Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ vs Google Pixel 2: Camera Shootout

Shootout between the two highest-rated smartphone cameras

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Aside from having the famed AR Emoji, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ are earning praises and accolades for multiple features. Imaging authority DxOMark has even given the S9+ (or what I call the “jumbo” version) the highest smartphone camera rating to date.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+

Hot off the launch event, I got to take the S9, which is the smaller handset (I dub thee the “mini” version), out for a spin. The mini S9 supposedly has the same camera specs as the S9+ including that fancy dual-aperture feature, except, the latter has a rear dual-cam setup capable of real portrait mode shooting and zoom.

On this trip, I was packing the Google Pixel 2, which used to top DxOMark’s charts and is now second only to the S9+. 

Being the curious person that I am, I took the S9 and the Pixel 2 out and around Barcelona to see just how the two compare. Here’s how that turned out.

Cityscapes

It was unusually cold and rainy in Barcelona this year but I managed to take a number of snaps of the picturesque city.

Both phones did a great job on this shot. Overall lighting was good, even on the building facades considering these areas were against the light. The S9’s photo is noticeably brighter, but the Pixel 2 shot has more building details owing to high contrasts — something the phone is known for.

Same observations may be made with this set. Color and detail is more apparent on the Pixel photo owing to contrasts. The blue sky on the S9 photo looks more saturated while the Pixel 2 photo gives a deeper, darker sky.

Indoor shots

These photos were taken inside famed apartment building Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí who is the genius behind Barcelona’s Sagrada Família.

The S9’s photo is brighter but this meant that color and some parts (notice the windows) have washed out details. Notice that the same photo is also more yellow. The deeper blues in the Pixel 2’s photo make for a better take.

Yet again, both photos come out well, and this is considering that this was an indoor setting. The S9 photo won this particular round, however. The brightness and color saturation just made the overall picture more appealing.

Low-light scenes

We now move on to the true smartphone camera challenges!

This photo came out with surprising results. I’m not quite sure why color differed vastly between the two pictures — might be the white balance, or the saturation — so your guess is as good as mine.

This outdoor night time shot proves that both are capable shooters (as if it isn’t obvious enough at this point), and both samples have great detail. As has been a recurring theme in these photos, the S9’s take is a little bit more saturated while the Pixel 2’s photo has more pronounced contrasts.

The S9 impressed massively in this photo. Although the stained glass windows aren’t as colorful in this sample, the S9 was able to brighten the photo so much so that the details on the ceiling are clearly seen. This was not the case with the Pixel 2 photo.

Food photography

On to the part of the review that always makes me hungry.

The S9 and S9+ have a built in Food Mode specifically built for these type of shots.

As seen in the left-most photo, the tuna is definitely redder. Obviously, saturation has been upped on the S9’s Food Mode and there’s a blur effect going on — one that’s reminiscent of Instagram’s radial blur filter. The Pixel 2’s tuna looks paler and less appealing in general, even compared to the normal S9 shot.

The same goes with this yummy piece of salmon. Although undoubtedly very, very yummy, the Pixel 2’s photo looks least appealing. The S9 Food Mode, however, seemed a little too much for this naturally orange dish. The normal S9 photo looks just right (and now I want salmon).

Portrait mode

This is where it gets interesting. The S9 houses a single rear camera which means its bokeh mode is all software; the Pixel 2 is the same. On the other hand, the S9+ (yes, the jumbo version) packs dual-rear shooters that can do real hardware bokeh with its adjustable Live Focus Mode. The results are below:

It’s Joshua Vergara. What’s going on, everybody?

The Google Pixel 2 still does better software cut-outs, but the S9+ and its hardware bokeh are the true winners here.

Speaking of S9+ features, there’s also an optical zoom capability thanks to the second rear shooter on this jumbo phone while the Pixel 2’s single shooter doesn’t have the same thing, so we give this round to the S9+.

Selfie shooters

Of course, the S9 and S9+ have a very detailed beauty and makeup mode (something I’ve thoroughly explored in this video) — a feature the Pixel 2 doesn’t have.

On the selfie front, here’s how the phones fared:

The S9’s photo is brighter and softer — a look I’ve noticed women are more prone to liking in their selfies as it gives faces a softer look. As expected, the Pixel 2’s high contrasts give off a much sharper look; notice the seemingly overdrawn eyebrows on the Pixel 2 sample compared to the S9’s.

The verdict is not surprising: All these phones are very, very capable shooters. As to which phone is better would depend on preference. Admittedly, the S9+ would be the best overall shooter with the added camera and shooting features. The S9, on the other hand, is a great choice if you like brighter, more saturated photos in a smaller body. And despite being released months prior, the Pixel 2 is still on par with these fresh releases. It’s still a great choice if you’re fond of great contrasts and faithful color reproduction.

Which one of these phones won you over?

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9: Four fun new features

Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 30 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

Which big phone takes better photos?

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The year is almost over but we’re not done comparing smartphones. In this shootout, we’re pitting the Huawei Mate 30 Pro against the iPhone 11 Pro Max. All photos are shot in Auto Mode using the main cameras, except for a few to test their ultra-wide angle cameras, night modes, and portrait modes. The photos have also been resized so the images can load faster.

Get your pen and paper ready as this is a blind shootout. Make sure to take note of your picks. The answers to this test are found at the bottom of the page. Let’s start.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15, Ultra Wide Angle

#16, Ultra Wide Angle

#17, Portrait Mode

#18, Night Mode

#19, Night Mode

#20, Night Mode

#1
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#2
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#3
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#4
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#5
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#6
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#7
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#8
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#09
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#10
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#11
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#12
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#13
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#14
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#15, Ultra Wide Angle
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#16, Ultra Wide Angle
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#17, Portrait Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#18, Night Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#19, Night Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#20, Night Mode
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

This is one of the closest shootouts we’ve done. Results could have gone either way for a lot of scenarios. For the photos that look drastically different — my choices all boiled down to preference. I personally don’t like how the Mate 30 Pro washes out skintones and blows out highlights, but I like the colors it produced better during sunsets. I don’t like how some of the iPhone photos turn out a little dull, but they were more of than not closer to real life colors.

If you’re like me who color corrects photos before sharing them, you can’t go wrong with either phones if cameras are your priority — they’re both able to capture details even in low light situations and can be post-processed whichever way you prefer.

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Camera Shootouts

Realme XT vs Samsung Galaxy A80 vs Huawei P30 vs iPhone XR: Camera shootout

Yet another four-way shootout

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Most of the smartphones that released a higher megapixel count belong in the midrange category. With this trend, we started wondering if these smartphones can actually hold their own against pricier smartphones from today’s top three brands.

In this shootout, we’re pitting the Realme XT against the Samsung Galaxy A80, Huawei P30, and the iPhone XR. For a fair-fight, we opted to use a regular shot for the Realme XT since its 64MP camera shoots 16MP photos by default. The Galaxy A80’s 48MP camera shoots 12MP by default, and the Huawei P30’s 40MP camera shoots 10MP. On the other hand, the iPhone XR shoots 12MP.

Of course, there were no filters applied and all settings are the same for all the smartphones. As usual, the photos are resized for you to load the images faster.

The answers to this test are found at the bottom of the page. Now, let’s start!

#1 – Ultrawide mode

#2 – Flat lay

#3 – Food

#4 – 2x zoom

#5 – Outdoor

#6 – Greenery

#7 – Selfie

#8 – Saturation

#9 – Macro

#10 – Interior

#11 – Low light

#12 – Lights

#13 – Night

#14 – Portrait mode

Here are the results of this camera shootout:

ARealme XT

BSamsung Galaxy A80

CHuawei P30

DiPhone XR

As you can see, the Realme XT does well despite belonging in the midrange category. Of course, the iPhone XR still leads the shootout with accurate color reproduction while the Huawei P30 and Samsung Galaxy A80 appeal to different kinds of users with a preference for warmer and cooler photos.

Nonetheless, the Realme XT opens up the possibility for consumers with a limited budget but still want to get value for money smartphones. In a few months, more midrange smartphones will shake the upper midrange and premium categories. For now, we can enjoy these midrange smartphones offering more than what we deserve. So, which photos did you like better?


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Realme Philippines.

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Camera Shootouts

Realme 5 Pro vs Huawei Nova 5T: Camera shootout

Battle between two midrange headliners

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Realme and Huawei are both notable in the camera department. With their midrange headliners, one can’t help but wonder how their cameras perform when pit against each other. Let’s see in this shootout if a PhP 6,000 difference in price translates to camera performance.

Grab a pen and paper so you can write your answers down. The results can be found at the bottom of this page, so if you can’t wait to get the answer, just scroll down!

#1 – Flower

#2 – HDR

#3 – Greenery

#4 – Buildings

#5 – Murals

#6 – Wide

#7 – Regular

#8 – Zoom

#9 – Portrait

#10 – Selfie

#11 – Food

Here are the results!

Realme 5 Pro – 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10B, 11B

Huawei Nova 5T – 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B, 10A, 11A

As you can see, the Realme 5 Pro produced vibrant and saturated photos with a faded effect and lesser contrast. In comparison, the Huawei Nova 5T produced photos with higher contrast, wider shots due to the differences in focal length, warmer, and with better depth.

Despite the PhP 6,000 difference, both phones produced stunning photos. They have their fair share of shortcomings, too, although we can’t expect these midrangers to be as good as flagship smartphones.

At the end of the day, users benefit from tight competition between smartphone brands as they try to produce more affordable offerings with near-flagship capabilities.

How did you like this shootout? Share your thoughts with us on our social channels!

SEE ALSO: Realme 5 vs Huawei Y9 Prime (2019): Camera shootoutRealme 5 Pro Review: An easy recommendationHuawei Nova 5T: Flagship-like midranger

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