Camera Shootouts

LG G6 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Camera Shootout

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We recently crowned the Samsung Galaxy S8 as the best single-lens camera phone today after beating the former champ, the Pixel. Wait, hold on a second: Aren’t dual-camera smartphones supposed to be all the rage these days? Yes, and that’s why we’ll compare two of the very best right now.

What’s great about dual-camera setups is how different they all are. Huawei uses a secondary image sensor for cool monochrome photos; LG favors using the second lens for super-wide-angle shots; and Apple has made living out of an additional lens for zoomed-in pictures without any noticeable quality loss.

The latter two are a little more similar in implementation, and seem like a better head-to-head comparison for a camera shootout. To be fair, we’re choosing their absolute best smartphones: LG’s recently launched G6 and Apple’s torch-bearing iPhone 7 Plus.

For full disclosure, all these photos were taken with Auto settings turned on and no filters applied. Resizing was done on Photoshop to keep file sizes down, but saved on the highest quality settings to prevent artifacting. In addition, everything was shot handheld in order to properly simulate real-world usage.

Here we go:

We’re starting things off with a night scene, specifically with a human subject in a dark park. Michael Josh is clearly more illuminated in the LG G6’s output, and he’s surrounded with better lighting in the background. The iPhone 7 Plus does fine too, but upon closer inspection, you can see some pixelation in the finer details of the photo.

Macro shots with flash enabled always pose a challenge for any camera, making this a perfect follow-up test. We felt that the iPhone overdid the flash here, to the point of blowing out the flowers. The G6’s shot, on the other hand, has much more controlled lighting and gave us balanced colors with lots of warmth.

The samples turned out very similar, with the only real difference being the exposure levels. You can see how the G6 overexposed the scene a bit, while the iPhone underexposed most of the elements. If we were to choose, the perfect photo would be somewhere in between these two, so there’s no clear winner here.

We’re beginning to see a pattern. The G6 once again ups the brightness in order to make everything stand out more, at the expense of losing details where there’s too much light. The iPhone’s picture is a lot more realistic, although not as exciting to look at or impressive enough to show to friends.

Nighttime selfies is a weakness we pointed out in our LG G6 review. We see the problem again in this comparison, wherein the G6’s selfie creates mush out of the subject’s face and looks too grainy. The iPhone’s front-facing camera is as tight as ever, but at least manages to retain all the details despite the mixture of light in the background.

This test challenges each camera’s color rendering, and the iPhone wins with the more accurate reproduction. The G6 oversaturates the redness of the HOPE sculpture and sacrifices the shadows in the process.

You can’t tell by looking at the still flowers, but this round is designed to test how well the cameras handle moving subjects up close. Both phones pull this off differently, with the G6 producing a noticeably brighter output and the iPhone opting for sharpness over balanced exposure.

When it comes to food photography, whichever camera phone makes the meal look more appetizing automatically wins for us. In this case, the G6 has the clear edge. White balance is more accurate, the colors of the tart pop, and the entire spread looks a lot sharper from top to bottom.

HDR test! Both cameras did a good enough job with this landscape architecture scene, with only a couple of minor drawbacks to each one. The G6 oversaturated the stop light and parts of the building to a fault; and the iPhone blew out the sky too much, losing a significant chunk of the building to the left of the background. HDR is really best left to the experts.

Finally, we have a fine portrait of Michael Josh in Central Park to analyze. The noontime sun was right above us, so the challenge here was to keep the harsh light in check. The G6 handled this by softening all the light and distributing it evenly for an overall flatter look, while the iPhone took in all the strong lighting for a sharper yet much warmer look.

And now we have to come up with a conclusion! It was quite the seesaw battle with no clear overall winner, so it’s best to judge them based on individual merits.

First, let’s take a look at the LG G6. It performed better in low-light situations with or without flash, except when the front camera was used. When faced with bright lights, the LG flagship had a tough time producing accurate colors, yet we still found all daylight shots satisfactory at the very least.

As for the aging iPhone 7 Plus, it kept up surprisingly well with the much newer G6. Apple’s smartphone was more consistent in color accuracy at night and during daytime, selfies turned out much better, and it wasn’t as hampered by overly strong lighting.

Lest we forget, each phone has a secondary camera for certain zooming functions. The G6 can zoom out from its regular focal length to capture more elements in a single shot, making it perfect for architectural photos and wide landscapes; the iPhone 7 Plus’ secondary lens is designed for closing in on a subject, so it’s better suited for portraits and faraway subjects.

Did you spot anything we didn’t notice? Did you draw your own conclusions from this shootout? Let us know in the comments section below.

SEE ALSO: $200 Phone vs $850 Phone: Camera Shootout

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone XR vs Pixel 3: Camera shootout

Which single-camera setup takes better photos?

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In an age where dual and triple cameras have become a standard, two premium flagship smartphones with a single-camera setup can still compete. Google’s Pixel 3 is regarded by many as having the overall best smartphone camera because it produces well-balanced colors and clean cutouts on portrait mode. Apple’s iPhone XR has almost the same camera setup and features as the more expensive XS and XS Max, including the TrueDepth camera in front.

In this comparison, we pit the two against each other to find out which smartphone you think takes better photos. This is once again a blind test so get your pen and paper ready! Do note that all photos were taken on Auto or Portrait mode (when applicable) and have only been resized for faster loading times. 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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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

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Ready to find out which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer key:

#1
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#2
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#3
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#4
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#5
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#6
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#7
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#8
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#9
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#10
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#11
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#12
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#13
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#14
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#15
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

There’s no clear winner in this shootout; both phones did a great job in capturing images even in low-light scenarios. Choosing which one is better boils down to preference.

The Pixel 3 produces photos with higher contrast and sharpness, which sometimes turn out darker so photos tend to look more dramatic than they are in real life.  The iPhone XR, with its Smart HDR technology, balances out highlights and shadows really well, so much so that backlit images look like they have more than one light source.

In the portrait mode department, neither of the phones did a perfect job — how the cutouts turn out varies depending on the hair’s texture, how busy the background is, and even lighting.

When it comes to selfies, the Pixel 3 offers a wider field of view, an option to switch to a secondary wide-angle lens, as well as a feature called Night Sight that’s also available on its rear camera. One complaint we’ve always had with iPhones is how tight selfies are as seen in sets #13 and #14, although the iPhone XR selfies look more pleasing compared to those taken with the Pixel 3, where my skin tone tends to look more dull.

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3: Night mode shootout

Seeing in the dark

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Smartphone manufacturers have always been upping their camera games, whether it’s by adding more sensors to the setup or increasing pixel count. But one of the bigger revolutions was Huawei bringing a true night mode to the P20 Pro earlier this year.

Since then, Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro followed up on the trend, only to be challenged by another camera-centric smartphone: the Pixel 3. Google’s latest flagship also has a well-received night mode, but the feature came out a couple of months after the phone’s launch.

Now that Google’s Night Sight is official and we have a Mate 20 Pro on hand, it’s time to compare their performance and answer the question lots of people have been asking: What’s the best smartphone for nighttime photography?

For this shootout, I brought the two phones around Taiwan and took photos only on their respective night modes. No post-processing was done except resizing, so the images would load a little quicker on this page.

Here we go:

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One thing’s for sure: Both perform really well in any situation, exceeding expectations in most cases. Although, a lot of the comparisons come down to personal taste.

For one, the Pixel 3 often removes a layer of warmth and makes nighttime scenes look more like daytime. On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro is better at preserving how the environment actually looks in low-light spots.

In the most extreme cases, however, the Pixel 3 can see better in total darkness. The secret sauce Google applied here works wonders for when sufficient lighting is out of the question. At the same time, Huawei’s phone can apply motion blur to moving subjects, making them feel more like a long-exposure shot.

With no clear winner, it’s safe to say that both sides prove that their leaders in the night mode realm. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

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Two brands that impressed us this year with their unconventional take on the borderless design are OPPO and Vivo. These two are always neck and neck when it comes to performance, design, and even cameras. So in this video, we set out to find which of these midrange contenders takes better photos.

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