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

Camera Shootouts

iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Pixel 5: Camera shootout

Which flagship takes the best photo?

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By now, most smartphone brands have introduced their respective flagships. Samsung unpacked the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Google revealed the more affordable Pixel 5, and Apple unveiled the most-awaited iPhone 12 Pro.

In this shootout, we took the three flagship smartphones for a camera showdown. These photos were taken around Brooklyn, New York. And if you’ll ask… Yes, we still did our part by wearing masks and following social distancing protocols.

Anyhoo, grab your pen and paper since this is a blind shootout. It’s labeled A, B, and C to make it easier for you to take notes. As usual, no post-processing was done except for putting the images in a collage for faster loading and preview. The answers can be found at the end of this article.

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Results

Okay, we’re just messing with you. It’s not that blind test where you have to scroll up and down to find out the answers in different labels. The results are as follows:

A – iPhone 12 Pro

B – Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

C – Google Pixel 5

If you observed them closely, these flagship smartphones have their strengths and weaknesses. Notably, these smartphones differ in terms of focal length, depth-of-field, color balance, and more. Mainly because these flagships use different camera systems and are powered by different processors.

But if you’re wondering what is the point of a camera shootout between the best smartphones you can buy today, it’s about helping people decide based on their preferences, lifestyle, and usage.

Observations

The iPhone 12 Pro captured bright and sharp processed photos with a greenish tint. It produced a clean cut-out for its portrait mode, with an improved depth-of-field anyone would love. It’s the perfect camera system for average users needing a smartphone for their daily grind.

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra took cooler yet vibrant photos with inconsistent exposure in varying scenarios. It produced images that are expected from a flagship phone, but it’s not as seemingly competitive compared to the iPhone and Pixel’s camera performance.

If anything, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offered the best camera experience it can provide to those in love with Samsung’s smartphones such as Samsung fans and other loyalists (like yours truly).

On the other hand, Google’s Pixel 5 offered strong contrasts and proper white balance in its photos, yet slightly underexposed during the day. However, it’s a real beast when it comes to night photography — even without its night mode.

Your conclusion?

For what it’s worth, this shootout proved that flagship smartphones aren’t made equal. They exist to serve different tastes, lifestyles, and usage that are apt for every consumer. Whatever your choice is, we’re sure you’ll be taking great photos. Just make sure you polish your skills and you’ll be ready to go.

So, which of these three took the best photo for YOU? Let us know in the comments section, and tell us if it’s your GadgetMatch!

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Camera Shootouts

POCO X3 NFC vs realme 7i: Camera shootout

A battle of affordable phones!

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POCO X3 NFC realme 7i

Affordable smartphones have come a long way. Recently, the POCO X3 NFC and realme 7i made waves in the lower midrange category, producing outstanding images for the price they command.

The POCO X3 NFC and realme 7i retails for PhP 12,990 and PhP 11,990 respectively. With just a PhP 1,000 price difference, will the phones have a wide gap in camera performance? Let’s find out in this shootout.

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Excited to see the results? Here they are:

POCO X3 NFC: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11B, 12B, 13B
realme 7i: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A

If you analyze the photos well, the POCO X3 NFC captures photos that are warmer — with a greenish tint — and somewhat underexposed, while processing a creamier bokeh and softer blur. On the other hand, the realme 7i produced brighter photos with an extra boost on its vibrance and contrast, as if it’s ready to go on your social media posts.

Having a PhP 1,000 difference didn’t make much of a difference. After all, both phones cater to different consumers with varying preferences.

Which affordable smartphone is the one for you?

Most users picking the POCO X3 NFC are captivated by its performance, apt for their gaming. But even though you’re after power and performance doesn’t mean the camera should be lackluster — which is the case for this smartphone. It’s not as camera-centric as the realme 7i, but its photos are enough to accompany gamer and performance-oriented individuals.

On the other hand, the realme 7i makes the perfect companion for those looking for a smartphone for their daily grind, and mostly spends their time browsing and using social media platforms. Its camera system produces carefully processed photos so that it’s ready for posting — you barely need to edit it.

At the end of the day, these affordable offerings — despite the price differences — can offer decent camera performance. You just have to choose which one suits your budget and lifestyle.

How did you feel about the shootout? Let us know by sharing this story and tagging us on our social media channels.

SEE ALSO: Poco X3 Unboxing and Hands-on: Killer Specs for $250? | realme 7i: It’s okay to just be okay

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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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