Camera Shootouts

Pixel 3a vs iPhone SE: Camera shootout

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

Published

on

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

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19

#20

#21

#22

#23

#24

#25

#26

#27

#28

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

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OPPO Find X3 Pro: Camera shootout

Camera smackdown between the ‘Pro’ and the ‘Ultra’

Published

on

By

As new smartphones slowly dominate the 2021 tech scene one by one, we get more chances to compare their camera capabilities side by side.

The new OPPO Find X3 Pro promises improvements in camera performance — but is this ‘Pro’ flagship enough to compete with Samsung’s ‘Ultra’ behemoth?

In GadgetMatch’s standards, our camera samples were taken straight out of the phone’s camera app. The only post-processing techniques applied are collaging, putting simple texts in each photo, and resizing. Just like the previous camera shootouts, photos are completely shuffled so you have to remember your picks.

Can’t wait further? Let’s start the camera smackdown!

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Outdoor shots with natural light are easy to achieve — unless they show blown-out highlights and darker shadows in a scene.

#1 (Wide)

#2 (Zoom)

Saturation

Most of the time, color accuracy is one factor that differentiates one smartphone from other models.

#3

#4

#5

AWB (Auto White Balance)

While color temperature can be adjusted right after taking the photo, it’s still a nice feature for a smartphone camera to detect the right type of White Balance in a shot.

#6 (Outdoors)

#7 (Indoors)

#8 (Shade)

Zoom

There’s totally a big difference between two telephoto lenses versus one.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (5x Zoom)

#11 (30x Zoom)

Food

For those appetizing and scrumptious, IG-worthy food shots

#12 (Wide)

#13 (Zoom)

#14 (Low-light Zoom)

Faces

A dedicated section for people who love taking portraits, body shots, and selfies — whether day or night.

#15 (Zoom)

#16 (Selfie)

#17 (Portrait Mode)

#18 (Low-light)

Night Mode

While we’re on the topic of low-light samples, it’s time to reveal the ultimate test that makes or breaks a smartphone camera.

#19 (Ultra-wide)

#20 (Wide)

#21 (Zoom)

#22 BONUS (Wide)

Results

Do you remember your picks? Check them out below to see which smartphone is your best bet!

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

1B / 2A / 3B / 4A / 5A

6A / 7A / 8A / 9A / 10A

11B / 12B / 13A / 14B / 15A

16B / 17B / 18B / 19B / 20A

21B / 22B

OPPO Find X3 Pro

1A / 2B / 3A / 4B / 5B

6B / 7B / 8B / 9B / 10B

11A / 12A / 13B / 14A / 15B

16A / 17A / 18A / 19A / 20B

21A / 22A

Conclusion

In most shots taken with natural light, both the Find X3 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Ultra produced great-looking images. But if you’ve been reading our camera shootouts for a while now, you’d clearly know which shots were taken with the Galaxy S21 Ultra — and those are the wider ones.

While a larger Field of View (FoV) contributes to wider photos, sometimes, Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera software processing goes over the limit by boosting saturation or doing too much sharpening in one scene. Those techniques heavily affect a natural-looking subject or scenario.

Also, having two telephoto lenses is a great feature in a sea of smartphones that only acquire one fixed telephoto lens (the 30x zoom shot of the S21 Ultra for example produced a clearer shot vs the one taken with the Find X3 Pro). But because of Samsung’s AI enhancements, the Galaxy S21 Ultra over-sharpened most photos — particularly shots of the coffee on a bench and the shoes inside a store.

Meanwhile, the Find X3 Pro’s image quality is actually closer to reality. The details were there, and OPPO’s software magic gave the photos the right amount of detail and contrast, as well as better AWB (Auto White Balance) detection.

During that day, my eyes only saw warm-looking subjects. Also, portraits and selfies are more natural-looking on this phone. Let the background depth segmentation in Portrait Mode speak for itself. I didn’t change the aperture value on the S21 Ultra just to stick with the default settings of the camera feature. The Find X3 Pro has cleaner cutouts — even with tiny hair strands.

I also think Night Mode shots are better on the Find X3 Pro. It’s not too bright and shabby with tolerable levels of highlights, shadows, and colors.

I’d say this was a tight camera competition.

SEE ALSO: Find X3 Pro vs Mi 11: Camera shootout | Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera shootout

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

OPPO Find X3 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi 11: Camera shootout

Which 2021 Chinese smartphone takes better images?

Published

on

By

Find X3 Pro Mi 11

Other than Xiaomi’s latest flagship Mi 11, OPPO has also launched the Find X3 Pro, their best smartphone yet with several improvements in the camera department.

Just like any other camera shootout in this site, photo samples were captured using Auto Mode in each phone’s respective camera app. Only three post-processing techniques were done which are putting them in a simple collage, applying basic texts, and resizing. Photos are completely shuffled so you have to write down your picks on a piece of paper or some sort.

Without further ado, let’s start the camera duel between two of the latest Chinese smartphones!

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Outdoor shots with natural light are easy to achieve — unless they show blown-out highlights and darker shadows in a scene.

#1 (Wide)

#2 (Zoom)

Saturation

Most of the time, color accuracy is one factor that differentiates one smartphone from other models.

#3

#4

#5

AWB (Auto White Balance)

While color temperature can be adjusted right after taking the photo, it’s still a nice feature for a smartphone camera to detect the right type of White Balance in a shot.

#6 (Outdoors)

#7 (Indoors)

#8 (Shade)

Zoom

You have to be keen-eyed in order to see the differences between each zoomed shot.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (5x Zoom)

#11 (30x Zoom)

Food

For those appetizing and scrumptious, IG-worthy food shots

#12 (Wide)

#13 (Zoom)

#14 (Low-light Zoom)

Faces

A dedicated section for people who love taking portraits, body shots, and selfies — whether day or night.

#15 (Zoom)

#16 (Selfie)

#17 (Portrait Mode)

#18 (Low-light)

Night Mode

While we’re on the topic of low-light samples, it’s time to reveal the ultimate test that makes or breaks a smartphone camera.

#19 (Ultra-wide)

#20 (Wide)

#21 (Zoom)

BONUS #22 (Wide)

Results

Check out your picks below to see which smartphone, for you, has a better camera performance and overall image quality.

OPPO Find X3 Pro

1B / 2A / 3A / 4B / 5A

6A / 7A / 8B / 9B / 10B

11A / 12A / 13B / 14A / 15B

16B / 17B / 18B / 19A / 20B

21B / 22A

Xiaomi Mi 11

1A / 2B / 3B / 4A / 5B

6B / 7B / 8A / 9A / 10A

11B / 12B / 13A / 14B / 15A

16A / 17A / 18A / 19B / 20A

21A / 22B

Conclusion

The camera competition is quite close but if you’ll all look closely, OPPO’s Find X3 Pro is a tad better in producing shots that are more color accurate with the right amount of detail, contrast, and dynamic range.

Find X3 Pro Mi 11

You’ll barely see the differences among daylight shots but the Find X3 Pro truly outdid the Mi 11 in night shots and portraits. OPPO’s processing technique produced brighter, warmer, and more detailed portraits and selfies regardless if it’s against the light or taken during low-light scenarios. Speaking of low-light, OPPO’s camera magic worked wonders at night — not too bright (unlike most Android smartphones nowadays) yet has less motion blur while taking night shots for several seconds.

The Mi 11, on the other hand, isn’t that horrible. It’s just that most results were a little bit underexposed, less color accurate (more on the cooler side), and worse, blurry, especially when using Night Mode. But again, it’s just me being nit-picky. The Xiaomi Mi 11 is still a decent camera smartphone overall — it’s just that the Find X3 Pro performed better in most (if not all) scenarios.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Find X3 Pro: Camera shootout | Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera shootout

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera Shootout

Camera duel between 2021’s newest smartphones

Published

on

By

Just recently, Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 outside China. We quickly tested it against Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra — which is one of the newest smartphone flagships around.

Again, this is a blind camera shootout with photos completely randomized. Someone in the comments section pointed it out and yes, it’s as clear as the sunny skies that this is like an examination where you have to jot don your picks on a piece of a paper (or through your notes app) and find out the answer at the latter part of the article.

As usual, no additional post-processing was done aside from compiling and resizing the photos. Let’s dive right into this camera battle!

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Comparing shots taken with natural light may look easy, but it’s harder than it seems — especially if we compare each phone’s HDR capabilities.

#1 (Ultra-Wide)

#2 (Ultra-Wide)

#3 (Wide)

Auto White Balance (AWB)

Some sensors might be created equal but when it comes to AWB, there are phones that accurately depict the scene you see in real life — and some that take it too far.

#4 (Daylight)

#5 (Sunset)

Saturation

AI and computational photography either make or break a photo’s saturation level.

#6 (Wide)

#7 (Wide)

#8 (Zoom)

Zoom

This is to test the limits of Mi 11’s zoom capabilities with one telephoto lens against the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s telephoto pair.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (10x Zoom)

Macro

Although there are no dedicated macro lenses for both smartphones, taking macro shots was possible thanks to zoom.

#11

#12

Food

There’s always a better food shot between two different phones — and it clearly shows.

#13 (Wide)

#14 (Zoom)

Night Mode

To test both phone’s camera prowess, these were taken in a scene without sufficient lighting other than the night city line.

#15 (Ultra-Wide)

#16 (Wide)

#17 (Zoom)

Faces

A comparison for people who shoot a lot of selfies and portraits.

#18 (Selfie Portrait Mode)

#19 (Portrait Mode)

#20 (Night Portrait Mode)

Results

Have you made your final photo picks? Check out the results below:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:

1A / 2A / 3A / 4B / 5A

6A / 7A / 8A / 9A / 10B

11B / 12B / 13B / 14B / 15B

16A / 17B / 18B / 19A / 20A

Xiaomi Mi 11:

1B / 2B / 3B / 4A / 5B

6B / 7B / 8B / 9B / 10A

11A / 12A / 13A / 14A / 15A

16B / 17A / 18A / 19B / 20B

Conclusion

Even if we all have our preferences in choosing the best photo, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has proven its advantage in the smartphone camera department.

Other than the accurate White Balance detection, it’s also able to preserve the right amount of details, contrast, saturation, and even performs well under harsh daylight (HDR) or low-light scenarios. Not to mention, all lenses have wider Field of View (FoV) versus its competitor.

Its better AI processing and camera software algorithms also make better foreground and background segmentation. Producing creamier bokeh while being able to keep the details (even fine hair strands) intact.

Mi 11’s camera quality isn’t horrendous. Although it has AWB and autofocus inconsistencies, it was still able to keep up especially with shots taken by its main (wide) 108-megapixel sensor. While these two smartphones rock different sets of cameras including the 108-megapixel sensors (Galaxy S21 Ultra with ISOCELL HN3 / Mi 11 with ISOCELL Bright HMX), Xiaomi still delivered great and promising photos. For someone who wants to get a smartphone with great set of cameras at the fraction of the cost of the S21 Ultra, this is still a solid option.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout | Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout

Continue Reading

Trending