Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Camera Shootout

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After pitting the Galaxy S8 against the best single-lens camera phone of 2016, we’re now reviving Samsung’s fierce rivalry with the one, the only… iPhone 7 Plus!

Yes, we’re aware the iPhone 7 Plus has two camera lenses in its arsenal — one for regular, wide-angle shots and another for zoomed-in photos, while the Galaxy S8 has only one. To make this a fair fight, we’re excluding the iPhone’s extra lens and relying solely on both phone’s Auto settings.

In addition, we’re sticking to each phone’s default camera app. Remember, this comparison is based purely on what we see directly out of the handsets’ unedited JPEG files on a single computer monitor.

Check ‘em out:

Like in our previous shootout, this scenario is perfect for testing each camera’s dynamic range. While neither stand a chance against the Pixel’s strong HDR game, the Galaxy S8 is clearly more capable than the iPhone 7 Plus when it comes to balancing a scene’s highlights and shadows. The iPhone’s shot looks bland, especially on the building’s reflections and the exhaust in the foreground.

Here’s a classic example of how a Samsung phones tends to oversaturate scenes while the iPhone leans toward cooler, more realistic colors. For this particular setup, we prefer the Galaxy S8’s version, as it breathes more life into the couple’s sweet moment. The iPhone 7 Plus also seemed to have difficulty rendering the grass, losing nearly all the details.

The Galaxy S8 once again emphasizes strong colors on Chay’s face, but becomes slightly underexposed in the process. While the iPhone went for color accuracy and a brighter subject, we have to commend the entries for giving a sweet amount of background blur in both cases.

This is a point we have to give to #TeamApple. Even though the Galaxy S8 did a great job of putting all the focus on the flower’s bright yellow hue, the iPhone 7 Plus pulled it off more subtly and even produced a more pleasant level of sharpness on the surrounding leaves.

Speaking of background blur, we checked to see how each handset manages a shallow depth of field. Ignoring the usual over and undersaturation, we love how accurate the two phones are in locking onto the subject — the flowers, in this case — and giving us the artistic aesthetic we were after.

Let’s turn things up a notch. For nighttime landscape shots, we have to side with Samsung. The Galaxy S8 intelligently exposes the entire area without blown highlights, while the iPhone takes the safer route by simply keeping all the noise and grain in check.

Both cameras did a commendable job in this tricky instance; a crappy camera wouldn’t be able to make the “2017” legible with its illumination. The Galaxy S8’s output happens to be a little warmer, but this is something you can adjust if you choose to go beyond Auto settings.

Similar to the dark landscape test earlier, the Galaxy S8 has an edge over its iPhone rival when it comes to exposing all spots just right. What’s more glaring, however, is the red tint over the iPhone’s photo, which seems to darken the scene and provide unrealistic colors for once.

Now we test the front-facing cameras, each of which has a single lens. Our selfie on the left produced much smoother skin and slightly brighter faces, whereas the other selfie turned out grainier and darker. To the iPhone’s credit, hair and clothing details are a lot sharper.

We’ll once again end this with a solo daytime selfie. Quality-wise, we’d call this a tie, since they outputted the same level of colors and sharpness. The iPhone’s shot looks less lit, but that can be blamed on the tighter angle it provided us.

This shootout wasn’t as close as the one between the Galaxy S8 and Pixel. Samsung’s flagship phone is a clearer winner here, having delivered excellent images across the board. Even in the few instances we preferred the iPhone’s pictures, the Galaxy S8’s was nearly as good and it could’ve done either way.

Then again, we can’t end this without mentioning the iPhone 7 Plus’ extra telephoto lens. It opens up more creative possibilities, and enables you to capture faraway subjects without having to move closer. Those are things a Galaxy can’t do until Samsung decides to jump on the dual-camera bandwagon. (On the Galaxy Note 8, perhaps?)

And, that’s it! Tell us which camera phone you think won this shootout. Leave a comment below and let your opinions be heard.

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

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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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Camera Shootouts

iPhone XS vs Pixel 2: Camera shootout

Which smartphone camera comes out on top?

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As the iPhone XS starts to roll out to more markets across the globe, we’re doing another camera comparison here at GadgetMatch to see whether Apple’s best offering has what it takes to compete against one of the best smartphone cameras today: Google’s Pixel 2.

This year’s upgrades are merely incremental. But, while reviewing the iPhone XS last week, we noticed how much better it already is compared to its predecessor, the iPhone X. It has a bigger image sensor that should help with low-light performance.

In terms of hardware, the iPhone XS has a slight advantage over the Pixel 2 as it has two main cameras — one wide angle and one telephoto — but in this comparison we only used the main cameras of both phones to level the playing field. The iPhone XS also uses both lenses when taking portraits, while the Pixel 2 uses computational photography, which is possible thanks to the amount of data Google has collected over the years.

This is 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!

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Are you ready to see which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#2
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#3
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#4
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#5
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#6
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#7
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#8
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#9
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#10
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#11
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#12
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#13
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#14
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#15
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#16
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

There’s no denying how close the performance of both smartphones are. Even at almost a year old, the Pixel 2’s photos look just as good compared to those of the new iPhone XS.

One new feature that Apple is not hyping so much, but everyone is raving about, is Smart HDR. In the comparison, we can see this at work in backlit photos featuring our Chief Content Creator Michael Josh, and in low light. Google has a similar technology called HDR+, although the iPhone XS’ Smart HDR works slightly better.

When it comes to the portrait mode, the Pixel 2 does cutouts much cleaner, although in the photo featuring our Her GadgetMatch editor Isa, it thinks that the pillows behind her are part of the subject. The iPhone XS also produced a warmer image here. In the selfie portrait, it’s the Pixel 2 that produced the warmer image, making the blue wall behind me look less blue than in real life.

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

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera shootout

The rivalry is on!

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OPPO and Vivo’s newest midrange contenders are now in the market, and as usual we’re here to pit them against one another.

The OPPO F9 sports a bigger display and what OPPO calls the water drop notch, but with similar internals as its predecessor, the F7. The Vivo V11 also gets the smaller notch treatment, but boasts a higher-end processor and in-display fingerprint reader compared to the V9.

What we’re curious to see, now that we’ve reviewed both devices, is which one takes better photos. We took the F9 and V11 with us as we sought to find out what the city of Berlin, Germany has to offer.

Get your pen and paper ready because we’ve prepared another blind test here at GadgetMatch. All photos were taken in Auto Mode 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.

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Are you ready to see which phone took the photos you picked? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#2
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#3
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#4
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#5
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#6
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#7
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#8
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#9
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#10
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#11
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#12
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#13
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#14
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

In most instances I prefer Vivo V11’s photos better than those of the OPPO F9’s. They’re more detailed, vibrant, the camera’s HDR capabilities do really well in backlit scenarios — something I also experienced on the Vivo NEX — and portrait cutouts are also more precise.

The OPPO F9 also visibly struggled to take clear shots compared to the V11 in scenarios without bright sunlight. If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the V11, it’s the way it tends to oversaturate scenes that it detects as “food” or “flower.”

What do you think of this comparison? Are you upgrading to any of these devices? Let us know in the comments below.

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