Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Camera shootout

Is there any improvement?

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It was made clear that the brand-new Galaxy Note 9 has the same set of cameras as that of the Galaxy S9+ — they were released in the same year, after all. But there’s a more pressing concern: How much of an improvement is there over the Note 8?

Being the curious techies that we are, we took the two S Pen-equipped smartphones around New York City to see how they fare against each other. To make this shootout more interesting, we’re turning it into a blind comparison.

How blind? All rounds are in a random order, so you won’t know which phone shot Photo A and Photo B without checking the answer sheet at the end of this article.

To make things fair, all samples were shot using the default camera app on auto settings. No post-processing or editing was done, except for resizing so that they load faster.

Here we go:

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Now it’s time to see which phones you actually picked:

#1: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#2: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#3: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#4: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#5: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#6: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9(right)

#7: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#8: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#9: Note 9 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#10: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

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#12: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

As you can see, the differences are minor except for specific instances. The Note 9 seems to perform slightly better when it comes to portraits using either the front or rear cameras. Skin tone is more accurate and the photos look sharper up close.

Although the Note 8’s output is often too warm, it does surprisingly well, especially in low-light environments. And despite lacking the Dual Aperture feature of the Note 9, the predecessor can keep up in terms of overall exposure and dynamic range.

Do note that the Note 8 has had a year to refine its cameras, whereas the Note 9 just came out with its fresh software. These results could easily change in a few months with software updates.

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

#1

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

#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

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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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