Camera Shootouts

OnePlus 3T vs ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom: Camera Shootout

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Here’s a matchup you probably weren’t expecting, but both have something to prove in terms of camera quality.

In the orange corner, the OnePlus 3T is our bang-for-buck choice when it comes to well-rounded phones, owning a premium build to house its high-end specs and competitive cameras.

In the blue corner, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is ASUS’ most camera-centric smartphone to date, with a pair of lenses at the back offering optical zoom and advanced autofocusing.

The two phones also happen to be similarly priced at little over or under $450, which brings us to the question: Which of these two upper-midrangers takes better photos of your cocktails and face? Let’s find out.

Like in our past shootouts, everything it taken with Auto settings turned on in each phone’s default camera app to simulate a typical point-and-shoot scenario. No edits or filters were added, including HDR or flash unless otherwise specified.

We’re starting things off with plain architecture surrounded by bright colors. At first glance, you can barely tell the difference here; upon closer inspection, the ZenFone 3 Zoom has more saturated greens while the OnePlus 3T has stronger reds, and they render the blue sky in the same way. Both did a great job maintaining the range from highlights to shadows.

How I wish I could be this guy right now. The OnePlus 3T clearly has a warmer tone to it, while the ZenFone 3 Zoom goes for a more color-accurate look at the expense of losing some sharpness in the grass. Close call, but I’d give this round to ASUS.

In this situation, the flowers were moving because of the wind, making this a test of both autofocusing and macro abilities. The OnePlus 3T’s photo came out a little more detailed, but the ZenFone entry did the colors and exposure more justice. I do have to emphasize, however, that the ASUS phone had a tougher time locking on to the erratic subject.

This is another case where the ZenFone 3 Zoom produced brighter colors in its output, and we like it. The OnePlus 3T’s presentation of Michael Josh came out too bland, and lost the pretty colors we were hoping to get with the artwork behind him.

Here’s a tough situation wherein both detail rendering and dynamic range are tested. Upon closer inspection, you can see the OnePlus 3T did a better overall job, making sure every single line of the structure is visible and the sky doesn’t get blown out.

Before we get into nighttime scenes, it’s important to take a selfie while the sun is still at its best. We have a strong case where taste is a deciding factor: The OnePlus 3T is much better at blurring out the background and placing all focus on the subject, while the ZenFone 3 Zoom once again does skin tone better but doesn’t add any depth to the portrait.

Here comes the cocktail I mentioned earlier! The ASUS contender begins showing signs of weakness by having a tough time rendering details on the glass while also keeping the room well lit. The OnePlus 3T didn’t do much better, although you can at least see the elements in the drink better thanks to greater exposure.

Our ZenFone 3 Zoom relied on a slower shutter speed to let as much light in as possible, but the spinning disco ball and white balance suffered in the process. Everything looks much more accurate in the other entry, from the colors of the ceiling to the details on the wall art.

Although the white balance is a lot more pleasant with the OnePlus 3T, there’s too much noticeable noise in the background to call this a runaway win. The ZenFone 3 Zoom has more aggressive noise control, but makes lots of elements look mushy at the same time.

We admittedly looked for a really challenging spot to take these nighttime selfies. Like the self portraits earlier, the OnePlus 3T does a fantastic job blurring out the background and placing the highlight on the face. On default settings, our ASUS photo attempted to recreate a more flattering shot but lost the focus we were after.

Finally, we check out how each phone handles a complicated scene with minimal light. Looking at the tree in the foreground and building in the background, this round goes to the OnePlus 3T for better detail retention and light control. However, we have to commend the ZenFone 3 Zoom for making the artsy drawing look good with so little light.

And there you have it! Though it seemed like we were in for a tight race at first, each phone’s specialties became clearer as we compared each photo.

If you’re into vivid colors and a strong daytime game, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is for you. In addition, this ASUS handset has the ability to optically zoom up to 2.3x without noticeable quality loss, which would help in instances wherein walking closer to a target isn’t an option.

Otherwise, the OnePlus 3T has a distinct advantage when it comes to locking on to moving subjects and handling areas with difficult lighting. We’d also prefer taking selfies with this phone, since it makes us look better no matter where or what time of the day we pose.

Agree or disagree with our evaluation? Drop us a comment below and let your opinions be heard (or read, in this case).

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel: Camera Shootout

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Camera Shootouts

Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE (2020): Camera shootout

Battle of the small phones

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Pixel 4a iPhone SE

Now that we have the Pixel 4a in our hands, it’s time for another smackdown! Priced at US$ 349, we tested it against Apple’s US$ 399 iPhone SE that packs the powerful A13 Bionic Chip. With two compact phones sporting single rear cameras, which one will shoot better?

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

Pixel 4a: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18B

iPhone SE: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18A

If you observe closely, the iPhone SE produced warmer yet vibrant photos and well-lit, wider portraits. During daylight, it provides more details while it gets pretty noisy in lowlight.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a captured cooler photos. Portrait-wise, it has better focus compared to the iPhone SE despite the cropping. But this affordable phone shines better with its HDR and Night Sight, doing a great job in lowlight!

At the end of the day, both phones took photos that are rich in colors and manageable highlights. They also have decent backlit shots and creamy depth-of-field which might appease smartphone photography enthusiasts. For US$ 399, we already have an impressive camera performance. There are no losers here.

 

 

 

 

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone SE vs Google Pixel 4a: Head to Head

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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

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Photo B – Huawei P40 Pro

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Photo A – Huawei P40 Pro

Photo B – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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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!

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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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