Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel: Camera Shootout

Published

on

What happens when we have the two best single-lens camera phones in our possession? We take them out for a shootout, of course!

Since getting our hands on the Galaxy S8, we’ve been wondering why Samsung didn’t opt for a dual-camera setup like most flagship smartphones these days. After trying it out, we realized there wasn’t any need to, considering how well it performs without any added features.

This also brought up the question: How well would the Galaxy S8 fare against last year’s single-camera king, the Google Pixel? After comparing their photos side by side, we must say, calling a winner is a lot tougher than we imagined.

Each shot was taken with Auto settings turned on and using each phone’s default camera app. This best simulates what a casual user would do, which involves quick-launching the camera and shooting away.

Let’s begin:

We’ll start with a basic building shot in daylight. You can see how the Galaxy S8 illuminates the foreground better — notice the brighter exhaust pipe to the right and slightly clearer building in the middle. And yet, this causes the background to become overexposed. The Pixel nails the exposure for the sky and building in the background.

This situation tests how well the two cameras handle sharpness across the picture. The Galaxy S8 has a much warmer tone, but it noticeably sharper on the bottom floor. The Pixel, meanwhile does a better job of balancing each detail on the brick wall to the right.

Close-up portrait time! Both phones produced a sharp subject with a creamy background, but the Galaxy S8’s colors have much more pop! to them. The warm white balance of the S8 also added more life to our Creative Director’s face while the sun was gradually setting.

How do both phones handle macro shots? Quite well, actually! The two cameras managed to focus nicely on the flower and blur out all the unneeded background elements. We just found the Galaxy S8’s shot to be a tiny bit oversaturated, and the Pixel’s a little underexposed.

Here’s another instance that tests how the cameras handle sharpness when there’s less light. Like in earlier photos, the Galaxy S8 has a sharper image throughout and livened up the tree to the left a lot more. The Pixel’s edge is in the sharpness of the trees’ reflection in the puddle.

This is where things start getting tricky. The two phones shot virtually identical photos, with the only difference being the Pixel’s slightly higher exposure. Considering the nature of Auto settings, the results could just as easily be the other way around if taken a few minutes earlier or later.

We can now tell how well each phone’s auto white balance and image stabilization comes into play in this poorly lit scene. After zooming in, we’d say the Galaxy S8 has a sharper subject and more accurate colors. On the other hand, the Pixel’s camera didn’t wash out as much and retained more details on the building’s facade.

Bright lights in near darkness is a tough test for any camera. Both phones did a splendid job overall, but the Galaxy S8 ensured the sign’s brightness didn’t spill over to the background. You can see how the S8 effortlessly kept all colors in their place.

Now we check out how well the selfie camera does at night. Like with the dark shots earlier, the Galaxy S8 once again gets the colors right while keeping skin tones lively. We have to give the Pixel a point though for not turning the scarf and strands of hair into mush.

And we’ll end this shootout with a daytime selfie! This time, the Pixel wins with a rosier skin tone and sharper details on Michael Josh’s face. The Google phone also manages to produce a more accurately colored background with all the details and proper white balance retained.

When it comes down to it, all photos are absolutely superb. Never have we seen such a well-contested match between two high-end phones. Still, we have to hand out some awards.

The Pixel retains its crown as the leader in smartphone HDR photography with a distinct advantage when it comes to illuminating all parts of each photo. It also produced more pleasant selfies in daytime, as well as sharper details for things like hair and walls.

For everything else, the Galaxy S8 is a clear winner. We love how we look on the portraits it produces, whether they were taken with lots of light or barely any. No matter what situation, colors always have so much life in them without oversaturating the subjects. Samsung made the right choice of sticking to a single camera lens and simply improving on the Galaxy S7’s already awesome shooter.

With that, we want to hear from you which camera you think wins this shootout. Leave a comment below and let your opinions be heard!

SEE ALSO: 6 things the Samsung Galaxy S8 camera can do

[irp posts=”11721″ name=”6 things the Samsung Galaxy S8 camera can do”]

Camera Shootouts

iPhone XR vs Pixel 3: Camera shootout

Which single-camera setup takes better photos?

Published

on

In an age where dual and triple cameras have become a standard, two premium flagship smartphones with a single-camera setup can still compete. Google’s Pixel 3 is regarded by many as having the overall best smartphone camera because it produces well-balanced colors and clean cutouts on portrait mode. Apple’s iPhone XR has almost the same camera setup and features as the more expensive XS and XS Max, including the TrueDepth camera in front.

In this comparison, we pit the two against each other to find out which smartphone you think takes better photos. This is once again 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!

#1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#3

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#4

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#5

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#6

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#7

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#8

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#10

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#11

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#12

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#13

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#14

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#15

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ready to find out which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer key:

#1
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#2
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#3
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#4
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#5
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#6
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#7
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#8
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#9
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#10
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#11
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#12
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#13
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#14
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#15
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

There’s no clear winner in this shootout; both phones did a great job in capturing images even in low-light scenarios. Choosing which one is better boils down to preference.

The Pixel 3 produces photos with higher contrast and sharpness, which sometimes turn out darker so photos tend to look more dramatic than they are in real life.  The iPhone XR, with its Smart HDR technology, balances out highlights and shadows really well, so much so that backlit images look like they have more than one light source.

In the portrait mode department, neither of the phones did a perfect job — how the cutouts turn out varies depending on the hair’s texture, how busy the background is, and even lighting.

When it comes to selfies, the Pixel 3 offers a wider field of view, an option to switch to a secondary wide-angle lens, as well as a feature called Night Sight that’s also available on its rear camera. One complaint we’ve always had with iPhones is how tight selfies are as seen in sets #13 and #14, although the iPhone XR selfies look more pleasing compared to those taken with the Pixel 3, where my skin tone tends to look more dull.

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

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3: Night mode shootout

Seeing in the dark

Published

on

Smartphone manufacturers have always been upping their camera games, whether it’s by adding more sensors to the setup or increasing pixel count. But one of the bigger revolutions was Huawei bringing a true night mode to the P20 Pro earlier this year.

Since then, Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro followed up on the trend, only to be challenged by another camera-centric smartphone: the Pixel 3. Google’s latest flagship also has a well-received night mode, but the feature came out a couple of months after the phone’s launch.

Now that Google’s Night Sight is official and we have a Mate 20 Pro on hand, it’s time to compare their performance and answer the question lots of people have been asking: What’s the best smartphone for nighttime photography?

For this shootout, I brought the two phones around Taiwan and took photos only on their respective night modes. No post-processing was done except resizing, so the images would load a little quicker on this page.

Here we go:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing’s for sure: Both perform really well in any situation, exceeding expectations in most cases. Although, a lot of the comparisons come down to personal taste.

For one, the Pixel 3 often removes a layer of warmth and makes nighttime scenes look more like daytime. On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro is better at preserving how the environment actually looks in low-light spots.

In the most extreme cases, however, the Pixel 3 can see better in total darkness. The secret sauce Google applied here works wonders for when sufficient lighting is out of the question. At the same time, Huawei’s phone can apply motion blur to moving subjects, making them feel more like a long-exposure shot.

With no clear winner, it’s safe to say that both sides prove that their leaders in the night mode realm. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending