with the main camera, ultra-wide angle, or zooming in, the image just seems sharper altogether.

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Camera Shootouts

Pixel 3a vs iPhone SE: Camera shootout

Two single camera phones in 2020. One damn good shootout.

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Small in size, single rear camera, and both a dollar shy of 400. The iPhone SE and Google Pixel 3a have so much in common.

While some of you might argue, why don’t we wait for the Pixel 4a to compare with the iPhone SE? Let me get back to you with another question: Why should we wait when we can compare two similar phones — both priced at US$ 399 — that are NOW available in the market?

Here, we’re going to have a comprehensive blind test. It’s not going to be the same camera shootout where I messed with y’all because you’ll need a note-taking app or your pen and paper so you can take note of your answers. As usual, no post-processing was done aside from putting the photos together on a collage for faster preview. If you want to cheat, the answers can be found at the end of this article.

Now, let’s dive in!

#1

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Results

iPhone SE: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10B, 11B, 12B, 13A, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18B, 19A, 20A, 21A, 22B, 23B, 24A, 25A, 26A, 27A, 28A

Pixel 3a: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7B, 8B, 9B, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13B, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18A, 19B, 20B, 21B, 22A, 23A, 24B, 25B, 26B, 27B, 28B

The iPhone SE and the Pixel 3a have only one rear camera each. The former has a 12Mp wide-angle camera with an f/1.8 lens, while the latter has a 12.2MP wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 lens. Although, the Pixel 3a sports a larger 1/2.55″ image sensor compared to iPhone SE’s 1/3″ image sensor.

However, the results vary when you analyze the photos thoroughly.

Daytime

Both phones take comparable photos when the sun is out. The iPhone SE’s photo is warmer, while the Pixel 3a’s photo has a little bit of dullness to it. As pointed out in a previous blind test on our social platforms, the Pixel 3a adds drama with its gloomy processing.

When it comes to shadows and highlights, the iPhone SE captures it better. Maybe it’s the Smart HDR. The intensity in contrast and shadows made some photos add more depth (and look alive) compared to the Pixel 3a’s flat captures. Thankfully, both phones capture creamy bokeh great for portraits and practicing basic photography.

Lowlight

During sunset, the iPhone SE produces more lively photos while the Pixel 3a still lacks oomph. When there’s barely a source of light, the iPhone SE becomes aggressive with its white balance correction and tends to get noisy.

On the other hand, the Pixel 3a delivers a better shot — with or without Night Sight. Of course, the Night Sight allows you to take excellent photos that are social-media ready and it even works on the Pixel 3a’s selfie camera.

Selfies

The Pixel 3a captures wider selfies, except when you use Portrait Mode. Although, the iPhone SE does a better job at lighting Michael Josh’s face. Gladly, Pixel has Night Sight for selfies which makes this round even.

Zoom

Both the iPhone SE and Pixel 3a offer Digital Zoom, with the former having up to 5x while the latter can shoot up to 7x. When you meticulously look at the zoom samples, Pixel is a clear winner since its Digital Zoom produces more detail. It can even capture a much more legible zoomed-in photo of the Cointreau bottle.

Verdict

The iPhone SE and the Pixel 3a captures excellent photos — both in good and bad lighting conditions. Though, the Pixel 3a delivers better when it comes to Digital Zoom and photos that were taken using Night Sight. Still, both phones are stunning in the camera department despite commanding an affordable price tag. At the end of the day, the user decides based on his/her preference and needs.

For US$ 399, whichever you choose, you’re in good hands. Of course, a camera isn’t the only thing you should look at when checking out smartphones. Watch our head-to-head comparison of iPhone SE and Pixel 3a here.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone SE vs Google Pixel 3a: Head to HeadiPhone SE vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

Battle of the iPhones!

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Can the iPhone SE hold out on its own against the newer iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max?

That’s a question we’ve answered on our iPhone SE unboxing and review. The comparison part came and went very quickly though. In this camera shootout, you get a lot of time to look at and analyze the differences between the three iPhones.

Like our usual shootouts, no post-processing was done except for putting the images in a collage for faster loading and preview. It’s labeled A, B, and C so it will be much easier for you to take notes. The answers can be found at the end of this article.

So, let’s begin!

#1 – Blue hour

#2 – Mug & book

#3 – Portrait mode (Daylight)

#4 – Greenery

#5 – Light bulb

#6 – HDR

#7 – Lowlight

#8 – Skyline

#9 – No light

#10 – Portrait mode (Sundown)

#11 – Portrait selfie

#12 – Sunset coffee

#13 – Sunset flare

#14 – Teddy bear

Results

Here are the answers:

A – iPhone SE

B – iPhone 11

C – iPhone 11 Pro Max

If you’ve noticed, the iPhone SE held out on its own during the day, even during sunset and the blue hour.

The three iPhones capture nearly identical results. With Smart HDR, it preserves highlights and shadows to keep it natural, while preserving details in the background. If we’re going to nitpick, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Max produce more vibrant colors, and in some cases are sharper with more details.

But other times, it was almost impossible to tell the difference. Nonetheless, this proves that even Apple’s entry-level iPhone — which is a lot cheaper than the iPhone 11 — captures decent and ‘gram-worthy photos. For the price it commands, the iPhone SE is such a steal.

So, what are your thoughts about the new iPhone SE? Did you like the photos captured? Is it your GadgetMatch? Hit us up on our social media platforms and let us know!

SEE ALSO: iPhone SE Review: Flagship Killer?Huawei Mate 30 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

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